In reaction to fresh restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Parimatch has ceased its operations in Ukraine.
Parimatch claimed in a statement that it had immediately ceased operations in Ukraine and that the site was currently restricted for players in the nation.
Zelensky signed Presidential Decree No. 145/2023 into law on March 10, 2019. The Order put into effect a decision by Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to penalise 287 firms, many of which are gambling companies, and 120 persons.
In a speech on March 11, Zelensky described the move as a "new punishing measure against individuals and legal entities linked with the evil state," claiming that gaming companies had been withdrawing funds from Ukraine and sponsoring activities in Russia.
“These are more than 280 companies and 120 people who, through gambling business schemes, worked against Ukraine, withdrew funds from our state and financed various Russian schemes,” said Zelensky. “It took some time to prepare the decision. It has been thoroughly worked out and closes schemes worth tens of billions.”
SBU is accused of "illegal infractions" by Parimatch.
Parimatch challenged the judgement directly to Zelensky, claiming that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had not alerted it about the suspension.
“We would like to inform you that during the entire period of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, we never received any requests from the SBU regarding the suspension of the franchise in Russia,” read the statement. “Contacts with SBU employees were only in the form of threats, intimidation and extortion.”
Parimatch also requested that Zelensky verify the NSDC's judgement, stating that information considered during the council's decision was faked, and address "illegal violations" committed by the SBU.
“We ask to instruct you to verify the information that was falsified during the decision of the National Security Council and to take appropriate actions regarding all illegal violations by the Security Service of Ukraine,” Parimatch said.
“We are ready for public discussion, ready to answer all questions of the media and law enforcement agencies, and ready to defend our position in court.”
Statement of parimatch
In a further statement, Parimatch said it was “looking for a legal refund mechanism” for customers, adding that “customers can rest assured that all personal funds are currently safe, frozen and will be transferred in full”.
“We will expect additional analysis and consideration of the situation surrounding the NSDC sanctions against Parimatch LLC and hope for a future review of the decision,” the statement concluded.
All partnerships in which Parimatch is involved have also been suspended, and all personnel contracts will be terminated. "We understand that stopping all of the company’s operational processes won’t allow us to fulfill our obligations to the team," the operator stated.
In 2023, the operator paid UAH485m (£10.8m/€12.3m/$13.1m) in combined licence and tax payments.
By fLEXI tEAM