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Ukraine Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling: 2,500 Websites Blocked, Investigations Underway

Ukraine's prosecutor general's office, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has taken decisive action against illegal gambling activities, announcing the blocking of 2,500 websites hosting unlicensed gambling content. Providing insights into their ongoing efforts, the prosecutor general’s office revealed significant strides made in curbing illegal gambling during the years 2023 and 2024.

Ukraine Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling: 2,500 Websites Blocked, Investigations Underway

According to the latest report, as of April 2024, authorities are investigating over 450 alleged illegal gambling offenses, with indictments already sent to court for 72 individuals, including charges against 68 members of criminal gangs. Notably, 76 criminal offenses have been registered thus far in 2024 alone.

In 2023, the prosecutor general’s office registered 169 instances of illegal gambling, resulting in 52 indictments against 97 individuals. Law enforcement efforts led to the seizure of more than 7,000 pieces of equipment, including computers, and the execution of around 500 searches. Furthermore, investigations into 700 addresses suspected of illegal gambling activities led to the suspension of operations at ten casinos and charges against 42 members of criminal gangs.

Cyprus Gaming License

Highlighting an ongoing pre-trial investigation, prosecutors are focusing on a sanctioned legal entity allegedly engaged in illegal gambling activities, purportedly with ties to citizens of the Russian Federation. Additionally, guidance is being provided in cases concerning the legalization of funds amounting to UAH4.8bn from illegal online gambling.

The release of these figures coincides with recent parliamentary actions to dissolve Ukraine’s gambling regulator, KRAIL. The Verkhovna Rada voted in favor of the dissolution on April 24, following the submission of Draft Law No 9256, backed by 272 lawmakers. Proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Fedorov in 2023, the bill, once passed and signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will not only dissolve KRAIL but also introduce measures to further restrict gambling activities, including new safeguarding tools for vulnerable individuals and a ban on gambling advertisements.



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