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Ukraine blocks 2,500 websites over unlicensed gambling content

The prosecutor general’s office has provided an update on its actions.

Ukraine.- The Ukraine prosecutor general’s office has blocked 2,500 websites for hosting unlicensed gambling content. Meanwhile, it says that it is investigating 450 alleged illegal gambling offences, with 76 criminal offences registered this year.

In an update on its actions related to the gambling sector, the department said it had sent 72 indictments to court, seven of them involving 68 members of criminal gangs. It said that 169 illegal gambling offences were registered in 2023 and 52 indictments against 97 people went to court. Investigations also led to around 500 searches and the seizure of over 7,000 items of equipment, including computers. Some 700 addresses were investigated and ten casinos were suspended.

The office also noted that a pre-trial investigation into an unnamed Russian-controlled legal entity is underway due to allegedly illegal gambling activities. Prosecutors are also providing guidance in proceedings against operators accused of running illegal online casinos.

Move to disband Ukrainian gambling regulator

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament has voted to approve the first reading of bill 9256d, which proposes to disband the national gambling regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL). The regulator was created following the re-legalisation of gambling in Ukraine in July 2020.

Bill 9256d was submitted a year ago by deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov. He proposed the replacement of KRAIL with a new executive body due to long delays in KRAIL’s work. The regulator operates on a collegial body comprising a chairman and six members. Since five members need to be present at all meetings, licence applications were often delayed due to absences amid the ongoing war with Russia.