Legal gambling business is conducted in accordance with the key principles of the Constitution of Ukraine

The development of a civilized gambling market in Ukraine implies not only solving regulatory issues and introducing adequate tax legislation, but also the implementation of an effective player protection policy.

This is a practice of all developed countries, where the gambling business, on the one hand, has long generated significant revenues to the budget, and on the other hand, systems have been developed to combat and prevent gambling addiction (ludomania). The State must organize access to legal gambling in accordance with one of the key principles of the Constitution, that is, ensuring the safety of life and health of citizens. How is this principle applied in Ukraine?

Pursuant to the specialized Law on the gambling legalization in Ukraine, the fight against gambling addiction and its consequences is an integral part of caring for the well-being of players and social protection of their families. That is why Ukrainian legal gambling operators, as well as specialized gambling organizations increase the number of social programmes aimed at observing responsible gambling principles and combating gambling addiction.

At the end of last year, the Ukrainian Gambling Council, a specialized association uniting 80% of licensed gambling operators, announced the launch of a psychological support project for gamblers.

As part of this project, a hotline operates 24/7, where professional psychologists give free initial consultations to people facing certain problems with gambling addiction, as well as to their families. In addition to psychological consultations, appropriate free individual and collective therapy will soon be organized for those gamblers who need help.

For a month and a half of its operation, the Office of Psychological Support received about fifty calls to the hotline. Usually, these were two categories of citizens:

parents of gambling addicts asking how to deal with a gambling addiction of adult children playing in online casinos and gambling halls;

people with a gambling addiction willing to sign up for individual or group therapy, as well as receive the full scope of psychological support.

A few months earlier, the Ukrainian Gambling Council also implemented a project to provide legal assistance to gamblers and their families.

In particular, by applying for legal assistance, the gambler or his/her close relatives may learn the legal aspects of gambling addiction, as well as get advice from qualified lawyers on (self-)restriction in access to gambling. Such consultations are also provided 24/7.

The above social initiatives of legal gambling operators and specialized organizations, together with the observance of responsible gambling principles, are the foundation of partnerships between the State, legal gambling operators and society. They also demonstrate the commitment of legal gambling business in Ukraine to social responsibility and to one of the key principles of the Constitution – ensuring the safety of life and health of Ukrainian citizens.

Viktoriya Zakrevskaya