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Anton Kuchukhidze: If to gamble, then only in legal gambling halls

While legal gambling operators strongly support the State, despite the challenges faced by their business, illegal operators damage the budget and deceive gamblers even during the war. Unfortunately, this trend applies to both online and offline segments.с

It is hard to imagine conditions for business development worse than war, especially when it comes to non-strategic economy sectors. The mobilization of resources and public support during hostilities is aimed at ensuring the defence and basic needs of the population, while other economy sectors have to cope with their issues on their own.

The entertainment industry, including gambling, falls into the second category, which means that, at first glance, it should not count on special government support. However, even in such dire conditions, the State is trying to support gambling, and legal operators support the State, introducing various volunteer and fundraiser initiatives and paying taxes to the budget.

At the same time, illegal gambling platforms and halls still exist. Illegal operators take advantage of the high level of uncertainty due to the war and the forced curtailment of legal business activities and become more active. Not only did they refuse to close their halls, but they also continued to open new online platforms and disguise themselves as legal gambling operators.

When gamblers choose illegal operators’ services, they face numerous risks, primarily associated with financial and personal security. There are at least three key risks.

1. Vulnerability of personal data. When using illegal online platforms, you provide personal data, including bank card information. In fact, you transfer this data to scammers who can then use it.
2. Lack of guarantees. Legal operators use certified hardware, software, and software algorithms complying with the law. For gamblers, this means a clear opportunity to win in a game of chance. The same cannot be said about illegal operators, so there is no guarantee that players can win.
3. Payment of winnings. Even if players managed to win in an illegal hall, there is a huge risk that they will not receive money or that the administrators of the illegal hall or platform will come up with some additional mandatory “fees” and “payments”. The payment of winnings on legal platforms and in legal gambling halls is strictly regulated by law.

When deciding where to gamble, you should clearly understand that this has to be done in legal gambling establishments and online legal platforms. You may check the legality of gambling operators online on the website of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries.

While using legal operators’ services, gamblers use the services of companies paying taxes to the state budget, thus bringing us closer to victory. It is much better than spending money in illegal halls with no guarantees and where the money earned is spent on anything except taxes and volunteer initiatives.

I would also like to remind you that the Ukrainian Gambling Council has a hotline, which you can always use to report advertising of illegal gambling establishments and platforms. Our lawyers will process your message and send relevant requests to the specialized agencies.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the Ukrainian News
Anton Kuchukhidze