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Anton Kuchukhidze: Sanctions are destroying russia’s gambling market from the inside

The sanctions imposed by Western countries on russia are gradually destroying the aggressor country’s economy. And although it is not happening as fast as we would like, the long-term negative impact on the russian economy will be devastating. The economic crises of the 1990s will seem like a joke to russians compared to what awaits them in the next 2 to 4 years.

Despite the constant flow of the russian propaganda stating that Western sanctions against russia “will have no effect”, they seriously damage the terrorist country’s economy daily. The negative impact of these sanctions is more profound and long-lasting than fashion brands disappearing from the shelves or the closure of Starbucks.

Large Western business leaving russia means the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. It results in a sharp decrease in purchasing power, which means a further decrease in domestic production due to a lack of demand. In addition, the Western companies’ refusal to supply components and materials to russia and provide the russian business with access to the required software hamper domestic production and provision of services.

It means that sanctions started the self-destruction of the russian economy. The only reason why it still functions is the supply of energy resources. However, even today, Western countries are partially refusing russian oil and gas. That is why it is only a matter of time before this source of income also runs out, and russia will simply not be able to support itself. Let me remind you that all these catastrophic economic processes are taking place in a country spending about USD 1 billion and losing hundreds of its citizens every day in the war with Ukraine.

However, the good thing is that the problems faced by the russian economy do not stop there. Recently, with the example of gambling, I noticed another interesting trend in the russian economy resulting from the imposed sanctions.

When we say sanctions, we usually focus on the Western companies' withdrawal from the market, which damages the russian economy. But it turns out that russian companies must also stop cooperating due to the disappearance of the very subject of their cooperation.

The russian legal gambling market is one example. Recently, the largest russian bookmaker, Liga Stavok, announced the termination of its contract with the russian Premier League due to the exclusion of russian football clubs from participation in the 2022/23 EuroLeague and the departure of foreign players and coaches. It resulted in the significant deterioration of the quality of competitions, meaning the audience’s declining interest, and that it has become unprofitable for the bookmaker to accept relevant bets. As a result, sanctions destroy domestic commercial relations between russian counterparts.


It is just one of the hundreds of examples of how russian legal gambling, like dozens of other businesses, is disappearing as an industry in russia. The Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries, as well as several Ukrainian companies and specialists effectively blocking the russian gambling business around the world, are doing their part. All this creates new opportunities for Ukraine, which, after our victory, will definitely become a regional investment hub, including in the field of legal gambling.

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