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Anton Kuchukhidze: How does CRGL oppose russia on the gambling front?

The political and economic isolation of russia is underway. Sanctions are tightened, and a growing number of companies from different economy sectors are leaving the russian market. Gambling industry representatives are no exception.

The unity demonstrated by Ukrainians in the fight against russia’s insidious war is unprecedented. Today, the whole country has united in confronting the russian aggression. Everyone is doing their best on their fronts to bring us closer to victory and weaken the enemy.

The Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) is also not a bystander and actively participates in this process. This governmental body created a gambling front against russia, comprising two elements.

The first element is the actual front. Ivan Rudyi, Chairman of CRGL, and part of the Commission’s employees joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine and went to war against the russian aggressor. Today, they protect the State by participating in combat operations.

The second element is a political one. CRGL called on all international partners to completely isolate russia’s gambling industry, which is a correct move enabling further exclusion of russian business representatives from the international economic system, as well as restriction of sources of income and investment in foreign markets.

For instance, in its statement, CRGL called on all European and international gambling associations, conferences, forums and exhibitions to take a firm position on russia’s isolation and terminate its membership and participation in all international gambling events and institutions.

Addressing international partners and market representatives, the Commission emphasized that all taxes that gambling businesses pay today while staying in russia finance its war against Ukraine and support international terrorism committed by the russian federation.

This CRGL’s position is illustrative and crucial for at least two reasons.

First, it shows that the aggressor country, which in 2022 decided to unleash war in Europe, must be subject to strong and hard-line isolation. And so it should be in all directions and in all economy sectors. Indeed, at first glance it may seem that gambling, against the background of such a major event as war, is nothing. However, remaining in the russian market, gambling companies pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, which, in particular, finance the war against Ukraine and false propaganda inside russia.

Second, in the present situation, no company from any economy sector can hope for proper activities in developed countries without declaring solidarity with Ukraine, which today is not only fighting for its freedom and independence, but also for all Western democratic values.

Obviously, international partners should support CRGL’s call to isolate the russian gambling business and terminate any cooperation with the aggressor country. Only harsh sanctions and total isolation can bleed the russian economy powering this insidious war against our State.

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