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Anton Kuchukhidze: British gambling recognized russia as a terrorist state

The speed with which russia is fading into political and economic oblivion because of the war against Ukraine is unprecedented. The sanctions imposed on russia, although not sufficient to end the war, have already seriously undermined the social and economic stability of the aggressor country. The russian budget is losing hundreds of millions of dollars every day, and dozens of international companies, including gambling companies, continue to withdraw from the russian market.

International gambling is outside politics. There are few examples in the history of humankind when the gambling business was involved in political decision-making. The history of the development of gambling shows that, on the one hand, it has become the object of political speculation by opposition around the world. On the other hand, a number of governments have always seen this sector as an object of regulation, which is unable to exist entirely outside of political trends.

International gambling companies, traditionally characterized by a high degree of liberalization in different jurisdictions, reacted swiftly to the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine and took a clear position. Most of large companies joined well-known brands from other industries and decided to withdraw from the russian market.

It makes sense to take this step, since russia is becoming more toxic every day, both politically and economically. A business that has decided to remain in the russian domestic market and pay taxes to the treasury of the state that started a bloody war in the center of Europe is doomed to total ostracism in the world of social networks and available information. A good example of this is the situation with Nestle, which refused to leave the russian market, and whose business and reputation is already under enormous pressure.

Notably, some international gambling representatives went even further and not only urged gambling operators to carefully check their ties with russia, but also named the aggressor country a terrorist in their official statements. This is exactly what was done by the British regulator, Gambling Commission.

This shows that even public gambling regulators must take into consideration major political processes when making decisions. Besides, a clear position condemning the actions of a country responsible for unleashing war and committing hundreds of war crimes every day, as well as restriction or termination of activities of large international companies on its territory turned out to be an effective way of exerting pressure on the aggressor.

The more companies leave the market, the more urgent are the problems of unemployment, shortage of goods and services, deterioration or even interruption of supply chains, access to the capital market, etc. All this significantly affects the country’s socio-economic stability, slowly draining its national resources in order to wage war.

The statements by the British regulator are a clear example of how even such an apolitical business sector as gambling may influence the international business community to recognize the actions of an aggressor state as terrorist acts.

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