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Ignoring the Russian market is a new trend in global gambling


Russia’s war against Ukraine has interfered with the plans of millions of people and business expectations about the global economy growth. Losses were suffered by the representatives of all segments of population throughout the world and every single economy sector.

Ukrainian business suffered the most from russian aggression. According to the Ministry of Economy, the fall in GDP could reach 45% this year.

It affected the domestic legal gambling market, which also underwent significant changes and certain reductions. The war also affected our association’s international contacts. Last year, the Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC) participated in numerous important and representational international events.

For my part, as Deputy Chair of the UGC for Communications, I have been negotiating a lot to get our association represented at this year’s ICE London.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has affected our work. Unfortunately, UGC’s representation in London on 12-14 April 2022 has become impossible, which is a shame, because this exhibition is not only a commercial event aiming to find partners for gambling companies, but also has a great value aspect for the entire global gambling.

The speech made by the Chairman of the British regulator serves as an example of this ICE London value aspect, which clearly states that the regulation of gambling should provide greater safety for gamblers both in the UK and around the world.

In particular, in his opening speech, Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, called on regulators in different countries to greater international cooperation in order to better protect the public, as powerful multinationals acquire an increasing share of the global gambling market.

The head of the British regulator also referred to the issues related to the ownership structure of global technology and gambling companies, as well as the danger of using modern financial instruments in the gambling market, including:

-       prohibition of gambling using credit cards;
-       greater protection of major clients and mandatory introduction of GAMSTOP.

Rhodes noted that more needs to be done to take into consideration new products that could be considered part of the gambling ecosystem, such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
In addition, he focused on the fact that the politics of values and solidarity intensified in the UK after russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On many occasions, the British regulator has urged that licensed companies be more careful operating in the russian market or with consumers in terms of financial monitoring of terrorist financing risks.

“Cooperation between national regulators may lead to joint investigations and action against operators not meeting the standards of regulated gambling markets. In all markets, in different jurisdictions, in different cultures, cooperation must be a key tool in our work, aimed at making gambling more fair and safe for gamblers around the world,” Andrew Rhodes stressed.

The West continues to actively isolate the russian economy from the global one, including in the field of gambling. That is why legal gambling operators should be aware of the dangers and risks awaiting them if they continue to operate in the russian market.

Unfortunately, due to hostilities and the absence of UGC’s representation at ICE London, we were unable to convey the position of our association uniting about 80% of legal gambling in Ukraine, regarding the commitment to universal human values professed by the civilized world. I hope that next time UGC will have the opportunity to represent Ukraine at such an important global event.

Viktoriya Zakrevskaya