President Volodymyr Zelensky tasked Ukrainian authorities with addressing the commonness and impact of online gambling. A petition demanding restrictions swiftly reached his doorstep on March 29 for presidential consideration.
The President’s Office registered a petition with a total of 26,041 votes, surpassing the required minimum of 25,000.
Soldier Pavlo Petrychenko is the author of the petition. Authorities requested him to introduce a bill. The bill would, among other things, ban gambling and access to online casinos for military personnel during martial law.
Petrychenko wrote that for many service personnel, gambling becomes the only way to cope with stress. This quickly causes dopamine addiction and weakens their self-control.
Using the symbols of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the soldier also asked to ban gambling advertising. This includes any advertising mentioning the provision of charitable assistance to military personnel by gambling market participants.
According to the petition’s author, Russian online casinos can access personal data of the military and other Ukrainians. This threatens national security.
In an evening address, President Zelensky said he has instructed several key entities. These include the chief of the SBU or Security Service of Ukraine, the Special Communications Service, the Digital Transformation Ministry, and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. They are tasked with collecting all the analytics on this issue. They will propose a solution next week.
Ukraine officially banned gambling in 2009. However, in 2020, it became legal again.
The gambling business in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion or $55.6 million in taxes, in the first two months of this year. On the other hand, Hr 10.4 billion or $263.291 million for the whole 2023. This is according to the chairman of the parliamentary of Finance Committee, Danylo Hetmantsev.