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More than 2,500 gambling websites that had operated without a license were blocked in Ukraine as of April 27, the Prosecutor General's Office reported.

The negative impacts of gambling, especially on the Ukrainian soldiers, have recently become a topic of public discussion in Ukraine as a petition demanding restrictions on online gambling reached the president's table in March.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on April 20 approving restrictions on online gambling and banning it for the military while martial law remains in force.

Law enforcement officers are investigating over 450 criminal offenses related to the illegal organization of gambling as of late April, according to the statement by the Prosecutor General's Office. A total of 21 people were notified of suspicion, and 72 were indicted.

A total of 169 such criminal offenses were registered in 2023, with 74 people being notified of suspicion, the Prosecutor General's Office said.

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Several large companies are under investigation in relation to online gambling.

In one of the cases, prosecutors are investigating the legalization of Hr 4.8 billion ($1.2 billion) in profits from illegal online gambling.

Ukraine's parliament supported in the first reading on April 24 a bill strengthening the state's oversight over the gambling business.

The bill proposes to abolish the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries and pass its responsibilities to the Digital Transformation Ministry.

Other measures included further restrictions on online gambling, including a ban on advertising, finding tools to safeguard particularly vulnerable categories of the population, and tightening business control measures.

In the first two months of 2024, gambling business in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion ($56 million) in taxes, and Hr 10.4 billion ($267 million) in 2023, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, the chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee.

Zelensky says government to tighten control over online gambling
President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on April 2 that the government is preparing to tighten control over the online gambling industry “and help protect the interests of the society.”

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