Ukraine bans gambling sites and bookmakers from advertising

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The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has introduced a complete ban on gambling games and bookmakers' advertising. The measure will be valid until the adoption of a new law combatting gambling addiction, which is currently being considered by the Ukrainian parliament. 

According to the announcement, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted amendments to the "Some issues of countering the negative consequences caused by gambling games operation on the Internet" resolution that restricts where gambling operators and bookmakers may advertise in the country. 

“Subparagraph 1 of the Cabinet of Minister's resolution No. 566 (from May 17, 2024)after the words “order of restriction” is supplemented with the words “all forms”, and after the words “by restriction” with the words “namely prohibition,” the resolution says.

The May 17 version provided for a ban on gambling advertising, including the symbols of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other symbols used to conduct gambling through electronic communications.

The problem of gambling addiction among military personnel became widely publicized in March after soldier Pavlo Petrychenko spearheaded a petition on March 29 calling for strict regulations on online casinos. Many soldiers turn to gambling as a coping mechanism for stress, often leading to addiction, Petrychenko said.

The petition garnered the necessary 25,000 votes within hours, leading Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to urge authorities to gather comprehensive statistics on the issue. The President enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) concerning restrictions on online gambling by issuing a decree on the Presidential Office website on April 20.