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Ukrainian regulator Krail said almost three quarters of unlicensed operators blocked access to their websites in the country after being contacted by the organisation.
According to Krail, 72.3% of sites withdrew operations in Ukraine following intervention by the regulator. This covered the period from 25 January 2022 to 8 August this year.
Websites operating in Ukraine without the relevant licence are subject to regulatory action. Those contacted by Krail over unlicensed activities must cease operations in the country within three working days.
Krail did not disclose the number of sites contacted during the period, nor the identity of any of the operators.
Tackling illegal gambling in Ukraine
The news comes amid a crackdown on illegal gambling in the county by lawmakers, Krail and authorities.
Over the weekend, Ukraine’s Bureau of Economic Security shut down four underground gambling establishments in Kyiv. This included venues in the Shevchenkivskyi, Solomyanskyi and Svyatoshynskyi districts.
In June, detectives also uncovered an underground casino and seven other gambling houses. Some UAH100,000 was seized of the course of the operation.
The police in May also exposed a criminal conspiracy involving a Ukrainian bank and a large number of gaming operators.
Tougher laws to stop unlicensed activities
Ukraine is seeking to introduce tougher measures on illegal gambling.
Last month, a new law outlining procedures for organisations subject to anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risk came into effect. This means operators in the country now face stronger inspections.
The law outlines the circumstances in which a gambling operator may face a scheduled or unscheduled inspection of their facility.
A set of proposals from Krail were also included in the government’s 2023 action plan. These included a reform of laws concerning the process of suspending and cancelling the licences of gambling operators.
However, the future of Krail as the gambling regulator for Ukraine remains up in the air. Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, in May submitted draft law proposing that Krail be dissolved and replaced with a new executive body.
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