Ukraine shuts down 30 illegal casinos and gambling venues
Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), in collaboration with the local KRAIL (Commission for Licensing of Gambling and Lotteries), has announced the closure of over 30 illegal casinos and gambling venues across the country this month alone.
The regions in which they were shut down included Kiev, Odessa, Donetsk and Zhytomyr, as well as some others, with some of these venues being run by groups categorized as terrorist organisations by the security service in the country.
The local security services were able to get hold of more than 600 units of computer equipment, 5 roulette wheels, some playing chips, cards, 14 poker tables, cash, video recorders and much more during an inquiry.
As of this moment, the possibility of the involvement of some law enforcement officers in these illegal operations is being investigated.
The SBU went on to say that it found out that a portion of the funds that were acquired through these operations were used in the financing of some self-proclaimed states within the country, such as the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Ukraine sees both of these “states” as being terrorist organizations, despite the fact that most other countries (such as the US and Russia) and international organizations do not use this label for these groups.
Ukraine approved the legalization of gambling last year, when in August the president Volodymyr Zelensky signed the Gambling Act into effect. Through this Act, bookmaking, online gambling, casinos and slot halls would all become completely legal, but casinos are only allowed to be within hotels.
Moreover, the first operator to obtain a licence in the country was Spaceiks, who operates the Cosmolot brand and acquired the certification in February. Parimatch also obtained the very first sports betting licence this month.