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Ukraine regulator orders operators to remove illegal ads “as soon as possible”

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Ukraine's Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has warned operators about illegal advertising, and threatened to prosecute offenders if they do not remove these ads “as soon as possible”.

The regulator noted that according to Article 22 of Ukraine’s advertising law, gambling advertisements are banned in a wide range of media. In particular, it highlighted the fact that outdoor advertisements of gambling were prohibited.

While the regulator was not specific about failings it uncovered, it said that it had noticed cases of illegal advertisements.

“In the process of performing tasks assigned to KRAIL in accordance with the legislation, cases of gambing advertising in violation of the requirements of the current legislation of Ukraine were revealed,” the regulator said.

“KRAIL calls on the organizers of gambling to take immediate and comprehensive measures as soon as possible to stop violations of current legislation.”

The regulator added that “in the absence of a proper and timely response from the organizers of gambling”, it “will take all measures provided by applicable law to prevent violations of the law and prosecute” offenders.

KRAIL went on to say that the country’s laws around gambling advertisements existed in order to reduce gambling harm, and so violations of these laws risked creating harm.

“The main purpose of state policy in the field of organization and conduct of gambling is to create conditions to reduce social risks associated with their organization and conduct and ensure compliance by gambling organizers,” it said. 

“Violation of the legislation on the order of advertising of gambling organizers leads to a significant increase in social risks associated with the organization and conduct of gambling, which is unacceptable.”

Ukraine legalised a wide range of forms of gambling last year, after banning gambling in 2009. While KRAIL has issued a number of licences under the country’s new Gambling Act, the country still needs to approve a law setting out tax rates, with the current proposal for a flat 10% rate having passed a first reading.

Last week, KRAIL published Ukraine’s first responsible gambling regulations.

Under the rules, operators would be unable to offer a bonus to players because they have lost money, or to make a bonus contingent on losses.

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