Ukraine Introduces Banking Block for Self-Excluded Gamblers in Proposed Gambling Regulation Amendment

Published August 7, 2023 by OCR Editor

Ukraine Introduces Banking Block for Self-Excluded Gamblers in Proposed Gambling Regulation Amendment

Ukraine is considering significant changes to its gambling regulations to prevent banks from lending money to self-excluded gamblers. The proposal aims to enhance player protection and responsible gambling measures.

Enhancing Player Protection with Responsible Gambling Measures

Ukraine's gambling industry is taking a progressive step towards promoting responsible gambling practices by proposing new changes to its gambling regulations. The proposal, put forward by the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on Finance, Tax, and Customs Policy, aims to prevent banks from lending money to self-excluded consumers.

Expanded Checks to Ensure Self-Exclusion Compliance

The proposed amendment demands that lenders conduct comprehensive checks to determine whether an individual is self-excluded from gambling activities. This includes blocking themselves from online gambling platforms and accessing land-based facilities nationwide. If a player is found to be on the self-exclusion list, they will be ineligible to enter into a credit agreement with the lender.

Rising Self-Exclusion Numbers

The increasing number of self-excluded players underscores the need for stricter responsible gambling measures in Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), the first four months of 2023 witnessed 245 individuals signing up for self-exclusion. Comparatively, 195 players self-excluded in 2021, and 315 in 2022. By the end of April 2023, the self-exclusion list had already grown to 687 individuals.

Evolving Gambling Regulations

The proposed banking block is just one of the recent changes in Ukraine's dynamic gambling market. Last month, a new law focused on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risk procedures came into effect. This led to more stringent inspections for gambling operators in the country.

KRAIL's Proposals in the 2023 Action Plan

KRAIL, the gambling regulator for Ukraine, played a significant role in proposing changes to the government's 2023 action plan. Among the proposals was a reform of laws governing the suspension and cancellation of gambling licenses. One notable proposal was to suspend operators' licenses offering gambling services in territories occupied by hostile foreign powers.

The Uncertain Future of KRAIL

While KRAIL continues to work towards enhancing regulatory measures, its future remains uncertain. In May, Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, introduced a draft law advocating the dissolution of KRAIL. Instead, the proposal calls for establishing a new executive body to oversee gambling regulation. Fedorov cited delays in license issuance as the primary reason for the proposal.

Challenges During Martial Law

The challenges faced by KRAIL were exacerbated by the country's invasion by the armed forces of Russia, leading to the introduction of martial law. Some members of the Commission were mobilized for military service, causing disruptions to regular operations, including the issuance of licenses.

In conclusion, Ukraine's proposed amendment to prevent banks from lending to self-excluded gamblers reflects the nation's commitment to fostering responsible gambling practices. By enhancing player protection measures, Ukraine's gambling industry aims to balance offering entertainment and safeguarding its players from potential harm.

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