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President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on April 2 that the government is preparing to tighten control over the online gambling industry "and help protect the interests of the society."

A petition demanding restrictions on online gambling was registered on the website of the President's Office on March 29 and collected within a few hours the required minimum of votes to pass the threshold for presidential consideration.

Zelensky said he had discussed the issue with the National Security and Defense Council Secretary and the representatives of the Digital Transformation Ministry, the State Service of Special Communications, and Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU).

"We are preparing corresponding steps which will increase control over the industry and help to protect the interests of the society," Zelensky said.

The author of the petition, soldier Pavlo Petrychenko, called for banning gambling and access to online casinos for military personnel during martial law. According to Petrychenko, gambling causes addiction among many Ukrainian soldiers, as it becomes "the only way" to cope with stress for them.

After the petition gathered the required number of votes, Zelensky, in his evening address, called on Ukrainian authorities to collect all the analytics on the issue and find a solution.

Gambling was officially banned in Ukraine in 2009 until its legalization in 2020.

In the first two months of 2024, the gambling business in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion ($56 million) in taxes, and Hr 10.4 billion ($267 million) in 2023, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee.

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