Ukraine bans military from online gambling amid addiction concerns. An illustration depicts soldiers in historical military attire observing as a giant hammer, wielded by a large hand, strikes down upon a laptop displaying a vibrant online gambling interface, causing it to shatter dramatically. The imagery symbolizes a forceful crackdown or prohibition, possibly by a government or military authority, on online gambling activities, as indicated by the emblem on the hammer and the title of the image. The soldiers' presence and their focused attention on the event suggest that this crackdown is particularly relevant to military personnel.

Ukraine’s Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), has swooped against illegal gambling in the war-torn nation by blocking 371 websites operating within the country following a collaborative effort between KRAIL and the Security Service of Ukraine.

Between April and May, over 1,000 orders were issued to limit access to domain names and subdomains on DNS servers according to a report in igamingbusiness.com.

This particular order – Order No 451/2256 instructs ISPs to block access to the websites using their SND servers.

Krail itself is currently under threat as Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), recently voted to liquidate KRAIL after a year of frustration with KRAIL’s ability to carry out regulatory tasks.

Significant delays in license applications, in part down to the ongoing military conflict in the country leading to some members being called up to active duty led to the vote as a solution is sought.

KRAIL itself is made up of six member and a chairperson, and it’s mandate states that at leats five members are present, something which has proved increasingly difficult in light of conscription.

In addition to blocking websites, the bill proposes increased restrictions on gambling advertising and additional control measures. The legislation now faces a second reading, and if approved, it will become law upon President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s signature.

Should KRAIL be dissolved, gambling regulation would fall under the watchful eye of the Digital Transformation Ministry.

Alina Plyushch, a partner at Kyiv-based law firm Sayenko Kharenko, emphasized that the ministry’s retention of regulatory powers remains uncertain pending further government decisions.

This is pending a further government decision on the creation of a new regulator under the digital transformation ministry’s umbrella,” Plyushch said.

“Another possibility is that the digital transformation ministry keeps the functions of the industry’s regulator.”

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