Ukraine President Sanctions Gambling Companies
In a statement by President Zelensky of Ukraine, “there are more than 280 companies and 120 people who, through gambling business schemes, worked against Ukraine, withdrew funds from the state and financed various Russian schemes”.
According to the statement, it took some time to prepare the decision to place sanctions. It has been thoroughly worked out and schemes worth tens of billions has been closed.”
The decree to impose a 50-year sanction on a total of 280 gambling companies, was issued on 10 March 2023.
Parimatch LLC, Parimatch Foundation and Parimatch United Investments Limited, were one of the firms affected by the sanctions.
In compliance with the sanctions, Parimatch has suspended operational activities, while its platform is unavailable, also its dot UA website has been blocked.
Customer funds are currently frozen, although the bookmaker has committed to refunding balances, when a legal procedure has been determined. Employment contracts have also been cancelled, as operational suspension means they won’t be able to fulfil their obligations with staff.
According to Parimatch LLC, a total of UAH485m (€12.4m) in taxes and license payments for 2023 has been paid.
The operator was founded in 1994 in Kyiv. It entered the Russian market in 1998, though it ended its association in March of last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Parimatch has publicly supported Ukraine and even committed to providing support in the form of ammunition, medicines, clothing, food and logistics. Its employees have also engaged in volunteer activities such as delivering goods and medicine, cooking meals for troops and refugees and evacuating residents from combat zones.
In fact, according to the operator, it has contributed more than €8m to the Ukrainian state budget in order to bolster the war effort, while donating approximately €10m to other initiatives, to support armed forces and provide aid.
It is said that the Parimatch International business has not been affected by the sanctions and will continue to provide full services to its customers.
In a statement, Parimatch International expressed their disbelief on how their partner, Parimatch Ukraine – a company founded in Ukraine, an exemplary taxpayer, and a major donor of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – could be included in the sanctioned companies’ list.
Most of the sanctioned individuals are understood to be Russian citizens, according to Zelenskyy’s address, while sanctions were also imposed on citizens of Great Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Cyprus.
Other sanctioned legal entities aside from Parimatch include Sportloto, Sportbet, Bet.Ru, Betcity and Matchbet, among others.