Ukraine Calls On GREF, IAGR Members For Support

April 8, 2022
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Ukraine’s Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission (KRAIL) has appealed to its fellow gambling regulators to step up their support for the country in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

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Ukraine’s Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission (KRAIL) has appealed to its fellow gambling regulators to step up their support for the country in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

The International Association of Gambling Regulators (IAGR) and the European Forum of Gambling Regulators (GREF) have been called on by the regulator to “condemn Russia's military aggression”.

“Joint efforts to counter the aggressor state are invaluable, with each step they bring Ukraine closer to victory,” KRAIL said.

In a public announcement on April 7, the commission also called on IAGR and GREF to help provide security and economic assistance, as well as diplomatic, political and any other support they can provide.

Ukraine’s state gambling regulator has said help from the international community is becoming more important and urgent than ever.

“Membership and cooperation with IAGR and GREF will facilitate the exchange of experience and information support, as well as being a friendly step to support Ukraine's economy and its future development,” KRAIL said.

Neither IAGR or GREF returned a request for comment in time for publication.

KRAIL has previously called on all European and international gambling associations, conferences, forums and exhibitions to “immediately terminate the membership of Russian companies and their representatives”.

However, despite a series of these announcements being dated at different times in March, access to the authority’s website has not always been available since the start of the invasion and many of the bulletins have only become widely available weeks after publication.

Over the past two weeks, access to the regulator’s website has become far less patchy.

Regardless of KRAIL's challenges in getting its voice heard, Eastern European lottery operators recently succeeded in petitioning the World Lottery Association (WLA) to suspend its members from Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion.

The WLA’s decision followed the European State Lotteries and Toto Association (EL) executive committee recommending its members stop taking bets on Russian and Belarusian teams and leagues. The group has also suspended its members in Russia and Belarus.

Operator Parimatch, which is based in Cyprus but was founded in Ukraine, was also praised by KRAIL for withdrawing from the Russian market and donating a sizeable UAH60m ($2m) to the Ukrainian war effort for ammunition, food and medicine, as well as organising civilian evacuations.

The regulator said it has resumed oversight of the market, but has drawn criticism after appearing to issue a new licence to 1xBet, a company with apparent links to Russia.

Since the start of the war all businesses, including gambling firms, have been warned to continue to monitor and comply with international sanctions placed on Russia and Belarus as a result of the war.

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