As CasinoGamesPro already reported, the Ukrainian Government recently implemented sanctions against a large number of individuals and companies as a result of their alleged ties with the Russian Federation. Although the country’s desire to cut all ties with the aggressor that started an invasion of its territory in February 2022 is understandable, it turns out that some of the businesses on the list might have been suspended by mistake.
International sports betting operator Parimatch and Ukrainian online poker room PokerMatch seem to be only part of the entities that have been sanctioned by mistake. As a result, the Ukraine Gambling Council (UGC) has taken some action on the matter, calling for the National Security and Defense Council to reconsider its stance on the situation and potentially lift the ban on some businesses.
The chair of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, Anton Kuchukhidze, issued a statement defending both Parimatch and PokerMatch, saying that both entities were not pro-Russian companies and claiming that they have been wrongly included in the aforementioned list.
Mr. Kuchukhidze published a statement on LinkedIn and addressed the matter in detail. At the time, he explained that the National Security and Defense Council was willing to protect the Ukrainian market from pro-Russian brands but defended the two companies, saying that they has been mistakenly included in the list with the authorities’ sanctions.
UGC Boss Says Some Gambling Companies Were Suspended by Mistake
According to the chair of the UGC, Parimatch will be able to indisputably prove that it is not a company backing Russia’s interests in the country and explained that the company had previously taken a pro-Ukrainian position. Mr. Kuchukhidze further noted that the sports betting operator has already offered valuable financial help to the security and defense forces of the country. According to reports, its donations for these purposes amount to more than $13.6 million as of March 16th, 2023.
According to the Ukrainian Gambling Council’s boss, if tax inconsistencies are the issue, they should be resolved through either the court or the country’s tax service. In Mr. Kuchukhidze’s opinion, harsh measures such as the involvement of the operator in the list of the suspended companies were making it harder to prevent mistakes.
The chair of the country’s gambling regulator believes that a legal gambling business would pass all trials with dignity, so neither the media nor the public should support some illegal gambling businesses’ opinion that such stricter measures could lead to the failure of the reform or the full closure of the Ukrainian white market.
Parimatch and PokerMatch Ask Ukraine to Reconsider Sanctions
International sports betting operator Parimatch, which is currently a sponsor of four English Premier League (EPL) clubs, has been forced to cease its operations in Ukraine after becoming subject to some sanctions imposed by the country’s Government on individuals and businesses that have allegedly been related to Russia’s ongoing invasion.
A total of 120 individuals and 287 companies faced the sanctions imposed by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine and confirmed by the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who issued a statement claiming that the aforementioned entities had withdrawn money from the nation to finance the schemes of the Russian Federation.
At the time when Parimatch suspended its operations in the country, it pledged to fully refund customers’ money and suspend all partnership contracts. The company further revealed that its local employees are set to be dismissed. The sports betting operator, however, has called for a further review of the authorities’ decision. The company has even contracted President Zelenskyy about the issue, informing him that it had ended its Russian franchise in March 2022 after the country’s invasion of Ukraine began. Since then, Parimatch has donated money to local organizations helping women and children survive the war.
The other company cited by the Ukrainian Gambling Council’s chair – PokerMatch – has also confirmed it is devoted to Ukraine and remains hopeful that the sanctions against it will be lifted. PokerMatch International has released an official statement regarding the sanctions faced by its Ukrainian arm, which became one of the 287 companies suspended due to alleged links to Russia. The operator said it was one of the first companies to block all assets of Russian citizens across its online gambling platforms. It also ended its existing partnerships with Russian companies and helped Ukraine by making donations to the country’s army and suffering families.