20 December 2019

The legalization of gambling can cause a sharp increase in gambling addiction among young people and a collapse of moral standards in society.

Draft Law No. 2285-d on state regulation of the activity in the sphere of organization and delivery of gambling (in fact, the initiative of the authorities to allow the presence of casinos and gambling halls in Ukrainian populated areas in direct access for citizens) has been submitted to the parliament. The lifting of the ban on gambling will lead to an increase in the number of crimes and higher risk for the state to lose control over the situation.

UAH three billion of budget revenues from entities involved in organization and delivery of gambling, an amount declared within the government's program, are definitely not a driver of economic growth. They are modest revenues, and they do not compensate for the threat of sliding into extreme poverty for millions of Ukrainian families who will face gambling addiction.

The government was obliged to solve the issue of illegal casinos and gambling halls, but total legalization is not the solution to the challenge of putting an end to laundering of illegally obtained money. Yet, no one will be able to return well-being to the families of our fellow citizens suffering from gambling addiction, no one will compensate for their tears of grief and disappointment. Today, our split society needs to find some uniting and consolidating factors, a return to traditional Orthodox values – family and moral virtues.

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