Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has officially responded to a petition created to support lifting the sanctions against Parimatch.
In his response, Zelensky thanked the petitioners for their “active civic position”. He announced his appealed to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, along with the Interdepartmental Working Group on Implementation of the State Sanctions Policy to review the petition and take all necessary measures.
Sanctions in place since March
Zelensky signed Presidential Decree No. 145/2023 into law on March 10, 2023. The Decree implemented a decision to impose sanctions on 287 companies – many of which are betting entities – and 120 individuals. Primarily, the decree prohibits all sanctioned companies and individuals from conducting business in the country for the next 50 years.
The ‘Lift sanctions against Parimatch’ electronic petition was created in June to try and lift the 50-year ban on their operations in Ukraine. It garnered 25,000 signatures in 10 days.
Parimatch had been in operation for merely two years, after it obtained its sports betting licence, the first for Ukraine, in March of 2021. It had previously received approval for an online gaming licence. Most types of gambling were banned in Ukraine in 2009.
Legalised gambling in Ukraine since 2020
Zelensky signed the Bill legalising gambling in Ukraine in August of 2020. At the time, the legal gambling market was expected to generate at least $185 million in annual budget revenues. Furthermore, it was expected to create an incentive for the growth of related business areas and contribute to job creation.
In his comments following the Bill, Sergey Portnov, co-owner of Parimatch had said “I would firstly like to congratulate President Zelensky for delivering on his pledge to legalise gambling in Ukraine. He has shown that he is a man of his word and we fully support his agenda to liberalise the local economy.”
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