Ukrainian court issues blocking orders for 59 igaming sites

13 May 2020

A Ukrainian court has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block access to 59 online gambling websites, based on evidence provided by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Though the SBU did not disclose the identities of any of the sites at this stage, it did state that the list included 20 of the most popular platforms among punters in the country.

The SBU added that it would “take all necessary measures to bring to justice those who violate law…on the prohibition of gambling”.

Online gambling remains illegal in Ukraine, though the country’s legislature in January approved a bill to legalise gambling in its first reading, with 260 of the country’s 450 deputies voting in favour.

In February, Ukraine’s national telecommunications regulator the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NKRZI) also called on ISPs to block 32 gambling sites.

Ordered by the SBU’s Chief Investigative Directorate, the decision was based on a judicial decision by Oksana Hardina, a judge in the Shevchenkovskiy District Court of Kyiv.

Hardina's ruling gave the telco regulator powers to issue blocking orders against websites offering illegal content such as online gambling.

PartyPoker, Pinnacle and CloudBet as well as FastPay Casino, Yukon Gold, Golden Tiger Casino and BetChain were among the platforms to be blocked in this initial round. The latest sites to be blocked have not yet been publicly announced.