Ukraine Bans Military Personnel from Online Gambling Amid Rising Addiction Cases

Ukraine bans military from online gambling, citing addiction crisis and security risks amid war with Russia. Zelenskyy's decree aims to address the growing problem and support troops' welfare.

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Rizwan Shah
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Ukraine Bans Military Personnel from Online Gambling Amid Rising Addiction Cases

Ukraine Bans Military Personnel from Online Gambling Amid Rising Addiction Cases

The Ukrainian government has implemented a ban on all military personnel accessing online casinos, citing a growing problem of gambling addiction among troops. The move comes in response to a petition by a Ukrainian serviceman who tragically lost his life on the front line, highlighting the issue of soldiers pawning military equipment to settle gambling debts.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a decree prohibiting gambling for military personnel during martial law, both in physical establishments and online. The ban aims to address the adverse impact of gambling on the morale and security of Ukraine's armed forces amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. "Online gambling has become an addiction for many enlisted fighters and is 'the only way' for them to cope with battlefield stress," said soldier and activist Pavlo Petrychenko, who initiated the petition that gathered over 26,000 signatures.

The new regulations also require gaming apps to establish time and spending limits for users, and restrict gambling advertising. Licensed gambling operators in Ukraine must limit game time, user accounts, and daily gambling amounts per person. The government is exploring measures to block payments to online gambling accounts, with the National Bank of Ukraine expected to issue guidelines to banks.

Why this matters: The rising issue of gambling addiction among Ukrainian military personnel poses significant risks to the security and well-being of the armed forces. Addressing this problem is critical for maintaining the morale and operational readiness of Ukraine's military during the challenging times of the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Lawmakers claim that nine out of ten frontline soldiers are gambling addicts, with some soldiers winning and then losing large sums of money. The government is concerned about the security risks posed by the issue, as well as the psychological impact of the war on soldiers. The health ministry will create a treatment strategy to combat severe gambling addiction and provide support for affected servicemen. Zelenskiy's decisive action underscores his commitment to supporting the welfare and efficiency of Ukraine's military during the ongoing challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine bans military from online gambling, citing addiction crisis.
  • Decree prohibits gambling for troops, requires limits on gaming apps.
  • Government aims to block payments to online gambling accounts.
  • Lawmakers claim 9 out of 10 frontline soldiers are gambling addicts.
  • Ukraine to create treatment strategy for severe gambling addiction.