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Ukraine’s Major Crackdown: €17 Million Seized from Leading Gambling Operator for Tax Evasion



A Bold Move Against Gambling Fraud

The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine has taken a dramatic step by confiscating UAH700 million (approximately €17.3 million) from a top gambling operator, signaling a tough stance against tax evasion within the gambling sector. This action underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring compliance and integrity within the industry.

In-Depth Investigation Uncovers Major Tax Evasion

Investigators have exposed a complex scheme involving the operation of over 30 unlicensed “mirror” websites, mirroring the services of the licensed entity but evading taxes. This operation was described as tax evasion on a “particularly large scale,” involving deliberate misdirection of payments to skirt fiscal responsibilities.

The Controversy Surrounding Cosmolot

While the Economic Security Bureau has not officially named the operator, reports suggest that Cosmolot is at the center of these allegations. Cosmolot has vehemently denied the accusations, emphasizing its operations are fully licensed and legal, and has initiated legal actions contesting the charges.

Tightening the Noose on Illegal Gambling Activities

This case is part of a broader crackdown on illegal gambling activities in Ukraine. Recent legislative changes and proposals aim to strengthen the regulatory framework, including stricter anti-money laundering measures and enhanced checks by financial institutions to prevent lending to self-excluded consumers.


Potential Regulatory Overhaul on the Horizon

The future of Ukraine’s gambling regulatory body, KRAIL, hangs in balance as proposals emerge to replace it with a new executive entity. This move is motivated by KRAIL’s challenges in issuing gambling licenses promptly, exacerbated by the mobilization of commission members due to the ongoing conflict.

Conclusion: A Critical Juncture for Ukraine’s Gambling Industry

The seizure of €17 million from a leading gambling operator marks a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s effort to regulate and control its gambling industry. As the nation grapples with illegal gambling and tax evasion, the outcome of this case and the potential regulatory overhaul could significantly shape the future landscape of gambling in Ukraine, promoting a safer and more accountable industry.

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