Parimatch subsidiaries shut down in Ukraine as President Zelenskyy sanctions gambling firms

Parimatch has been shut down in Ukraine under 50-year sanctions imposed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Parimatch LLC, Parimatch Foundation and Parimatch United Investments Limited were on the receiving end of the sanctions, which impacted a total of 280 companies.

“These are more than 280 companies and 120 people who, through gambling business schemes, worked against Ukraine, withdrew funds from our state and financed various Russian schemes,” said Zelenskyy in a statement.

“It took some time to prepare the decision. It has been thoroughly worked out and closes schemes worth tens of billions.”

The decree was issued on 10 March.

In compliance, Parimatch has suspended operational activities and its platform is unavailable, while its dot UA website has been blocked.

In a Facebook post, Parimatch Ukraine confirmed the closure. Employment contracts have also been cancelled as operational suspension means they won’t be able to fulfil their obligations with staff.

Customer funds are currently frozen, although the bookmaker has committed to refunding balances when a legal procedure has been determined.

One of the impacted companies, Parimatch LLC, said it had paid a total of UAH485m (€12.4m) in taxes and licence payments for 2023.

iGaming NEXT has contacted Parimatch for comment.

Parimatch International: “Parimatch supports our partner in this new storm of life. We strongly believe that Parimatch Ukraine will also survive the fight, and justice will be served.”

The operator, which was founded in 1994 in Kyiv, entered the Russian market in 1998, but ended its association in March of last year following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Parimatch has publicly supported Ukraine and even committed to providing support in the form of ammunition, medicines, clothing, food and logistics.

Parimatch employees have also engaged in volunteer activities such as delivering goods and medicine, cooking meals for troops and refugees and evacuating residents from combat zones.

In fact, the bookmaker said it has contributed more than €8m to the Ukrainian state budget to bolster the war effort, while donating approximately €10m to other initiatives to support armed forces and provide aid.

The company’s complicated corporate structure makes it difficult to ascertain exactly which subsidiaries have been sanctioned and why.

However, iGaming NEXT understands the Parimatch International business has not been affected and will continue to provide full services to its customers.

The sanctions are imposed against Parimatch Ukraine and are not related to the Parimatch worldwide brand or international service company PMI, which works with the Parimatch franchise.

In a statement, Parimatch International said: “PMI refuses to understand how our partner, Parimatch Ukraine – a company founded in Ukraine, an exemplary tax payer, and a major donor of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – could be included in the sanctioned companies list.

“Parimatch supports our partner in this new storm of life. We strongly believe that Parimatch Ukraine will also survive the fight, and justice will be served.”

Most of the sanctioned individuals are understood to be Russian citizens, according to Zelenskyy’s address, while sanctions were also imposed on citizens of Great Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Cyprus.

As well as Parimatch, other sanctioned legal entities include Sportloto, Sportbet, Bet.Ru, Betcity and Matchbet, among others.

About the author

Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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