How much did Ukrainians spend on legal gambling in 2023? The figures are staggering

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) imposed fines totaling UAH 486.35 million (around $13.2 million) and also revoked the licenses of some banks and annulled the licenses of some non-banking financial institutions.

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This was detailed in the NBU's report on "miscoding," according to Danylo Hetmantsev, chairman of the parliamentary committee on finance, tax, and customs policy.

What is "miscoding"?
Miscoding involves manipulating banking systems to conceal the true source of gambling payments. Illegal casinos masquerade payments for bets as other services, such as computer games or mobile communication. Banks in collusion with these casinos alter the Merchant Category Code (MCC) of payments to hide their actual nature. This enables casinos to dodge taxes and bypass gambling restrictions.

"As a result, there has been a reduction in financial transactions that breach Ukrainian law, particularly through miscoding. For instance, cashless transactions in the legal gambling segment surged from UAH 4 billion (around $108.68 million) in 2022 to UAH 83 billion (around $2.26 billion) in 2023, with the total turnover reaching UAH 207 billion (around $5.62 billion) compared to UAH 14 billion (around $380.38 million) the previous year," Hetmantsev said.