LeoVegas Group has decided to suspend all sports betting on Russian and Belarusian domestic sports, amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Belarus has helped facilitate.
LeoVegas CEO and co-founder Gustaf Hagman announced the move on social media, pointing out that while the group has never accepted customers from Russia or Belarus, it does not wish to “lend legitimacy” to these leagues or competitions.
Additionally, Mr Hagman stated that LeoVegas is “following the situation closely” and will do everything in its power to help its colleagues and consultants in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, he said, LeoVegas donated SEK 500,000 (€46,400) to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in support of its lifesaving work in the region, and encouraged “anyone that feels they want ‘to do something’ and has the means to do so, to make a donation.
The move makes LeoVegas the latest Malta-based iGaming firm to take steps against the Russian and Belarusian markets in support of colleagues in Ukraine.
Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) confirmed on Tuesday that it has taken a “number of steps to limit financial revenue streams reaching both Belarus and Russia in line with European sanctions.”
GiG, via an announcement on its social media page picked up by iGamingCapital.mt, also committed to further aid for refugees, including doubling staff donations to NGOs, organising collections at its locations to be sent to camps, and supporting staff at the borders to help refugees directly with shelter, food, clothes, and supplies.
“In no way are we vilifying the Russian nation, we know many do not agree with what is happening, and we know they are being impacted too – we are however taking action aligned with the European institutions,” GiG said at the time.
Some of the key firms and individuals in the iGaming industry have taken stands against the invasion of Ukraine.
Malta’s iGaming association, iGaming European Network (iGEN) offered its “heartfelt support and sympathy to the Ukrainian people, colleagues and business partners who are based there.”
Additionally, earlier this week, the Gaming Industry for Ukraine initiative was set up with the aim to raise £250,000 for Choose Love’s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser, which supports projects providing vital aid to the refugees that are being created by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
In the first 72 hours, donations have already flooded in from generous and concerned companies and individuals.
Donations can be made by clicking the link here.
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