SBC News One year on: how igaming companies are supporting those in Ukraine

One year on: how igaming companies are supporting those in Ukraine

It’s been one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As the conflict continues, the efforts of charities providing humanitarian aid to those based in the country have rightly gained significant international attention.

In the second installment of a five-part round table series in collaboration with Bet On Good Foundation, we spoke with some of the companies based in Ukraine to discuss what they are doing to support the humanitarian efforts within the country.

Can you tell us about some of the work that your company has been doing to support those still based in Ukraine?  

Vlad Slyusarenko, CEO of Bet on Good Foundation: You know, most of the TVBET team are Ukrainians who work in Poland or have remained working in Ukraine despite the war. So, for example, most of the marketing team and I are now in Ukraine. And our PR manager, Anna Zhurenko, stayed in Zaporizhia, a significant city for Ukrainian identity. Still, nevertheless, the city is located very close to the hostilities, the theatre of which expanded to 1200 square kilometres.

From the very beginning of the war, Peter Korpusenko, CEO of TVBET, and the team helped the country in every possible way: they took part in rallies, volunteered, donated, and bought helmets and body armour for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

In parallel with this, we observed how other companies from the igaming industry helped Ukraine. You cannot imagine how it inspired us and how important it was for us to see how the whole world, in one second, showed concern for our people who fell into this huge and unfair disaster.

We are good at marketing, communications, and building long-term relationships and relying on this basis, we decided to use our strengths to involve even more industry representatives from different regions in charitable activities aimed at helping Ukraine. Thus, the idea to create Bet on Good Foundation was born, the main goal of which is to unite the efforts of the entire gambling industry to solve all the pressing problems of our time effectively.

Our main task for the near future is to help Ukraine and its residents affected by this war. A huge number of people are left without homes, jobs, money and passports. Moreover, internal emigration is striking in its scale. And now, we have directed all our focus to supporting these people. These are old people and children, mothers and sisters, brothers and fathers. These are all our people, and we cannot leave them in the lurch.

We are happy and open to any suggestions and will gladly team up with other companies to make our help more impactful.

Daniel Heywood, CEO of NuxGame: As a global business, there is a duty of care towards all employees no matter where they are based. This sentiment rings especially true for those living in Ukraine, a country that is currently facing great safety and security challenges and obstacles.

At NuxGame, we’ve taken several measures to support our Ukraine-based employees. 

Firstly, as employers, we hold the power of financial stability. We consider this crucial in providing some peace of mind at a time of economic instability. During wartime, we must also ensure all our employees have access to resources. This includes all essential technological infrastructure such as Starlink and mobile generators, but also providing a secure working environment and having safety protocols put in place. 

Lastly, our employee’s mental and emotional well-being is just as important as their physical safety. We offer all NuxGame employee’s programs such as employee assistance to make sure their needs are catered to during this troubling period.

To help to provide more direct support to those affected by the war, NuxGame has also founded a charity called Freedom to Ukraine. Fuelled by our passion and commitment to this cause, the fund has made a real difference to those in need. 

Igor Terebinov, Deputy CEO at PokerMatch: Speaking about our employees, we are first of all grateful to every single one of them for their cohesion and willpower to work tirelessly to create new creative projects even in the difficult realities of war. 

From the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, the company has been trying to help its employees in every way possible, both financially and with resources. To keep everyone’s jobs, the brand had to find new tasks for the teams that organised offline events and tournaments. These people are now working on the brand’s online projects. 

Throughout the year, the company continues to help its employees by taking care of their emotional state. During the war, many courses were launched, including interesting seminars on the history of Ukraine, economic briefings, psychological assistance, and a lot more to help better understand the state of events in the country.

When Russia started shelling Ukraine’s critical infrastructure facilities, leaving the country without electricity and communication, the company quickly set up offices with shelters, purchasing generators and starlinks for everyone’s comfort.

Ivan Kravchuk, CEO of Evoplay: The safety of our employees always remains our main priority and focus. From the first day of the invasion, we did our best to urgently help our team in every way possible. Over the course of the last year, the challenges we needed to overcome changed day by day. In response to the hostilities, which started last February, Evoplay relocated 15% of its staff to Cyprus and opened an office in Lviv, which is less threatened than Kyiv, while also organising living facilities there. 

As Ukraine was on the edge of a complete blackout due to Russia destroying its energy system, we equipped our offices with generators. It wasn’t an easy task as such power sources were difficult to find as the demand for them was high. In addition, many of our employees returned to Kyiv as it is their home, and where their families are – so we needed to provide them with a fully functioning working facility with electricity and a readily available internet connection. 

Ruslan Kravchuk, Head of HR, Playson: We have always been supportive through political and social-economic disasters. In response to the unprecedented military invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the safety of people and their families remains the highest priority for Playson. We have launched a special social package programme aimed to:

  • Relocate people and their families to safe places in western Ukraine, and later to a few location points sponsored by Playson, so that our people and their families could be staying in a safe place with all the amenities 
  • Financially support Playsoners in Ukraine
  • Launch 
  • Establish a new hub in Bratislava, Slovakia, & relocate Playsoners and/or their families to our new location with a relocation package and all necessary support
  • Help those willing to volunteer to combine it with work 
  • Support mental health by having a professional psychoanalyst available for online 1-to-1 consultations
  • Establishing a fully autonomous and equipped working place in Kyiv in case of blackouts or central heating/running water outages so that people could use basic amenities
  • Launched Business Continuity Plan within the whole organisation
  • Run numerous donation projects within the company 

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