GR8 Tech has confirmed that whilst its business arrangements with Parimatch Ukraine are under suspension, its business can continue to provide its B2B betting and technology solution to other firms as normal.
A statement released by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday announced that 287 businesses and 120 individuals had been sanctioned after being accused by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) of having ‘Russian ties’.
This included Parimatch Ukraine, which GR8 Tech – formerly operating as Parimatch Tech until its corporate rebrand and reorganisation in January of this year – supported the Ukrainian betting group as lead technology provider.
Parimatch Ukraine confirmed over the weekend that it has shut down its website, is terminating any commercial partnerships and has begun to work towards refunding any deposits left in customers’ accounts.
GR8 tech’s full statement read: “By the decision of March 10, 2023, the National Security Council of Ukraine has imposed sanctions against 120 individuals and 287 legal entities. One of GR8 Tech’s clients, Parimatch Ukraine, was included in the sanction list.
“On March 12, 2023 Parimatch Ukraine has announced the suspension of its operations. GR8 Tech’s cooperation with the company is also suspended until the situation is resolved.
“GR8 Tech continues to operate and provide iGaming solutions and support to all of other clients and partners around the world.”
A B2C betting brand, the Parimatch sportsbook operates on a franchise basis, with various different companies operating under the ‘Parimatch’ brand across Europe.
GR8 Tech in turn maintains a supplier relationship with many of these companies, having previously operated the aforementioned Parimatch Tech identity, which was itself the result of a rebrand from the original identity of simply Parimatch.
The firm underwent these two successive rebrands to better reflect the changing nature of its business from a primary focus on B2C sportsbook services to a broader scope as a B2B tech provider.
As a company which often emphasises its Ukrainian roots, having been founded in 1994 in Kyiv before relocating to Cyprus, it has come as a surprise to many betting industry observers that the firm has been targeted by the government for alleged Russian links.
The company was one of the first to publicly announce the closure of its Russian business following the invasion of Ukraine last year, and since then has made commitments of UAH 30m (€2.9m) and UAH 180m (€4.7m) to support its founding nation’s armed forces and humanitarian efforts.
Alongside its subsidiaries of Parimatch Foundation and Parimatch United Investments Limited, Parimatch features amongst the 287 gambling entities and 120 individuals there accused of having “worked with Russia against Ukraine”.
Business sanctioned by NSDC will be exiled out of the Ukraine for 50 years and have been ordered to shutter their operations with immediate effect.
Appealing to Zelensky in a LinkedIn post, Parimatch Ukraine cited this activity, requesting that the President reassess the NSDC’s decision and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) information it was based on.
“We inform you that throughout the entire period of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, we have never received requests from the SBU to clarify the suspension of the franchise in Russia,” Parimatch stated.
“We ask you to check the information that was falsified during the decision of the National Security and Defense Council and take appropriate actions regarding all unlawful violations by the Security Service of Ukraine.
“We are ready for public discussion, ready to answer all questions from the media and law enforcement agencies, and are ready to defend our position in court.”
When initially announcing its shutdown, Parimatch underscored its importance as a Ukraine business in that it employs over 2,000 staff and has paid UAH850m (€22m) in taxes and licence fees, to help Ukraine in its war efforts.