The gambling industry’s fundraiser to support the Ukrainian public, Gaming Industry for Ukraine, has made strides towards achieving its £250,000 target.
Issuing an update this morning, the initiative – which provides financial backing to the Choose Love charity’s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser – detailed that it has secured £190,000 in donations from betting operators in the past week.
Companies to have donated to the initiative in support of its £250,000 target include Betsson Group – which contributed £50,000 – as well as Microgaming, OLBG, Better Collective, Just for the Win, Enteractive and Funfair Games.
Additional contributors are FSB Technology, Sports Media Holdings, Fast Track, Cash Magnet, Green Jade Games, Continent8 Games, Clarion Gaming, Beyond Play, SBC and VIXIO.
Karolina Pelc, who helped organise the campaign, said: “It is fantastic to get so many big companies on board as the gaming industry comes together to raise the funds for the Choose Love charity.“The industry has been extremely supportive of our efforts as we look to help our friends in Ukraine during this difficult time.”
Choose Love is aiming to raise £2.5 million in support of the Ukrainian public, with £1 million already secured to provide aid and services to those fleeing the country in the aftermath of the Russian invasion two weeks ago.
Donations are being channelled towards emergency medical care, food, shelter, clothes, legal support, support for the LGBTQIA+ community and mental health support.
“Last week, as your donations continued to come in, we had a team of two on the ground to understand what is needed by all those in and fleeing Ukraine and build connections with teams responding,” a statement from Choose Love read, going into detail on how the funds are being used.
“There are two broad strands to where funding is going – emergency response, and longer-term support and capacity building. We are working to ensure that both of these strands reach services in Ukraine and in the surrounding countries.
“We are distributing funds to partners operating in Ukraine, and in surrounding areas (Romania, Moldova & Poland), and will be updating you over the coming days with more detail. Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support.”
Wider cross-industry condemnation of Russian military action has seen a range of firms call an end to their business operations in Russia and Belarus, including Parimatch, LeoVegas, BETER, Genius Sports and Statscore, among others, whilst Allwyn has penned an open letter decrying the invasion.
Alyona Gromova, Eastern European Head of Sales at SBC, explained the impact the invasion has had on her family: “I will never forget the morning of February 24, 2022, which started with a very early call from my brother. He told me that he cut short his business trip and that he was trying to return home because war had started.
I cannot put into words how this morning changed my life. I am far from my family now and it is extremely difficult. The nights are not the same and I almost stay sleepless all night until the morning comes so that I can call and text my relatives and friends asking about their safety.
“Last week has been the worst in my life. I am just praying that the war will finish soon, never to happen again. I thank you all for your support.”