Karolina Pelc- who helped set up the campaign- commented:
“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 explained they were already putting these donations to good use:
“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…
“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.”
The impact for Ukrainian companies
CEO Gal Ehrlich, manager of Ukrainian-based company BETER (who employ more than 500 employees and 1000 sportspeople in Ukraine), gave some insight on the resolve they needed to show as a company to get through the crisis:
“These are challenging times for us all, with our sites in Ukraine shut down, temporarily, though we remain committed to deliver quality content to our partners from our multiple locations situated across the EU. With many of our team members joining the Ukrainian defence forces, we have to reduce our production quantity; but we remain resilient, fully committed to our employees as well as partners, and are not going to stop.”
Global action taken against Russia
Many Western governments have sided with Ukraine, retaliating with economic sanctions on Russian businesses and prominent figures. Several large Western corporations with a presence in Russia have also withdrawn from the country in protest.
Starbucks and McDonalds may have received most of the headlines but amongst the gambling industrythere has also been support.
Parimatch, a sportsbook who originated in Kyiv, announced the withdrawal of its Russian franchise, Genius Sports ended their Russian operations, while online betting giant Bet365 gave customers until the start of this week (15th March, 2022) to withdraw any funds from their accounts.
Multiple sportsbooks have ceased accepting bets on events taking place in Russia- PointsBet, Caesars Entertainment, Fan Duel and Draftkings amongst those to take a stand there.
A reaction we can be proud of
Whatever your politics and wherever your loyalties lie, in such a saturated, competitive, not to mention oft-maligned industry, it has been heart-warming to see business differences put to one side for the good of our fellow man.
Sometimes it takes the darkest days to show the goodness of man in its best light.