Slovakia Moves To Update Gambling Laws

Liberalising legislation heads to the European Commission

Slovakia’s monopolistic gambling market is on the road to change following the submission of new legislation to the European Commission for its opinion.

The proposals include opening up the previously restricted online gambling sector to foreign operators, using liberalisation models developed by other European nations that will see new licensing and regulatory provisions come into force as early as next year.

There will now be a three month hiatus whilst the EC considers the new law, but it looks like online casino and poker will soon be available wider than the present state-owned national lottery, which has held a monopoly for years.

The Ministry of Finance will have oversight on gambling, and operators will be required to be EU-based or have a physical presence in Slovakia.

The draft legislation proposes the creation of a Regulatory Office for Gambling which will be responsible licensing, enforcement, regulation and general administration of the industry.

Operators will have to give access to their servers to the regulator, and will be subjected to a rather high 23 percent tax rate based on GGR, although the amount charged for licensing fees is not clear.

The regulations will cover a wide range of operational issues that embrace responsible gambling measures, anti-money laundering, precautions against problem and under age gambling, consumer protection and measures that ensure fair and integrity-driven activity.