Here at European Gaming, we like to keep on top of all the latest news when it comes to gambling laws in European countries. After all, there are plenty of changes happening on an almost weekly basis, with a surprising number of revisions coming from none other than Slovakia.
A Brief History of Gambling In Slovakia
Alongside a number of countries once part of the Soviet Union, Slovakia had upheld laws regulating and banning gambling for a number of decades. However, in 1992, this law was revised and allowed Slovakian online casino fans to play at iGaming platforms as long as they operated within the country.
Over the next twenty years, these sites became increasingly popular, particularly those that provided online poker. There were even a number of Slovakian poker players who managed to become millionaires, including top Slovakian player Jan Bendik, who is thought to have raked in over $3.4 million.
Unfortunately, Slovakia’s government went off gambling again in 2017 and blacklisted a number of big iGaming brands, as well as introducing fines of up to €500,000 for anyone breaking the rules. Since these were recently implemented, the result of these fines is unclear, but it seems as though even the Slovakian parliament wasn’t happy with the decision.
Back in December, Slovakia’s parliament surprisingly drafted a brand-new gambling act, which would again transform gambling’s role in the country. The act, drafted by the Ministry of Finance, stated that off-shore online casinos can now operate within Slovakia as long as they buy betting and casino licenses. Each of these licenses will cost €3 million and last up to ten years, though the amount will be brought down to €5 million if a brand applies for both.
This new act will hopefully be put in place by March 1, 2019, though there will be some regulations upheld until June 1, 2019. Already it’s clear that operators and fans alike are ready for the new regulations to pass, with casino comparison sites offering all sorts of info from everything you need to know about free spins to which sites are the best overall for Slovakian players. Meanwhile, off-shore sites looking to operate within Slovakia will have to wait to apply on or after March 1, with licenses coming into effect from July.
Looking to the Future
Gambling has been a tricky subject throughout Europe for a long time, but countries that have already relaxed their previously strict online casino laws are experiencing great success. Denmark, for instance, is perhaps the world’s leading example when it comes to changing strict gambling laws. Romania, too, has an incredibly impressive gambling industry that now garners a significant income for the country since their new act in 2014.
Hopefully, after the new gambling act passes in a few months, Slovakia can also enjoy the online gambling world to the fullest.