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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law

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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law
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Slovakia has recently submitted a new draft legislation to the European Commission that aims to introduce some major changes in the way the country regulates the gambling industry. Joining the recent trend that has swept throughout Europe, Slovakia aims to liberalize the gambling market with the new draft and effectively make it easier for international companies to offer their services to the Slovakian market. The draft Act on Gambling was submitted to EC by the Slovak Ministry of Finance on July 25, 2018. EC has three months to review the proposal, during which time the draft will be in a standstill, meaning it will not be able to take effect.

The new draft lets the state keep monopoly over some gambling activities while allowing international companies to enter the market in others

As reported by Casinopånett.eu, similarly to what Sweden is planning, Slovakia will allow the national provider – Tipos, to maintain its monopoly in certain parts of the industry, like the provision of online lottery and bingo. On the other hand, international companies will be able to offer the customers online casino games but to do so they will have to obtain licenses from the regulators. The authorities have been open about the fact that they are actively studying the experience of other European countries with similar matters to base their decisions on. Representatives from the government commented that the regulators want to take “the technological progress and the findings of regulatory authorities in other European countries into account more fully.”

Some of the other changes considered in the draft include allowing Slovak municipalities more authority when it comes to regulating gambling activities. It will be up to the judgment of local authorities to determine whether to allow land-based gambling activity on their territories or not. This piece of legislation might appease the critics of the gambling industry. Furthermore, the draft proposes establishing a separate regulatory body to oversee the gambling industry. The Regulatory Office of Gambling will be tasked with this as well as issuing the licenses to the companies.

The authorities see the deregulation as a second wave after the country cracked down on illegal gambling providers. Peter Papanek, who is the head of the Association of Betting Companies of the Slovak Republic commented: “The state began blocking illegal companies. But that was only the first step. Now comes the second, clear rules for everyone – anyone who wants to offer online casino games will be able to do so if they meet the prescribed conditions.” Furthermore, he emphasized the need of liberalization as a means to stifle the illegal activities saying: “Experience from abroad shows that, if the state wants to intervene against tax evasion and illegal gambling, it must go through the liberalisation of the market and the setting of fair conditions, inter alia, to motivate operators to operate legally.”

The Remote Gaming Association criticizes the new draft

RGA has openly expressed that the new draft will attract more international operators, which is good for the industry. On the other hand, the organization would have liked the draft to go even further with its liberal approach. For example, RGA commented that the proposed licensing fees would be almost ten times higher than those of the neighboring countries, which would put Slovakia at a competitive disadvantage and discourage many international operators from entering the market. Furthermore, the organization criticized the fact that the issue of sports betting licenses is delayed for a year after the rest of the market is deregulated. “We argue that this provision is discriminatory against European companies, is not based on sound public-policy objectives, and is effectively aimed to protect local sports betting licensees from competition,” – Pierre Tournier, the RGA’s director of government relations commented on the issue.

Full article available here: https://casinopånett.eu/nyheter/slovakia-planlegger-ny-gamblinglov/

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Central Europe

IGT Secures Instant Ticket Printing Deal with WestLotto

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International Game Technology PLC has announced that its subsidiary, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, has signed a new instant ticket services contract with Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG (WestLotto).

Under the terms of the agreement, IGT will provide a range of instant ticket production and services for WestLotto with unlimited potential. The Lottery will gain additional marketing support from IGT’s Instant Advantage programme that includes portfolio planning, game development, analytics, distribution and retail execution to provide the best player experience.

“WestLotto has worked with IGT on instant ticket production to grow our instants business responsibly. IGT provides top-level service and support for the development of each instant ticket game in the portfolio, and we are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership,” Andreas Kötter, CEO of WestLotto, said.

“As WestLotto’s instant ticket supplier of choice, IGT is committed to supporting a strategic, innovation-rich game portfolio that meets the needs of the Lottery’s players. With IGT’s Instant Advantage program we draw upon global and market-specific deep-dive analytics, benchmarks and databases to support continuous growth for WestLotto instant ticket sales and contributions to good causes,” Jay Gendron, IGT’s Chief Operating Officer for global lottery operations, said.

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Central Europe

Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria Charged Over Advertising Regulation Breaches

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An Austrian Senate ruling has concluded that two ads from Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria breached the Austrian press code of honour after it was discovered that promotional content was not marked as such.

The columns, written as editorial adverts, were published in Austrian newspapers Kronen Zeitung on 24 March and Kurier on 26 March 2021.

Whilst the two companies did label an editorial advert as such in Der Standard a few days previously, the Kronen Zeitung and Kurier stories were ruled to be identical but did not feature any such labels.

Under Austrian legislation, all advertised content must be pointed out to readers, however, Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria covertly advertised their brands.

The articles were judged to be in breach of points three and four of the Austrian press code of honour, which calls for distinctness and impartiality in editorial content.

The content of the advertisements promoted charity work in Austria which is being supported by the two gambling companies, which includes support for the homeless.

The Senate concluded that the articles should have been marked as advertisements and that readers were misled by the articles’ presentation as editorial content. It also called upon the publications to acknowledge this decision.

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Central Europe

Greentube partners with Jokerstar GmbH for German expansion

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Greentube partners with Jokerstar GmbH for German expansion
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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division, has partnered with German operator Jokerstar in a deal that will see the supplier‘s content available to a new audience in the country.

Titles including Diamond Link™: Mighty Emperor, Fruit King, Apollo God of Sun™ and Captain Venture: Treasures of the Sea, are available to Jokerstar German customers. The games will be distributed via Pragmatic Solutions’ platform.

Greentube’s content has proven success in the German land-based sector and the supplier has launched its portfolio with a number of online operators since new legislation came into force on 1st July, permitting nationwide online gaming.

Jokerstar is the brand of prominent operator Kling Automaten GmbH. Founded in 1954, Kling is a third-generation family-run casino operator with 165 Joker Casino arcades across Germany.

Julia Schagerl, Key Account Manager Germany at Greentube, said: “Kling Automaten GmbH is an operator with great experience in the German market and we are thrilled to be part of their expansion into the online sector. We see great potential in the German online market and our strategy is to partner with the country’s leading operators. Together with Jokerstar we will further enhance the reach of our content and bring premium entertainment to local players.”

Jürgen Kling, CEO of Jokerstar Casino, said: “We have ambitious plans for our online brand and it is key that we offer our customers the best available content. Greentube is a leading supplier with titles that are loved by global slot fans. Through this partnership, we will significantly strengthen our offering and further position ourselves as a top-tier operator in the regulated German market.”

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