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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/

Reka is an Experienced English second language teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translation, Foreign Languages, and Lecturing. Strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree majored in English Language and Literature/Letters. Reka is in charge of conducting the exclusive interviews on European Gaming and our printed magazine

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Central Europe

Czech Ministry of Finance Defends its Decision to Increase Gambling Tax

Niji Narayan

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Czech Ministry of Finance Defends its Decision to Increase Gambling Tax
Photo Source: radio.cz
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The Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic has defended its decision to introduce higher taxes on certain gambling activities, after a national newspaper claimed the tax hike would harm the country’s land-based market. The Ministry said that income from the higher taxes will help support its efforts to protect people from gambling-related harm.

From January 2020, a new structure will split taxes into three tiers, according to how harmful the government perceives the activity to be. Gambling tax is currently set at 23% of gross gaming revenue (GGR,) with the exception of gaming machines, which are taxed at 35% of GGR. Lotteries, live games and bingo operators will be taxed at 30% of GGR, up from the current rate of 23%, while the rate for fixed-odds betting will rise from 23% to 25%.

Jiří Dolejš, a member of the parliamentary budget committee for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), said the government should reconsider the decision before implementing the new regulations.

Dolejš put forward an alternative proposal whereby the rates for lotteries, live games, bingo and fixed odds betting would remain the same, but the tax rate on gaming machines would be increased from 35% to 38%. He added that the government should be focused on tackling online gambling, claiming the channel was riskier than certain forms of land-based gambling.

“The main intention is to raise taxes for slot machine operators, which are the most harmful. The point is to reasonably maintain different rates of gambling taxation according to social risk, but the Ministry of Finance was not interested in this debate,” Dolejš said.

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Central Europe

Totalizator Sportowy Receives Digital Excellence Award

Niji Narayan

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Totalizator Sportowy Receives Digital Excellence Award
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Totalizator Sportowy has received an award in the Gala Digital Excellence Awards 2019. The award was for the Digital Transformation category.

The award was received by Aida Bella, Director of the Sports Spokesman’s Totalizator Office and Albert Pasek managing the Product and Technology Project Management Team in the company.

“Being among the 10 finalists, we didn’t know until the very end whether we would be awarded in one of the six categories, and yet we were successful – members of the CIONET community voted for us! We have won over projects of several large companies. We can speak of a great distinction, because the CIONET Community category is considered the most unique! This is due to all employees of our company who contributed to the company’s entry into the e-commerce market,” Aida Bella said.

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Central Europe

Superbet Secures Online Betting License in Poland

Niji Narayan

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Superbet Secures Online Betting License in Poland
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Romanian bookmaking company Superbet has secured an online betting license in Poland.

In April, Superbet Zakłady Bukmacherskie submitted the necessary documents to the Ministry of Finance to obtain permission for online sales. The licensing process went smoothly and the regulator issued official permission to conduct online operations of the company based in Katowice.

Superbet is the seventeenth company that can legally offer online betting services in Poland. The Superbet group has undergone many changes in recent months and former CEO of Paddy Power Betfair, Johnny Hartnett, has been appointed as its new CEO.

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