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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

Austrian court orders gambling company to pay €2.5m compensation to problem gambler

Niji Ng

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Austrian court orders gambling company to pay €2.5m compensation to problem gambler
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In an interesting new judgement, an Austrian court has ordered Novomatic, an Austrian gambling technology company, to provide €2.5 million as compensation to a gambling addict.

The complainant filed a case seeking compensation citing that he spent around €2 million over 10 years from 2002 to 2012 in slot machines run by the company in Vienna.

Experts opined that the man was “partially incapacitated” through his addiction, which rendered his bets invalid. The court in the town of Wiener Neustadt considered this opinion.

Novomatic said it will appeal the judgement.

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Polish betting portal launches help center for users

Niji Ng

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Polish betting portal launches help center for users
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Zagranie, a sports and bookmaking portal based in Poland, launched the first-ever help center in the country called Zapytaj Buka! (Polish for ‘ask the bookmaker’). Now users can ask any questions about their doubts and get quick responses.

Here is how it works.

Every player who has played a little, encountered on his way more or less problems with the bookmaker. Late payment, ambiguity in the coupon calculation or no bonus. These problems will be solved by Zagranie.com experts who constitute a bridge between the user and the bookmaker.

The user asks a question which is forwarded to Zagranie.com experts. They try to solve the player’s problem – until he is satisfied with the answer. If the thread is too complex, then the experts forward the case to the bookmaker, who prioritizes the user’s query as much as possible.

“This type of project was born quite naturally. So far, we have received many inquiries from players on our Facebook or groups, just about the rotating conditions of bonuses, the best offers or coupon settlements. Help Center is the answer to such queries. Everyone can ask a question and other users can go back and save time. The knowledge base is huge. In the Response Help Center, answers “do not get lost in the network” – commented Wiktor Wojtkowski, editor-in-chief of Zagranie.com

 

Source: E-PLAYOnline

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STS to focus on further development in Poland

Niji Ng

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STS to focus on further development in Poland
Mateusz Juroszek, STS.pl CEO / Photo Source: e-playbet.com
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STS, the premier bookmaker group in Poland, is focusing on further business development in Poland, in spite of the several proposed challenges. STS has categorically ruled out any plans for listing on the stock exchange.

STS currently holds 49 per cent of Poland’s bookmaker’s market in Poland.

“We want to focus on business development in Poland. After the statutory changes, the market is growing all the time. We realise that we will not reach 70 per cent market share, there is an influx of new companies, competition is increasing and the challenge may be to maintain such a high market share. I would be happy if we had 43–45 per cent in five years.” – CEO Mateusz Juroszek told PAP Business.

The President pointed out, quoting the estimates of the “Graj Legalnie”(Play Legally – ed.) Association, that the turnover value of legal bookmaking activities in 2018 should generate about PLN 5 billion. Thus, STS – according to estimates – should make a turnover at the level of approx. PLN 2.5 billion in 2018. In 2017, the STS turnover reached PLN 1.6 billion.

“Analyzing the Italian market, it can be seen that the average Italian spends on one bet five times more than the Pole. The Polish bookmaking market is much younger, Polish society is getting rich, and it has more and more money for betting. Currently, the average amount per bet is PLN 25, and recently it was PLN 19. This should allow us to grow and increase revenues – said president Juroszek – as STS we want to grow faster than the industry in Poland, above all at the expense of illegal competition, which has about 40 per cent of the market” – he added.

The President of STS informed in April that the company has no plans to enter the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which had been mentioned earlier. He also pointed out that the company could make its debut on the London or Stockholm stock exchanges in the future.

 “A few years ago, we said that we would like to go public. Then the company, the stock exchange and the market were in a different situation. We do not need capital, we do not intend to sell the company. Therefore, the stock market debut today is not an interesting topic for us and we do not have any discussions in this matter” – said Mateusz Juroszek.

 

Source: E-PLAYOnline

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