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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/

Central Europe

New Products Help Mitigate Fall of Gambling Revenue in Poland

Niji Narayan

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New Products Help Mitigate Fall of Gambling Revenue in Poland
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The new figures published by Poland’s finance ministry have revealed that while the gambling revenue decline for the year to date, newly regulated products helped mitigate the falls in online betting and land-based gaming.

The gross gaming yield projections provided by H2 Gambling Capital revealed that the total for the year to June 11 is expected to fall 9.5% from 2019’s figures. This is significantly lower than the 19.6% decline projected across all EU markets.

Poland’s lower projected decline was due to the development of newly regulated verticals such as online casinos and land-based arcades. Online casino revenue grew 96.7% for the year to June 11, aided by growth from Totalizator Sportowy’s Total Casino site.

Total Casino is Poland’s only legal online casino site which was launched in December 2018. The casino saw new player sign-ups grow significantly this year, according to the Ministry. This in turn took revenue from offshore sites, which saw casino revenue fall 25.0% for the period.

Total online revenue was up 0.3%, with a 14.2% decline in sports betting – during a period in which sporting events were suspended during the Covid-19 crisis – offset by growth in online casino and online lotteries (up 26.2%).

For the land-based sector, revenue across all verticals was down 13.1%, largely down to a 27.3% drop in casino yield and a 25.4% decline for betting. Number games such as lotteries saw gross gaming yield fall 8.6%. However, gaming arcades saw their contribution rise 41.4% over the period.

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Central Europe

TV games by TVBET now available at legal Polish operator forBET

George Miller

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TV games by TVBET now available at legal Polish operator forBET
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The leading content provider in the niche of live TV games TVBET has made it possible for players from Poland to wager on versatile products in a convenient way for them. Thus, the chosen 3 card games are now available at the forBET’s offering.

In this way, forBET, a legal sportsbook operating in Poland meets the expectations of local players that are characterized by a strong interest in card games online. The operator offers its clients very attractive odds values, thus obtaining market recognition. Its advantage is also a wide range of events and sport disciplines, which many traditional bookmakers can envy.

It should be noted that games by TVBET are added to the forBET website since June 17 and the players can now enjoy it. The latter includes 3 games as PokerBet, 21Bet, and War of Elements in its brand-new ‘Card Games’ section:

  • PokerBet a popular online game for betting punters with well-known rules of Texas Hold’em Poker. The game takes place in live mode without interruption around the clock;
  • 21Bet (or Black Jack) is one of the most popular card games around the world. The presenter (dealer) leads the game, commenting on the points scored by the imagined players and chances of winning or losing;
  • War of Elements a simple and fast card game between player and dealer. The presenter (dealer) welcomes players with each new draw.

Traditionally, all the content is streamed throughout the world from one point – TVBET’s modern studio. Notably, the prevailing part of employees there, like TV presenters or technical crew, are the Poles, since the studio is based in Warsaw, Poland. And that’s why forBet’s customers will definitely feel even more loyal to the product.

“As one of the largest bookmaking companies on the Polish market, we focus on innovation and user-friendly solutions since the beginning of our activity. We are very pleased to establish cooperation with TVBET, which allows us to offer players unique entertainment on the Polish market. We are convinced that the possibility of betting on the outcome of card games like poker, war or blackjack will be of great interest to our customers”, – said Pawel Majewski, Head of Marketing at forBET.

“In the near future, we plan several promotional campaigns related to the launch of bookmakers’ betting on the results of card games. We are convinced that they will appeal to our players who will find even more, even better entertainment on forBET”.

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Central Europe

Sazka Group Completes its Acquisition of Novomatic’s Casinos Austria stake

Niji Narayan

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Sazka Group Completes its Acquisition of Novomatic’s Casinos Austria stake
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Sazka Group has completed its acquisition of a 17.19% stake in Casinos Austria previously held by Novomatic Group. This sees Sazka increase its stake in the business to 55.48%.

“Together with our fellow shareholders, we are looking forward to increasing the value of Casinos Austria – a treasured national brand – for the benefit of customers, employees, and most importantly of all, Austrian society,” Robert Chvatal, chief executive of Sazka, said.

When the deal was announced, Sazka and Novomatic admitted that the joint control had not led to significant growth for the business and that it would be better served by a single leading shareholder. As Novomatic had a smaller stake, it agreed to sell this to Sazka.

This was followed by an agreement between Sazka and Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG), the body responsible for managing the Austrian state’s investment activities, to jointly manage Casinos Austria in March this year.

ÖBAG, which holds a 33.20% stake in the operator, had come under pressure from the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) to exercise its right of first refusal over Novomatic’s stake, rather than allow it to be acquired by a foreign business. Instead, ÖBAG waived these rights.

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