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.”
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/
BMM Testlabs Celebrates the Grand Opening of New Gaming Laboratory in Slovenia
BMM Testlabs, the world’s original gaming test lab, inspection body, and product certification consultancy, is pleased to announce that it is celebrating the grand opening of its new office and product testing laboratory in Ljubljana, Slovenia today. The opening of BMM Slovenia will be hosted by Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, who has over 20 years of gaming laboratory experience.
Martin Storm, Executive Chairman and CEO of BMM International, stated, “BMM Slovenia provides product testing and certification services for games, systems, and associated equipment for the gaming industry across online and land-based gaming. The team in Slovenia works closely with BMM’s successful European gaming labs in Spain, Italy, Poland, and Romania, as well as BMM’s eleven additional locations around the world, continuing to provide its customers access to the global gaming industry.”
Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, commented, “We are pleased to welcome our industry friends and customers to the grand opening of BMM Slovenia. Attendees can expect an afternoon of entertainment with some very special guests and even a few surprises. Our Slovenian team has been servicing local manufacturers and operators for many years, and we are pleased to continue BMM’s reputation as the best gaming test lab in the world. The combination of BMM’s high quality services and our Slovenian team’s longevity and experience will lead to many opportunities throughout the region.”
Storm continued, “I am pleased that Marzia Turrini (Executive Vice President, EURSAM) and I are here in Slovenia for the grand opening event. We are grateful to our customers around the world for the opportunity to grow our business with them, and now extend our services into Slovenia.”
GiG Comply continues to drive compliance with new partner, Merkur
Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) have today announced a new partnership for its automated affiliate marketing compliance tool GiG Comply, with German based operator Merkur.
The igaming industry in Germany is a robustly regulated marketplace, which helps make compliance a priority for operators like Merkur, placing an emphasis on the need to protect their brands. GiG Comply is an automated marketing compliance solution that scans web pages for content including links, iGaming code red words and regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions. It works by using its rules engine to analyse real snapshots from affiliates’ campaigns and provides operators with the promotional content that is being used in their brands’ promotions.
It is a flexible tool, which allows operators to set-up their own criteria and checklist parameters and can be tailored to cover any market-specific requirements, helping to ensure that operators remain compliant in multiple jurisdictions.
Jonas Warrer, Chief Marketing Officer at GiG, said: “It’s important that GiG Comply will continue to help Merkur, as it does our other partners, to remain proactive and in control of its marketing compliance. We’re delighted to be able to ensure affiliates are fully aligned with their brand and responsible gaming requirements.”
Martin Collins, Affiliate Lead at Merkur, said: “With everything we do here at Merkur Partners we aim to do it right, especially when it comes to compliance. All our brands are operated by local licenses both on and offline and where we abide by the rules. Having GiG Comply on board as a strategic partner is a great starting point as both sides come with a vast knowledge of the igaming world, and with ever changing regulations, we will make a great partnership.”
Jokerstar Casino operated by Kling Automaten GmbH goes live in Germany
Pragmatic Solutions is very proud to announce, that Jokerstar Casino (www. jokerstar .de) is live in the regulated German online gaming market.
Kling was established in 1954. The third-generation family-run company operates 165 Joker casino arcades across Germany. One of the casino operator’s highest values is offering its customers the best quality. Therefore, both Joker arcades and their well-trained staff stand out compared to all their competitors. Germany-wide, around 1000 employees contribute to the casino operator’s success. Over the past decades, the company has continued to grow steadily on its solid foundation and is currently the sixth largest land-based operator. Kling is always seeking new opportunities and is therefore now boldly expanding Jokerstar into the regulated online market.
The establishment of the new regulatory regime in Germany to license and regulate online gaming presented an opportunity for Kling to expand their land-based business into the online sector. After a comprehensive vendor evaluation process, Kling chose Pragmatic Solutions to provide the platform technology to support this exciting new phase and ensure local regulatory compliance.
After many months of collaboration with Kling, Pragmatic Solutions implemented all the necessary regulatory controls to enable Jokerstar to meet the strict conditions of the German locally regulated casino market. These measures included enforcement of deposit and betting limits, implementation of problem gambling controls including the “panic button” 24-hr instant cool-off period, integration with the OASIS national self-exclusion database, integrations with the LUGAS central monitoring database, and numerous additional operational and player-experience feature enhancements to give Kling a real advantage in the market.
Pragmatic Solutions is the platform technology sister-company of the industry content leader, Pragmatic Play. The company provides iGaming operators with enterprise platform technologies built around a core Player Account Management (PAM) platform. The Pragmatic Solutions PAM is designed using a modern microservices architecture and contains a player account, wallet, CRM tools, bonus management tools, payment tools, KYC/AML and fraud-prevention services, and is underpinned by rules-based automation throughout. In addition to the PAM, Pragmatic Solutions provides a Content Management System to power the gaming brand frontend clients and an Integrations Hub to connect the operator to many third-party content, payment gateways and services.
For Kling, Pragmatic Solutions presented a full-stack solution to accelerate their time to market and provide a solid technological foundation for Jokerstar.
Juergen Kling, CEO of KLING AUTOMATEN GmbH, explained their choice of Pragmatic Solutions by saying, “We are very excited about the new online opportunity for Kling, and we have ambitious plans for Jokerstar online casino. We have a long-term vision and need a technology partner that can help us enter the market successfully today and provide ongoing innovation and development support in the future to ensure that Jokerstar casino becomes a dominant player in the regulated German market. After a comprehensive evaluation process, we found Pragmatic Solutions to have the right technology, experience in regulated markets, and a strong commitment to supporting our business as we expand into online gaming. We are very excited and proud to announce the launch of Jokerstar.de and the next phase of our partnership with Pragmatic.”
Ashley Lang, Pragmatic Solutions’ CEO, commented on the announcement, “We are delighted to be working with Juergen and the team at Kling in this exciting project. We believe established land-based operators have great potential to lead in regulated markets and to support Kling we have made significant developments to the platform to ensure that it is fully compliant with both the transitional German regime that began on 15 October 2020 and the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling that came into force from the 1 July 2021. We could not be more pleased or proud to be supporting Kling in the launch of Jokerstar casino.”
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