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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law

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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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

STS to Open Premium Outlets in Polish Cities

Niji Narayan

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STS to Open Premium Outlets in Polish Cities
Photo Source: kompetencjeit.pl
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STS, the largest bookmaker in Poland, is going to open premium outlets. STS claims that despite the development on the Internet, stationery business still makes sense.

STS has the largest share in the domestic market. The company generates the majority of revenues on the internet, but states that the fixed-line network being built since the 1990s still accounts for around 20% revenues.

“We will invest over a dozen million PLN in launching premium premises in the largest Polish cities. The first facility of this type has already started in Szczecin, and the next will be opened in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków and Gdańsk. Standard premises have about 30-35 square meters of space, these will have more than 150 sq m. We want top locations so that these facilities can serve as a showcase of the company,” Mateusz Juroszek, president of STS said.

“A few years ago, it seemed that the bookmaking business would quickly move to the internet and keeping the stationery premises would have no point. However, it did not happen – and there is no indication that this will happen. Land-based outlets have a large, loyal group of clients, and – contrary to stereotypes – they are not, above all, old people staying in them. The average age of a customer is less than 40 years,” Mateusz Juroszek said.

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Czech Government to Increase Taxes on Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Czech Government to Increase Taxes on Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling
Photo Source: atlasobscura.com
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The Czech government is going to raise the taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling. The Czech Finance Minister Alena Schiller has cited an increase in average salary and purchasing power of the citizens to advocate an increase in taxes.

“The average wage growth [in the Czech Republic] between 2009 and 2018 was 45%, while consumer tax on alcohol was last increased in 2010 and we will not raise it again until 2020,” Alena Schiller said.

As per the proposed tax revision, taxes on hard liquor would increase by 13%, cigarettes by 10%, sports betting by 2% and lotteries and games of chance by 7%. The revised and increased taxation could chip in an additional 10 billion crowns in annual tax revenue once it comes into effect.

“Both the World Health Organization and the OECD recommend that we do something about alcohol and tobacco consumption, and one of the most effective recommendations is a higher tax burden,” Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said.

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BETFAN enters and changes the Polish bookmaking market

George Miller

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BETFAN enters and changes the Polish bookmaking market
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BETFAN, which debuted on the Polish bookmaker market, wants to attract players with innovative solutions. In addition to the possibilities of betting on sports, live betting and esports, as the only firm in Poland offers a wide range of bets on entertainment, covering peri-sports topics, as well as from the area of media, politics, show business, economics or even the weather. BETFAN currently focuses exclusively on the Internet, and intends to gain a position through intensive, modern communication in this channel and a rich package of benefits for the players. Within the span of 3-4 years, BETFAN wants to be ranked among the 5 largest licensed bookmakers in the country.

“We want to change the perception of bookmaker bets. Therefore, we are not focusing solely on just sporting events and their results, we look closely to the surroundings and we try to offer our fans a variety of bets matching their various interests. With us you can bet on almost anything. In order to not to create additional barriers, we take on us payment of tax on games, and each new player can take advantage of the highest welcome bonus on the market, worth PLN 3,000” – explains Piotr Sienkiewicz, CEO of BETFAN.

BETFAN offers over 1.5 million different bets per month. According to the brand’s slogan: “You do not play, you will not win!”, wants to create the best possible environment in order to attract clients not used to betting before, to bet on selected events. Original and fresh content added on a daily basis, intuitive website betfan.pl with transparent modern design and straightforward UI/UX, as well as attractive promotions and financial incentives for the players, are the additional factors to build competitive advantage of BETFAN on the local market. What distinguishes this sportsbook from its competitors, are also innovative solutions used in the service of user accounts that enable simple and automated registration process using OCR technology, and guarantee fast payouts.

“We focus on continuous development of the offer and gaining an ever stronger position on the market. However, we do not want to follow the usual patterns, but through the modern forms of communication, speed, accuracy and professionalism, we want to provide the players with unique impressions and emotions related to betting on various events. We want to become the sportsbook of the 21st century on the Polish market” – comments Piotr Sienkiewicz.

In addition to the typical sports betting, BETFAN brings you the possibility to bet on such diverse and unusual events such as e.g. who will be the next James Bond after Daniel Craig? Will the Polish soccer champion finally advance to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in the 2019/2020 season? Which car will be the European Car 2020? Will Donald Trump resign from the presidency during his first term? Who will host the Olympic Winter Games in 2026? In which city in June 2019 will be the most days with rain? Which organization is the first to send a man to Mars? Who will be elected the next Pope after Pope Francis? What will the turnout be in the upcoming European elections? Who will be the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms at the end of the 8th season of “Game of thrones”? And many, many more.

BETFAN started as the tenth entity in the Polish online bookmaking market. It is a company with 100% Polish capital, built on the basis of experienced management staff in the industry. Piotr Sienkiewicz, the president of the board, previously worked for ForBET and Totolotek. In the latter, he had the opportunity to cooperate with Grzegorz Kiczko, who is responsible for the operational activity of BETFAN. Jarogniew Muszyński, holding position of the head of IT, also gained experience in ForBET and Totolotek. The head of BETFAN marketing, Jakub Świsłowski, worked before for Onet, Agora and Polish Oil and Gas Company.

BETFAN has already proved its effectiveness and efficiency – it’s not only a bookmaker who the fastest obtained the permission from the Ministry of Finance, but then in the shortest period launched the activity – exactly within six months since obtaining a license. In the next of 3-4 years, wants to be ranked among the top 5 legal bookmakers in Poland turnover wise.

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