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Slovakian gambling market analysis with Dr. Robert Skalina (WH Partners) and Stefan Švec (Playtech) at Prague Gaming Summit 3

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Slovakia will follow new gambling rules after the parliament overrode the president’s veto and adopted the new law on gambling. A total of 86 deputies voted for the change, supported by some opposition MPs also. This will increase the protection of gamblers, adding the rules for running gambling games on the Internet.

Slovakia’s parliament has passed the new gambling act prepared by the Ministry of Finance, which will open the Slovak market for foreign operators, including operators with a registered office outside of Slovakia.

The new act became effective on March 1, 2019, except for some provisions which will be effective as of 1 June 2019 and we have seen a lot of movements in the market.

One of the most important changes is private domestic companies, as well as companies from the European Union, will be able to apply for online gambling licenses.

The law also introduces more measures to protect gamblers. The minimum number of gambling machines in one gambling house will increase to 15 machines. In addition, gambling in these houses will be banned between 3:00 and 10:00. (You can our briefing on Slovakia here.)

Partypoker announced their exit from the market last week. As of Thursday, February 28, the company has stopped accepting players from Slovakia and will implement geo-blocking to prevent the play from existing customers, reported Czech poker site Poker-Arena.

The third edition of Prague Gaming Summit will include a special panel discussion which is titled “Focus on the Slovakian market regulation and decrypting Poland’s licensing procedures” and will be joined by industry experts of the region such as Michał Sałajczyk (Associate, Bird & Bird Poland), Stefan Švec (Sales Director, Playtech), and Dr. Robert Skalina (Senior Advisor, WH Partners).

The panel will be moderated by Andrius Gabnys (Managing partner/Attorney-at-Law, Gabnys Law).

About Stefan Švec

Štefan Švec is an industry professional with over 10 years of experience in the retail and online gaming space. Focusing on Central and Eastern European countries, he has co-created several successful projects as Doxxbet and CardCasino and consulted to local market leaders as Synot or Slovmatic. Started as an operator of Poker cardroom in Slovakia and went from Online product manager, Head of products to Head of Sales, Consultant, and Managing Director. Two years ago he has joined Playtech, the world biggest supplier of gaming products and services, where he leads the sales efforts in Eastern and Central Europe included CIS. He is mostly responsible to develop new Tier1 opportunities, to establish new business prospects and investments possibilities across the region.

 

About Dr. Robert Skalina

Dr. Robert Skalina is a Czech Advocate as well as a Registered European Lawyer in Malta. He is based in Prague and works in Malta regularly.

He is a financial service and corporate lawyer and provides advice to a wide range of investment managers, advisors and funds, including private equity and hedge funds. Robert also regularly advises clients in the gaming/gambling industries and has vast experience in the area of mergers and acquisitions and complex cross border transactions.

Robert has previously held the position of head of legal of a London based investment advisor active throughout EMEA region. Prior to that, he served as legal counsel for the largest retail bank in the Czech Republic.

Robert graduated with an LLM cum laude from the London School of Economics. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the Charles University in Prague. He provides advice in English, Czech and Slovak.

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the leading conference in the region which offers the option for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance updates, while also take part in several industry related discussions with the leading groups that are at the forefront of the gambling industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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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
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

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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Central Europe

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
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

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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Central Europe

BETFAN enters and changes the Polish bookmaking market

George Miller

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BETFAN enters and changes the Polish bookmaking market
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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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