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Slovak Lawmakers Vote to Move On with Online Gambling Market Re-Organization

Slovakia’s National Council voted on Tuesday to override a presidential veto on the re-regulation of the local gambling market

Slovakia is on track to adopt changes to its gambling law that will re-organize its market and will allow online gaming and betting companies to operate in the central European country, local news outlets report.

The country’s National Council voted Tuesday to override President Andrej Kiska’s veto on the proposed amendments to the existing gambling law. The President vetoed the effort in December after the Parliament had approved the changes earlier that month.

The proposed reform concerns different aspects of Slovakia’s gambling industry. Most notably, it aims to re-organize the nation’s online gaming and betting space. Under the debated gambling legislation, interested domestic and international gambling operators based in other EU jurisdictions will be able to apply for licenses and operate in a regulated environment.

Licenses will be issued for both online betting and casino operations. Currently, the state-run lottery operator TIPOS is the only one authorized to provide this type of services. The entity will keep its monopoly over online lottery games and bingo after the new regime is enforced.

The piece of legislation pushing the changes in the gambling field was introduced by the Finance Ministry last year. It was approved in the National Council in early December. However, President Kiska vetoed it later that month.

During a Tuesday vote, a total of 86 lawmakers supported a proposal to override the veto and carry on with the implementation of the proposed amendments.

In his four-page veto statement, President Kiska voiced a number of concerns regarding the re-organization of the local market. One such concern stemmed from the fact that Slovak gamblers will be asked to provide their Citizen’s Card when registering with gambling websites. President Kiska said that personal data of residents of the country could thus be put at risk.

The New Regime

Under the proposed amendments, interested online gambling companies will be able to pursue 10-year licenses with a five-year extension option. A license for the provision of a single gambling product will come at a €3 million cost, while a combined license for the provision of casino and betting services will cost €5 million.

Licensed online gambling operations will be taxed at 22% on annual revenue. Operators will also be required to contribute an additional 0.7% of their annual revenue to a specially created Office for Regulation of Gambling.

Before the presidential veto, the government targeted March 1 opening of the online casino application process, and July 1 start of the online sports betting application process. It is yet to be seen whether the latest developments would result in any changes in that timetable. It is also important to note that approved gambling operators would not be able to launch regulated operations in Slovakia for another year, under the proposed reform.

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The post Slovak Lawmakers Vote to Move On with Online Gambling Market Re-Organization appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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