New Legislation Brings Slovakia into the New EraPublished July 31, 2018 by Lee R
The Slovakian government has accepted that liberalisation of the market will protect citizens most effectively, as similar neighbours have shown.
Slovakia’s regulated market is coming to final fruition through a relaxation of restrictions that for the first time welcomes overseas operators.
The legislation Slovakia has submitted to the European Commission would replace the current lugubrious iGaming legislation formulated all the way back in 2005.
The new legislation would open the market to private operators as of March 1, 2019, with the Slovakian government acknowledging the goal of emulating the best qualities from successful existing EU regulation models.
The bill is now subject to three months of review by the Slovakian Gaming Commission.
Blotting out the Blacklist
Since 2016 regulation, Slovakia has relied on the Draconian viewed process of blacklisting, with over 200 on the Slovakian list to date, including operating giants Bet365 and 888.
The stultifying model further permitted only state-owned national lottery TIPOS to preside over online casino and poker activity.
Opening Things Up
The head of Association of Betting Companies in Slovak Peter Papanek says that the new legislation will provide essential updates to those unsightly components of Slovakian regulation by opening the market to license application:
"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."
Papanek attributed “experience from abroad” as motivators, with liberalization of the market standing as the means by which the Slovakian government can best protect citizens and foster safe and legal operation in the region.
Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance will preside over iGaming activity, through an approach which relaxes “restrictions on access to the internet gambling market” by allowing companies based in Slovakia or other EU states to apply for licensure.
New licensees would be subject to a 23% tax rate under the new regime, according to a model which Slovakian authorities claim was inspired in large part by the progressive regulatory frameworks visible specifically in Denmark, Sweden, Romania and the Czech Republic.
The new legislation also includes key adaptations of the land-based industry in Slovakia, leaving to the discretion of local jurisdictions the right of first refusal in offering regulation for gambling services.
Slovakia is slowly adapting a decentralized model of regulation, which is in its embryonic stages. The examples of other similar EU jurisdictions should help shape further expansion in yet another geographic that could use the economic infusion that an open licence market can provide.