Slovenia Rethinks Its Gambling Strategy Amid Growing Interest in the CEE Region

OCR Editor. - October 16, 2023
Slovenia Flag

In a move to modernize its gambling framework, Slovenia's Ministry of Finance announced a comprehensive review of the nation's gambling strategy, offering a fresh perspective on an industry set for major transformation.

It's been nearly 13 years since Slovenia last laid down its gambling regulations. Recognizing the need to adapt to evolving trends and challenges, the Ministry has planned to rejuvenate its gambling strategy, ensuring the sector remains dynamic and responsible.

The primary intent behind this overhaul is to bring systemic alterations to the industry. Crucial aspects like the procedure for granting concessions and augmenting responsible gambling measures are high on the Ministry's agenda. As iterated by the Ministry, the eventual objective is to establish a framework where gambling can contribute significantly to economic and tourism growth and ensure that societal impacts are considered and minimized.

The Ministry has decided to onboard an external, independent contractor to ensure an unbiased, informed, and holistic approach to this reformation. This entity will be tasked with furnishing proposals grounded in a detailed analysis of Slovenia's existing gambling landscape. Moreover, the review will also weigh in on regulations and case law from fellow EU states, as well as the judgments from the EU Court of Justice. This broader perspective ensures that Slovenia's renewed strategy will be both contemporary and compliant with international standards.

Articulating the Ministry's vision, a statement emphasized, "Our intent is to craft a legal foundation that not only makes Slovenia's gambling offerings internationally competitive but also complements our tourism portfolio. It's equally vital that we cater to domestic demands while actively mitigating the risks associated with problem gambling."

These proposals will not be kept under wraps in the interest of transparency and inclusivity. The Ministry plans to release them for public scrutiny and consultation, ensuring that multiple stakeholders can weigh in on the future course of Slovenia's gambling sector.

This major review couldn't be timelier. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has seen a spike in interest from the gambling industry. Notably, earlier in the year, although they later withdrew their bids, global players Entain and SuperBet displayed interest in acquiring Slovenia's sports betting giant, Športna Loterija. The rumored offer for the Slovenian company was a staggering €50m for a complete takeover. Meanwhile, Entain has been expanding its footprint in the CEE with significant acquisitions in Poland and Croatia.

Mikolaj Cymerman, a top executive at Entain's CEE division, hinted that the company's foray into the CEE region is far from over, underscoring the strategic significance of this region in the global gambling map.

As Slovenia gears up to revamp its gambling blueprint, it stands at the crossroads of innovation, responsibility, and growth. With the CEE region emerging as a hotspot, Slovenia's updated strategy may well set the tone for the region's future.


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