Slovakia Moves Forward With iGaming Bill Despite Veto

January 31, 2019 by Ella McDonald

Online gamblers in Slovakia were positive for most of 2018 that they would soon get a new and liberalized online gambling environment to play in.

A bill called the ‘The New Gambling Act’ had gained momentum last year and was very close to being passed before Slovakian President decided to veto it before the end of the year.

For a moment it looked like Slovakia would not proceed with its liberalized online gambling plans due to the President’s veto.

However, all that changed this week as a number of legislators, especially members from the opposition party decided to come together and vote to overturn the President’s veto.

The New Gambling Act is now once again on track to be passed thanks to the vote of the Slovak National Council. The new gambling bill has a number of clauses that it wants to implement to make the country’s iGaming industry more liberal. The biggest change proposed by the new bill is ending the monopoly that Tipos – the state owned national lottery had over the industry.

Once the New Gambling Act is rolled out, Slovakia will open its doors for iGaming operators in the European Union as well as domestic iGaming operators to offer their services in the country. Tipos will only have exclusive control over raffles, bingo and the online lottery in the country.

Liberalized iGaming Market

iGaming operators will be able to offer online casino games and sports betting services provided they obtain the appropriate license. iGaming operators who apply for an online casino or sports betting license will have to pay a fee of €3 million for each license. However, if they apply for both licenses simultaneously, they will get a reduced license fee of €5 million.

Each license will be valid for a period of 10 years and have the option of being renewed for an additional 5 years. The gaming regulator has confirmed that blacklisted iGaming firms will not be eligible to immediately apply for an iGaming license and will have to wait for 12 months – from the date of being blacklisted before they become eligible to apply.

The gambling regulator had stated earlier that online casino applications will be accepted from March 1 and sports betting licenses from July 1. A gambling tax of 22 percent will be imposed plus another 0.7 percent that will be used to fund the new office for the Regulation of Gambling in the country.