The government of Slovakia has submitted a bill to the European Commission to replace an existing legislation in order to open the online gambling industry to private operators, starting March 1st, 2019.
The new bill is set to mirror other European countries’ regulations that have had success in the last few years. The bill will be subject to a three-month period of standstill so the Commission can study whether it’s lawful or not.
Peter Papanek, head of the Association of Betting Companies of the Slovak Republic, said: “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.”
Moreover, local media Sport Aktuality reported that Papanek said that “experience from abroad shows that, if the state wants to intervene against tax evasion and illegal gambling, it must go through the liberalisation of the market and the setting of fair conditions, inter alia, to motivate operators to operate legally.”
“Illegal companies thus lose the incentive to circumvent the rules, and the state, in addition to income, also gains the certainty of consumer protection. The countries that have been chosen liberalisation have rapidly reduced the share of the black market.”
The bill establishes that the Ministry of Finance will be in charge of gambling regulations and that companies based in the country or another EU state will be able to apply for a licence. Moreover, online operators would pay a 23 per cent tax rate under the new regime.