Slovak gambling regulator seizes illegal gaming machines

The machines seized include quiz machines devices.and crypto mining
The machines seized include quiz machines devices.and crypto mining

The Office for the Regulation of Gambling has seized 54 illegal EGMs, including quiz machines and crypto mining rigs.

Slovakia.- The Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH) has seized what it describes as 54 illegal electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in a series of raids across the country. The majority were confiscated in URHH searches accompanied by the police. 

The regulator reported having seized cryptocurrency mining rigs and quiz machines, which the URHH says have “the characteristics of a gambling game” and therefore require a licence.

The regulator noted that it is the only body that can issue licences for the operation of EGMs in Slovakia and that it “carefully investigates” whether a device is used for gambling, regardless of the type of device or its name or visual presentation.

URHH general director Dávid Lenčéš said: “As these gaming machines have not been issued or granted a valid licence, we consider them to be illegal.

“Our staff actively monitor these machines. Most of them have been seized due to our staff’s diligent work. Some have also been seized because of complaints from players. Illegal operators sometimes try to make the seizure impossible by fixing machines firmly against the floor or the wall.”

Under Slovak gambling legislation, anyone found operating illegal gambling machines can be fined up to €250,000.

Earlier this year, Slovakia’s Office for the Regulation of Gambling announced the launch of a whitelist of online gambling websites run by licensed operators. The regulator already has a public blacklist of unlicensed sites, but the creation of a positive whitelist is intended to make it easier for players to check if a site is licensed.

The regulator also noted that keeping the blacklist up to date was a constant challenge since new sites spring up all the time. The whitelist, however, should prove a lot easier to keep up to date.

It has also announced the publication of a “Concept of Responsible Advertising” document with which it intends to improve gambling advertising standards. The document will introduce new standards for gambling ads in all media. 

Meanwhile, the Slovak Ministry of Finance (MR-SF) and the gambling regulator URHH have hosted a study visit for their counterparts from Montenegro. The two bodies are providing input as Montenegro looks to act on European Union requirements for it to reform its 2004 Gambling Act.

The Slovak authorities hosted representatives from the Montenegro Ministry of Finance and Office for Gambling Regulation as part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project. The visit aimed to explore ways to “enhance transparent and responsible management of public finances from gambling”.

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