Slovakia’s parliament overrides gambling law veto

Andrej Kiska, president of Slovakia. Credits: Sputnik Mundo

Legislators decided to override the decision made by Slovakia’s President to veto a gambling law.

Slovakia.- The Slovak National Council vote this week to override the decision made by President Andrej Kiska on December 21, 2018, to veto the country’s new Gambling Act, which had been approved by the parliament on December 4.

The bill was designed to open the online gambling market to international operators that wish to apply for local licences, and it was established that applications would start being accepted on March 1, 2019. Despite the approval from parliament, the situation took a wrong turn as the President decided to veto the bill on December 21, as he criticised the legislative piece and urged different requirements.

While several changes are introduced with this measure for the online sector, the most important one is the ending of online gambling monopoly of state-owned national lottery Tipos. The market will now be open to private domestic firms and online operators based in other European Union jurisdictions to apply for licences to operate in Slovakia.

The state-owned company is set to keep the monopoly over raffles, online lotteries and bingo, but online casino and sports betting will be open to competition. Both casino licences and online sports betting licences will cost €3 million, but the new regime will offer the chance of reducing that number to €2 million if operators are interested in applying for both licences. Those who apply for both will be given licences for five years with an option to extend for an additional five year term, while other licences will be valid for 10 years.

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