The government has released the first list that shows ten online gambling sites considered to be offering services without approval.
Slovakia.- Finance Ministry State Secretary Radko Kuru released the first 10 names of what is going to become a blacklist of online gambling sites offering their services without the approval of the local regulator.
As it was revealed earlier this month, the crackdown on illegal gambling started on July 1, after the country adopted a new legislation. The governmental entity had said that they would be in search for sites with gambling activities that were in violation of the law, and then they would call them to force them to shut down their services. The sites are placed on a blacklist if they don’t comply with the orders in the period of time stipulated by Slovak laws. The ministry revealed the first 10 names that ended up on the blacklist, but commented that the original number was 17, and the ones that didn’t comply ended up taking the worst part.
Among the companies that were noticed but didn’t comply with the orders, Slovakian ministry found William Hill, 888 holdings, Bwin and LVbet.com. Of the original number, two decided to end their services voluntarily, whilst five have approximately one more week to end their local operations before they get punished.
Slovakia has suffered the exit of a number of operators in the last few months as the government announced a gambling regulation enforcement that determined a 27 percent tax on their gross gaming revenue. The ministry confirmed that court orders to implement the domain blocks will be obtained in the upcoming weeks, even if internet service providers expressed their opposition since they don’t know where to find the necessary funding for the unexpected work.
The ministry will also be in charge of telling financial institutions from Slovakia to not process payments of any of the blacklisted operators. Authorities could impose fines as high as US$570k for running the illegal sites.
Back in February, it was announced that the gambling industry could be totally banned in Slovakia’s capital city Bratislava. Seventeen councils expressed their concern about the implementation, as representatives from the city commented that a shutdown would only lead to illegal gambling and the government should regulate the sector with strict rules instead. A total ban on gaming activities in Bratislava was supported by more than 136k residents and 45 councillors. On the contrary, the seventeen officials proposed a legal but limited industry in touristic hotels and venues, imitating the model of Vienna and Budapest.