Slovenian watchdog issues warning over illegal online gambling

Access to Slovenia
Access to Slovenia

The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia says there are more illegal gambling operators than previously thought.

Slovenia. The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) has warned the National Assembly that there are “many more” breaches of online gambling regulations than had been thought. Delivering the results of its annual inspection of gambling licences and activity, it said increasing numbers of operators were offering online gambling illegally.

FURS, which operates under the Slovenian government’s Ministry of Finance, said it had noted 115 breaches by unlicensed online operators in 2023 and had taken 34 actions against operators who did not respond to warnings. It said that 28 continued to offer gambling illegally after being sent cease and desist orders.

Under Slovenia’s Gambling Act of 1995, online gambling licences can only be granted to businesses that are locally domiciled and that already have a licence for land-based gambling. Športna Loterija has a monopoly over sports betting, virtual games and bingo.

The body noted that those who offer gambling without a valid local licence can be subject to fines under the Gambling Act. However, it warned that its actions are limited by the need to obtain individual court orders to implement ISP blocks on websites.

Proposals to open the Slovenian gambling market to competition were rejected in 2018. More recently, the Ministry of Finance of Slovenia announced in October that it would review gambling legislation to make “more systemic changes”. The review will include an evaluation of responsible gambling requirements and how concessions are granted.

The ministry said it intends to contract an independent consultant to analyse the sector and draft proposals. It says it will consider the regulatory approaches of other European Union states as well as EU Court of Justice case law. Proposals will be put to a public consultation.

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