Slovakia outlines major gambling changes inbound for 2019

The government of Slovakia will move to revamp its national gambling code in 2019, liberalising its market to foreign investment and new incumbents.

This week, Slovakia’s Národná (national council) approved multiple provisions of the Ministry of Finance’s legislative policy review of national gambling laws, first presented in May 2018.

Awaiting President Andrej Kiska’s to approve the mandate, Slovakia expects to open its first licensing window by March 2019. Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance will oversee national gambling policy through the creation of a new department titled ‘The Office for Gambling Regulation’.

Foreign incumbents wishing to join the liberalised Slovakian online gambling marketplace will face a steep commitment, as the Národná has attached a €3 million licensing cost per approved vertical.

Slovakian policymakers have stated that they have monitored various European Union member states with regards to implementing online gambling regulatory and tax frameworks, choosing to implement a 22% tax rate on gross gambling revenues (GGR).

Seeking to develop a fair marketplace attractive to foreign investors, Slovakia’s government has confirmed that it will modify the services of state-owned gambling operators TIPOS – which moving forward will only service lottery, instant-win and bingo products.

Further caveats see the Ministry of Finance state that all online gambling incumbents must maintain some form of physical presence within the country to secure licensing.