SBC News Slovakia helps Montenegro reform gambling laws towards EU ascension 

Slovakia helps Montenegro reform gambling laws towards EU ascension 

Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance (MR-SF) continues to support its Montenegro counterparts in the policy development of the Western Balkan nation’s management of public finances.

Forming part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), last week MR-SF and Slovak gambling regulator URHH hosted a ‘study visit’ by representatives of Montenegro’s Ministry of Finance and its Office for Gambling Regulation, examining “how to enhance transparent and responsible management of public finances from gambling”.

Since 2018, the MF SR has supported Montenegrin authorities in improving gambling regulations in-line with specified agreements of the governments of both countries as Montenegro seeks to secure its accession as an EU member state by 2025.

At stands, Montenegro is required to reform its Gambling Act 2004, as part of wider regulatory alignment with EU business standards, in which its Ministry of Finance seeks to eliminate ‘market discrepancies and weaknesses in the current legal framework’.

In collaboration with MF SR, Montenegro will aim to upgrade its gambling legislation as a ‘fiscal discipline‘ that will increase budget revenues whilst reducing exposure to criminal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion, aligned with existing EU membership rules.

Attending the study session Bojana Boškovič, General Director of Financial at the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro, explained: “We understand the Slovak support and help from Slovak Gambling Regulatory Authority.

“We find it very important to have direct cooperation with an EU member and to have the opportunity to implement know-how in our country.“

MR-SF has deepened Slovakia’s collaboration with Montenegro by providing a “direct financial contribution to advance gambling regulation, ” that will be followed by URHH providing a technical upgrade of  Montenegro’s IT systems monitoring gambling activities and transactions.

URHH General Director Dávid Lenčéš welcomed the deepened cooperation as the correct approach by providing assistance on policy development for new nations seeking to become EU member states such as Montenegro.

“There are no mandatory sources of European Union law for national regulations to be harmonised with. It is up to each national legislature to regulate the gambling market according to the best practice and specific needs,“ Lenčéš noted.  

“As there are relatively few experts in gambling regulation across European countries, I am pleased about our successful cooperation. Close business relationships of small European countries, such as Slovakia and Montenegro, can be the basis for future harmonisation of gambling legislation across Europe.”

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