[toc]Online gambling options in Slovakia are now even more limited. The country recently added six more companies to its online gambling domains blacklist.
Local authorities claim the banned operators offered their services to Slovakian customers despite not receiving permission from the national government first. All gambling operators in the country require an operating licence.
Slovakia’s Finance Ministry State Secretary Radko Kuru said:
“The global gambling market has developed dynamically in recent years. Legislation has reacted to an expansion of gambling in virtual space and has brought new challenges in terms of supervision.”
Which operators are blacklisted?
In mid July 2017, the Slovakian government published its online gambling operator blacklist. That list included major players such as:
- William Hill
- 888 Holdings
Now, less than a month later, six additional companies including the Malta-licensed Lvbet.com and Kajot-casino.com, as well as the Curacao-licensed Eatsleepbet.com joined the list.
News broke in July that 17 online gambling operators had been issued warnings. Those listed above were immediately suspended.
Two of those companies then voluntarily withdrew from the Slovakian market. Betclic Everest Group’s iPoker network Everest Poker was one of them. The company suspended all online play in Slovakia as of July 28.
This decision to withdraw came just a few months after a similar forced exit in Poland’s online market in April 2017.
What’s next for gambling in Slovakia?
The blacklisted operators had to close their websites within ten days of notice from the government. If they failed to do so, they potentially faced a special court order with financial penalty of up to €500,000.
Most of Slovakia’s local internet service providers are committed to suspending the websites of the blacklisted operators. That is, so long as they have a court order in place. However, there are issues between the internet providers and the government. The government expects providers to do this without being offered extra pay.
Tereza Molnar, a spokeswoman for O2, told the local news outlet zive.sk that they have not received “any regulation from the authorities on illegal gambling blocking.”
It’s not just online gambling which is currently Sloakia is cracking down on either. All gambling activities within the limits of capital city of Bratislava have now been suspended, except for retail lottery operations and sports betting shops.
Gaming operators with casinos and slots in Bratislava can continue operating until their licenses expire.
Under the new gambling rules, the remaining sports betting shops must pay 27 percent of their gross gaming revenue generated in Slovakia as tax.
Live poker will still be an option outside of the capital city though, although the options are very limited. There are 21 casinos spread across the country, but only four poker rooms, according to pokerlaws.org.