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Old 07-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
ptrylb
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New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Slovak Ministry of Finance is planning to amend country's gambling laws. Among other thing, the new law would include ISP blocking measures as well as financial transaction blocking of the unlicensed operators. If I read the law correctly, unlicensed operator would be any operator who doesn't posses license from Slovak regulation authority.

You can find all information about proposed amendments here https://www.slov-lex.sk/legislativne...SK/LP/2016/745 (this is government's official legislative and information portal). To see the text of the amendments, click on “Sprievodná dokumentácia” and then choose the file: vlastnymat.rtf. Unfortunately, the text is available in Slovak only.

The legislative process is now in Interdepartmental Comments Procedure stage. Right now, different government agencies as well as other interested parties such as civic organizations or public at large are allowed to comment on the law. This stage will end at 03.08.2016.

This gives poker players two-week window to send their comments about the law to the Ministry of Finance. It should be noted though, that the comment functionality is available only to registered users of the portal (to exclude anonymous comments). It should also be noted, that comment has to be specific and substantiated. For more general information about writing such comments, see this: http://www.viaiuris.sk/aktivity/post...rh-zakona.html (this is the page of expert legal organization which tries to help citizen participate in governance). Again, I'm sorry about that, but the text is in Slovak only.

Those familiar with Slovak gambling legislation might remember that Ministry of Finance was proposing similar amendments few years ago, but was forced to retreat due to potential incompatibility of proposed legislation (=ISP blocking) with the European legislation.

This means that there might be hope.

On one hand, more and more countries in Europe are passing restrictive gambling laws. On the other hand, the Court of Justice of the European Union's decisions about such laws tend to err on the side of the free trade and against such restrictive regulation. See this extremely well written article about the subject http://www.onlinepokerreport.com/215...-player-pools/.

I'm writing the comment of my own suggesting that the proposed amendments should be changed in such the way, that any operator holding license from any regulation authority of the EU member state should be allowed to enter on Slovak market. Or alternatively, let the Slovak regulation authority to decide which EU regulation authorities would be acceptable. However, I have no experience with writing formal comments to laws like this, so I'm not sure how satisfactory the result will be .

Anyway, more comments there will be, the better. And there are more arguments against proposed law than just free trade arguments: censorship of internet, unnecessary cost on ISP providers...

Hope this is the right forum for this.

Last edited by ptrylb; 07-20-2016 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
Videopro
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Here is fine. Aso copied to the legislation forum.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:44 PM   #3
ptrylb
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

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Originally Posted by Professionalpoker View Post
Here is fine. Aso copied to the legislation forum.
Thank you.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

uzasne :/
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
Bilson
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Whats the situation now?
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

http://www.zive.sk/clanok/121247/pos...stou-opozicie#

Banned sites will be announced on 17th of July this year. So i guess on 1.1.2018 we will be on same boat as CZ is right now.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:35 AM   #7
Tutejszy
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

btw Poland is getting similar legislation on July 1st, except it forces state monopoly on online poker, which is even worse. I guess NVG is getting their dream - no more eastern euros on stars.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

The only good thing about this trend is that stars is losing money
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

The lists of licence holders on financnasprava.sk are a couple of years out of date but there is OlyBet (also owners of Olympic Casino), which is an MPN skin, so there's that. Otherwise we'll all be on tipos.sk
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Hi,

i just read a bit of actual law and what catches my attention was the tax percentage.
http://www.zakonypreludi.sk/zz/2005-171

§ 37 (1) o) tax on internet games is 27% (difference between money taken from players and money payed out).

isnt it a bit high? do you guys know how much is that in neighbour states? not sure Stars will be interested to obtain pricey license in such small market only to pay such amount on taxes.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Good for the games, imo
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaPerez View Post
Hi,

i just read a bit of actual law and what catches my attention was the tax percentage.
http://www.zakonypreludi.sk/zz/2005-171

§ 37 (1) o) tax on internet games is 27% (difference between money taken from players and money payed out).

isnt it a bit high? do you guys know how much is that in neighbour states? not sure Stars will be interested to obtain pricey license in such small market only to pay such amount on taxes.
It's 20% in the UK. They can just give lower rewards I suppose.

There is also a "hassle" factor here:

Quote:
§ 23
(2) .... V rozhodnutí o udelení licencie na prevádzkovanie hazardnej hry, pri ktorom sa využíva internetová sieť na prenos a zber údajov, ministerstvo prevádzkovateľovi hazardných hier uloží, aby
a) zabezpečil prístupom na viditeľnom mieste počas celej hry informáciu v tomto znení: „Zákaz hrania hazardných hier osobám mladším ako 18 rokov.“,
b) zabezpečil prístupom na viditeľnom mieste počas celej hry informáciu o zdravotných rizikách, ktoré prináša nadmerné hranie,
c) zabezpečil prístupom na viditeľnom mieste počas celej hry varovanie v tomto znení: „Hazardné hry predstavujú riziko vysokých finančných strát.“,
d) zabezpečil prístupom na viditeľnom mieste počas celej hry hráča informáciu o dĺžke času jeho hrania,
....
So, I assume "visible" means on the tables - during the whole game you will be told all of
a) "No play by persons under 18"
b) "Gambling excessively can damage your health"
c) "Gambling games present a risk of high financial losses"
d) You have now been playing for hh hours and mm minutes.

Which is enough stuff to require a table redesign.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:15 PM   #13
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Not sure what is the wording in czech law, but they have similar requirements. Stars already implemented some of them as you can see in their lobby:
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:12 PM   #14
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaPerez View Post
isnt it a bit high? do you guys know how much is that in neighbour states? not sure Stars will be interested to obtain pricey license in such small market only to pay such amount on taxes.
I think what PokerStars do is they pay one half and the other half is paid by players with lower VIP rewards.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:35 AM   #15
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Thinking more about it - the main thing about 27% is we should consider ourselves lucky that that it's calculated based on Gross Gaming Revenue (in the law, "herna istina"), so in poker terms the (net, I believe) rake, rather than the total buy-in as in the case in France where it makes it difficult e.g. to run hyper tournaments.

We are also lucky that poker winnings from licensed operators continue to be tax free under the income tax law (section 9 paragraph 2 point l of the law on income tax).

The real problem is just going to be whether or not enough sites are going to bother registering for a country of 5 million people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaPerez View Post
Not sure what is the wording in czech law, but they have similar requirements. Stars already implemented some of them as you can see in their lobby:
I can't find that obligation in the Czech law
https://www.zakonyprolidi.cz/cs/2016-186

The closest thing is:
Quote:
§ 66
Informační povinnost
(1) Provozovatel je povinen umístit na viditelném místě v herním prostoru

h) ukazatel času viditelný po celou dobu účasti na hazardní hře.
Which sounds more like "the time" as in time of day. If that sounds pointless, we aleady know that's a requirement in one of the Scandinavian countries because we asked why space was wasted showing a "time of day" clock on each table in Unibet and if we couldn't replace it blind-level information. The answer was that it's required in one country and as they only really have one version of their software (for every country and more or less also for mobile/desktop/browser) everyone has to have it.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the Czech law (I'm not Czech or Slovak) but perhaps they have that hanging out in the lobby because they are preparing for SK licensing?
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:12 AM   #16
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

27% GGR is maybe on the high end but well within bounds. Italy 20%, Spain 25%, Denmark somewhere in that area, France works out at close to 40% for cash games.

Fwiw, in the UK the POC tax is 11% on gross profits, which works out at something like 15% GGR.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:31 AM   #17
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

What's the difference between GGR and gross profits?

In the case of Slovakia, the definition of "herna istina" is basically "stakes minus prizes", so I'm assuming they'll be able to say rakeback is part of the prizes rather than marketing spend.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:27 AM   #18
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Sorry I got it the wrong way round. In UK tax is 15% on gross profits, which works out at something like 11% GGR equivalent. The UK system allows for the deduction of rakeback/cashback before paying gaming duty, GGR does not.

Couldn't comment on whether the Slovakian law will be one o the other
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:05 AM   #19
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Dobry Den, Hi
I would like to move to Slovakia soon and bet here at Bookmakers, foreign bookmakers like Betfair, Pinnacle, 365
(i have read a lot about your country and ronde cislo, i love mountains. Our languages are quite similar)
Your ministry is preparing a new act and my question is:

Will i have only couple months of playing untill 31/12/2017 or bookmakers will be banned earlier/later?
(How it looked in Czech Republic?Bookmakers left at the end of 2016 or earlier?One can not open an account in 365 as czech resident now but can open as slovakian resident)
I am planning to open an bank account in Slovenko. Withdrawing money from bookmakers to a bank account will be safe or not? (We had no serious problem with that until 31/03/2017 if we sent smaller ammounts than 15k Euro at one time)

Thanks in advance for your answers
Cheers
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:32 PM   #20
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

According to PSGY forum posts and some statuses on Tiltbook various ipoker skins is going to cease operations on slovakian market. Expekt, Everest, Betclic. also Doxxbet on Hive network was mentioned. All of them plan to do so at the end of this month.

https://cs.pokerstrategy.com/forum/t...48#post1324748
http://tiltbook.com/Scarmaker/status/165263/
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:42 PM   #21
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Do we know anyone who actually *does* have a licence?

Pokerstars have been advertising on TV quite a bit lately so they are presumably not pulling out.

Btw I have been withdrawing winnings to Skrill and using a Skrill Mastercard since March. Would recommend other people in Slovakia do the same. Works in all shops - for some reason doesn't work in Tatrabanka ATMs but does work in Slovenska Sporitelna ATMs (though with a Skrill fee).

Also pretty surprised that Doxx have pulled out. I thought they were the people who paid for a load of KDH MPs to support them on the continuation of the luncheon vouchers idiocy about 6 years ago and therefore assumed they were the people who had paid for this thing to be enacted in a way that blocks non-local companies.

Last edited by LektorAJ; 06-20-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:31 PM   #22
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

I was in brief conversation on FB with Ondrej Drebota. He is head of PS poker operations for eastern Europe. He told me PS not taking any proactive actions towards gaining the licence. They waiting what is going to happen in next few weeks. Reason he mentioned is simply existing (new) law, under which no licence can be granted to foreign company without them setting up some buro here first.

So to answer your question: i dont know, but i guess only few home companies have licence? Tipos maybe?

I have also heard there is quite big article in Trend magazine about this topic, but didnt read it yet. i think you can find it in latest release: https://www.etrend.sk/trend-archiv/r.../cislo-24.html

If you are able to read in slovak language some info can be also found in this thread: https://cs.pokerstrategy.com/forum/t...hreadid=205744
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #23
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

"Ako pre TREND uviedli zástupcovia dvoch najväčších medzinárodných odvetvových organizácií, spoločnosti žiadajú predovšetkým zmenu formy zdaňovania internetového hazardu, zbavenie monopolu štátneho Tiposu na online kasíno hry ako poker, ruleta či automaty a zrušenie povinnosti pre zahraničné firmy založiť si v krajine lokálnu pobočku."

This suggests that under the current rules licences for poker are not even available to anyone. So the most PS could do is open a B&M operation in Slovakia and apply for a licence as a sportsbook?
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:27 AM   #24
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Yeah, as far as i understand PS need to open B&M here, but i am not sure about the licence. You might be right that issued licences wouldnt even be for poker, but only for sportbooks. However there are some rumours about changing the law again to open market for everyone. It`s going to be long and rough ride i guess
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:51 AM   #25
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Re: New gambling legislation in Slovakia

Interview with General secretary of EGBA in slovak language:
https://www.webnoviny.sk/blokovanie-...a-legislativy/

There are serious implications that current slovak law is not compatibile with european standards -> possibly against principles of the european law.
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