Slovak republic warns unlicensed gambling operators

11 Dec 2017

gambling operatorsThe Slovak republic has warned unlicensed gambling operators to terminate their business within the country or be forcibly shut down and heavily fined. More specifically, the Financial Directorate of the Slovak Republic has contacted a number of betting sites and online casinos that currently operate without a local license and has requested that they abide to the Article 15b(4) of Act no. 171/2005 Coll. on Gambling Games Amendment and Supplement, often referred as "the Gambling Act".

The Slovak republic amended the Gambling Act in 2017 in order to modernize and regulate the local market in a more efficient manner. It created a unified regulatory body that similar to other EU countries, is tasked with awarding licenses and blocking access to gambling sites that operate outside of the legal framework. This has proved to be a daunting task, as players are able to bypass the ISP blockings, while unlicensed operators are quick to answer by launching new mirror sites each time they are blacklisted and blocked. The Slovak Financial Department has subsequently announced they will not only shut down these sites but will also legally persecute any offenders and force them to be subjected to the following financial penalties:

  • From €5.000 to €50.000 to any natural person who promotes a gambling game or performs activities related to the promotion of a gambling game, for which no license pursuant to the Act has been granted or issued
  • From €15.000 to €250.000 to any natural person who operates a gambling game, is involved in the operation of a gambling game or performs activities in operating a gambling game for which no license pursuant to the Act has been granted or issued
  • From €5.000 to €250.000 to any legal person/entity for the promotion of a gambling game or performance of activity related to the promotion of a gambling game, for which no license pursuant to the Act has been granted or issued
  • From €15.000 to €500.000 to any legal person/entity for the operation of a gambling game or for taking part in the operation of a gambling game, for which no license pursuant to the Act has been granted or issued

The Court of the Slovak Republic has been requested to issue a court order to prevent access to non-compliant websites and prevent the execution of payments between players and gambling sites.

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