«10 online gambling operators got blacklisted in Slovakia

Slovakia has launched a blacklist of online gambling websites, which are considered to serve without the necessary approval of the local government.

The finance ministry of Slovakia released a blacklist with 10 names. This gallery of websites includes such popular and familiar names as Bet365, Bwin, 888 Holdings, Bet-at-Home, Kajot-casino, LVbet, Eatsleepbet and some others. It all happened on Monday, when the finance ministry released the blacklist after long warning of the above-mentioned domains. Actually, those warning notices were sent to 17 websites, and ten of them finally appeared on the blacklist.

Some domains stopped their services in Slovakia voluntarily after the warnings; others got 10 days to do the same before going to the blacklist. The whole situation with blacklisting started when the local government announced its decision to enforce its gambling rules and regulations. Some of them concern taxes, for example, licensees of sports betting must now pay about 27% tax on the total gaming revenue. TIPOS national lottery, owned by state, controls over all activity of online casinos and poker rooms.

The domains, which appeared on the blacklist, are to be blocked officially, although the finance ministry is reportedly seeking some special court orders for implementing specific websites blocks in the following weeks. The local providers of internet service are rather frustrated with this decision of the government, which imposed some new responsibilities on them without any new funds for this extra work.

The new regulations also put much pressure on the country’s financial institutions, because they will have to stop processing payments on behalf of any domain, which appeared on the blacklist. Operators, continuing to serve those blacklisted domains, will have to pay a fine of €500k.

Slovakia’s strict rules concern not only online gambling, but also real-life casinos. For example, in April the local government banned gambling within the limits of Bratislava, except for lottery retailers and sports betting shops. The operators of the slot halls and casinos, which already exist in Bratislava, are allowed to operate until expiration of their licenses.

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