Poker regulation in Slovakia

This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation

Poker is legal in Slovakia but the current regulation is clearly a half measure created at a time when poker laws in Europe were much less mature. The Slovakian gambling regulation, which dates back to 2005, is not built for the modern age and is losing the Slovakian government millions – if not billions – Slovakians love to gamble! – in licensing and tax revenue. The regulation itself is in fact incomplete and many forms of betting that are now legal and profitable for many countries (like poker!) are not offered by the Slovakian online monopoly that is allowed to offer only sport and race betting.

Slovakian gambling law

The Slovakian Gambling law, an outdated legislation from 2005, is an early attempt at full featured regulation for online activities

Slovakian gambling act of 2005 summary

  1. All operators must apply for a license with the minister for finance
  2. Operators must pay 27% on net gaming revenue
  3. Operators applying for license must comply with tech specification (governments like to keep copies of the history of the games played to make sure they are fair)
  4. Illegal operators will be blacklisted from the country

Most countries review and update fashionable laws in increments of 3 to 5 years. And the Slovakian gambling act, which was shortly revisited and abandoned in 2011 due to pressure from the European Union, is due for another review.

Online poker in Slovakia today

So as part of the gambling act, there is clear mention of licensing and illegal operator blacklisting, but the reality is that Slovakia has not banned any of the illegal gambling operators online, nor did the country issue out any new licenses to online poker operators. This means that Slovakian poker players can play online poker anywhere they want without any intervention from the government. Gambling online can be done anywhere within the confines of the country, an ongoing problem for a small country of 5 million citizens, with growing debt that now reaches 85 billion dollars. The best solution for Slovakian poker is reform that will carry with it legal, taxed, and open play with poker lovers from other regulated European countries, until then we suggest that if you’re from Slovakia play poker anywhere you like and try to rotate rooms often to benefit from the promotions they offer.

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