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Slovakia set to open iGaming market under new Gambling Act

Slovakia’s National Council has approved the country’s new gambling legislation, which allows European operators to apply for online licenses for the first time.

The new Gambling Act received European Commission approval in October and was adopted by the National Council on December 4th.

The legislation allows gaming operators based in the European Union or European Economic Area to apply for online gaming and betting licenses from the new national gambling regulator, while the national lottery operator TIPOS retains its monopoly on lotteries.

The license application window for online gaming will open on March 1st 2019, the effective date of the legislation, with online gaming operations expected to go live under the new licenses from July 1st.

Online betting operators will be able to apply for licensure from July 1st 2019, although they will not be effective until July 1st 2020.

Each type of online license will be valid for a period of ten year and costs €3m each, or €5m for both.

The new legislation also continues the country’s previous measures against unlicensed operators, which include blacklisting, ISP blocking and a prohibition on financial transactions.

The legislation also states that any operator who has appeared on the blacklist in the twelve months prior to submitting a license application will be ineligible for licensure.

This appears to rule out some of the industry’s leading operators, with the December 3rd edition of the blacklist featuring 168 online domains. The latest blacklist includes domains belonging to bwin, William Hill, bet365, Unibet, PokerStars, Betsson and Betfair, among others.

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