The Slovaks Wagered 1.32 Billion Euros on Gambling for the Year 2023

April 2, 2024 | Gambling

Bratislava, March 28, 2024 – On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, a press conference was held on the premises of the Office for the Regulation of Gambling Games, where the director general of the office, Martin Bohoš, presented the development of the gambling market in the Slovak Republic for the year 2023 and at the same time brought up several current topics in the field of gambling games.

In 2023, Slovaks placed bets in the amount of 21.36 billion euros, they were paid 20.4 billion euros in winnings and spent a total of 1.32 billion euros on gambling. “As a relevant indicator of “taking a break”, it is necessary to take into account the figure of GGR (so-called Gross Gaming Revenue), as the difference between bets and winnings, referred to in legal terminology as proceeds”, said Martin Bohoš, adding at the same time that “deduction to the state budget from gambling games for the year 2023 was at the level of more than 301 million euros, which represents an increase in contributions to the state budget by more than 50 million euros year-on-year.” 

Internet casinos have a dominant position on the market from the point of view of bets, winnings and proceeds, as indicators of the overall development of gambling on the gambling market. This growing trend is related to the dynamic growth of online gambling in Slovakia. They are followed by brick-and-mortar gambling houses and a popular segment among Slovaks – odds bets. 

From the point of view of the levy to the state budget, the segment of internet casinos leads with a levy of more than 93 million euros, followed by odds bets, thanks to which 80.48 million euros flowed into the state budget, and the trio is completed by brick-and-mortar casinos, which paid levies in the form of a flat-rate levy in the amount 61.9 million euros. 

From the point of view of online games, it is an interesting fact that Slovaks prefer betting online, which is at the level of 90%. On the contrary, as far as number lotteries are concerned, Slovaks prefer to visit brick-and-mortar collections for this form of betting, while online betting in this segment accounts for only 14%.

According to the current legislation, municipalities have very strong tools with which they can regulate gambling on their territory, these are primarily the so-called banning general binding regulations, by which they can prohibit the placement of gaming rooms and casinos on the territory of their municipality, and restrictive general binding regulations, through which they can regulate, for example, the location of gaming near schools or school facilities. Due to prohibitive generally binding regulations of cities and municipalities, the office anticipates a 22% decrease in levies from brick-and-mortar gambling halls and casinos to the state budget in 2025.

At the same time, the general director of the office drew attention to the fact that municipalities and cities do not pay enough attention to the gambling agenda, which is why various errors occur in the process of issuing generally binding regulations. Failure to comply with the 5-day legal deadline for the fulfillment of the notification obligation by cities and municipalities to the Office for the Regulation of Gambling Games results in the office not taking into account the generally binding regulation issued in this way in the framework of the licensing procedure. 

“From the perspective of the regulator, we need to talk openly about the risk associated with the ban on legal gambling, which creates conditions for the creation of illegal gambling halls. I would like this topic to be subject to a wider social discussion, because if someone feels that by banning legal gambling in the territory of a larger city, gambling will be dealt with, yes, legal gambling will be dealt with, but the risks of illegal gambling will remain high.” said the director general of the office.

The office systematically works to eliminate illegal gambling, whether from the point of view of brick-and-mortar establishments or the online environment. In the past, there have been several enforcement actions of illegal technical devices – such as quiz machines or drawing machines. On the basis of statistical data from the conducted inspections, the office stated that the fight against illegal technical devices is effective, even if efforts to place them in establishments such as pubs, hospitality houses or restaurants continue. 

Illegal online gambling continues to be a big challenge not only for the office, but also for all regulators within the European Union. The office actively searches for illegal online gambling sites, checks the presence of illegal gambling in common computer games, so-called loot boxes and sanctions also affect the promotion of illegal gambling through PR, native articles or streamers.

SOURCE: Gambling Regulation Office.

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