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New Slovenian Bill Will Liberalize Online Sports Betting
- March 29, 2018 By Riley Wilson -
Last week, Slovenia’s National Assembly effectively ended the sports betting monopoly of the state-owned Športna Loterija.
A somewhat surprising outcome of the vote on a new bill (35-26 in favor) that would enable all operators based in the European Union, whose member Slovenia has been since 2004, to apply for online sports betting licenses.
No More Monopoly
Under the provisions of the current gambling piece of legislation, something like that is not possible, since only Športna Loterija is allowed to offer sports betting services in the country.
The latest proposal was introduced back in January, by MP Branko Zorman, who is a member of the Modern Center Party, one of the members of the ruling coalition. Zorman said the proposal was aimed at raising more money for various sports and humanitarian organizations in Slovenia.
Still, the fact the bill didn’t receive the backing of the Modern Center Party was a bit concerning, and there were many who believed it wouldn’t receive the approval of the country’s legislature.
However, the journey towards adoption hasn’t ended. The next stop is the legislature’s National Council, where it may have difficulties due to the fact the Slovenian government opposes its coming into effect. Some members of the government claim the bill doesn’t comply with the EU law, although the Union is not likely to interfere on this matter.
Increasing The Country’s Gambling Revenue
Some MPs even said the bill would lead to an unplanned privatization of the state monopoly, but Zorman had refused to accept such claims. He described the state monopoly as artificial, since foreign-based operators satisfied more than 85% of nation’s gambling needs, and stressed his bill would allow the government to raise more money for the state coffers.
The new bill would introduce a €500,000 licensing fee for online sports betting operators, which could lead to a massive rise in Slovenia’s gambling revenue – from the current €3.5 million to €13 million.
With a population of around 2 million, Slovenia could hardly be called an extremely lucrative market, but nevertheless, the new bill could have a significant economic impact.