The time had almost come: the Parliament of Slovenia on 20 March approved a law that would break open the online gambling market. From now on, providers from other EU countries may also offer sports betting in Slovenia.
But exactly one week later, the law had already died. The Državni Svet, say the Senate of Slovenia, unexpectedly vetoed on March 27.
Mr. Casino must say: this makes Slovenian politics a lot faster than the Dutch one. In the summer of 2016 – after nearly 20 years of tug of war – our own House of Representatives finally agreed to the new Gaming Act, which makes online gambling possible. But the Senate not yet. The bill is to be found somewhere in a drawer in The Hague. It is completely unclear when the Senate will consider the new law.
More money for the treasury
But back to Slovenia. At the moment there is only one legal provider of online sports betting: Športna Loterija, largely in the hands of the state.
According to the initiator of the law, MP Branko Zorman, most Slovenians play at foreign gambling sites for lack of legal offers.
He estimates that foreign providers hold around 85% of the market.
Leakage of gambling revenue abroad would save the Slovenian government around € 10 million a year in revenue.
With the new law, Zorman wants to ensure that Slovenians largely play at legal, well-controlled gambling sites, so that consumers are protected. At the same time, the new system would generate more gambling tax for the Slovenian treasury. Gosh, in which country did Mr. Casino hear those arguments even more?
Opponents of liberalization argue that the new gambling law can be disastrous for charities and sports organizations in Slovenia. Monopolist Športna Loterija is one of their biggest financiers. That argument also appears to Meneer Casino …
The charities and sports clubs have protested fiercely and lobbied against the new law and apparently the senate members were sensitive to it: 18 of the 30 members voted against it.
The new gambling law has not yet been finally fired. Parliament may now vote again on the issue of gambling, but this time a two-thirds majority is needed. Otherwise the bill will go into the waste bin definitively.
Mr. Casino is very curious about how to vote in the Senate when our own Gaming Act (finally) comes up.
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