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President of Slovakia Vetoes the New Gambling Law

Solvakia gambling

A new gambling regulation in Slovakia that would open the country’s online market for international operations has been vetoed by President Andrej Kiska. The President gave a statement on Friday saying that he has refused to approve the new online gambling regulations proposed by the Ministry of Finance in spring. The regulation was approved by the legislature earlier this month. Kiska suggests that he has “reservations that prove the error of the whole concept of the approved law.”

He went on to say that the new gambling rules did not contain sufficient measures for consumer protection. One of his proposals is to include the names of people who have declared personal bankruptcy due to gambling in the national gambling exclusion registry of the country. He also suggests that the provision for mandating online gamblers to submit digital copies of their Citizen’s Card for identity verification are inadequate. He says that there should be a better way of demonstrating someone’s eligibility to gamble in the country without posing a significant risk to sensitive and misleading personal data.

The gambling regulation does not explicitly tackle the issue of government spending of the revenue received from gambling activities. He wants the legislature to come back with a plan that links gambling revenue and the funding for problem gambling programs in the country. His last objection to the bill is related to local and federal control on gambling activities.

According to Kiska, the legislature should offer more authority to local governments in determining the type of gambling permitted within this municipal jurisdiction. The current regulation has provisions to keep the gambling operations away from schools, but Kiska wants these restrictions to extended to “places designed to express religious, moral and other personally sensitive attitudes, such as churches or institutions.”

The Slovakian legislature now has two choices- they can either make amendments to their gambling regulations to include Kiska’s suggestions or override his veto and go with their original plan. The lawmakers would need two-third majority support from the National Council to ignore the President’s veto.

The legislature has called for online casino hopefuls to submit their license applications by March 1, 2019. The online sportsbook license derby is scheduled to begin on July 1.

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