Following PokerStars, developments to Slovenian gambling laws caused Betfair to closed down its business in the country. What’s up with gambling regulations in Slovenia?
“Due to regulatory developments we will be closing Betfair websites for all Slovenian customers starting Friday 28th October 2016 at 00:00,” Betfair notified its partners in an official e-mail. The closedown of Betfair comes three months after PokerStars withdrawn services from the EU country. PokerStars reasoned the step with business risks, sending an encouraging message to disappointed players:
We hope that we will be able to return to the market in due course, and will continue to support the implementation of fair and consistent regulation that serves the needs of all stakeholders and includes a strong commitment to consumer protection, particularly of vulnerable people, in Slovenia.
New Slovenian gambling laws in the works
According to Slovenian gambling news, legislators started working on the draft for new regulations in November, 2013. Earlier this year, the drafts were sent for review to the European Commission and were excepted to be implemented by the end of 2016. After the exit of PokerStars, gambling experts expressed their concerns about the absence of major operators, and consequently, the expansion of less reliable ones.
Following the implementation of the new Slovenian gambling laws, there could be 15 land-based casinos and 45 gaming halls opening in the country. Furthermore, online gambling operators with headquarters in Slovenia or the EU will be allowed as well, after acquiring 10+5-year licenses. Online sports betting service providers will be subject to a 7-30% monthly fee, based on net revenue. The new framework will be overseen by the Financial Administration and the Finance Ministry.
If PokerStars statement is anything to go by, gambling operators could be withdrawing their services from Slovenia to avoid legal difficulties once the new gambling laws are implemented. This way they will be able to start fresh, complying with all the upcoming requirements set in the new Slovenian gambling laws.