Since late 2009, there has been talk in Slovakia about building Europe’s largest casino complex not far from Bratislava. While the plans had quite a lot of local support, there were also many who felt the casino would have nothing to contribute. The Slovak church condemned the project in April of this year on the grounds that “games of hazard are ethically questionable”. Others voiced their opposition in the form of a petition submitted in September, signed by 125,640 citizens.
Now, it looks as if a small change to Slovakian gambling laws may prevent the construction of what is being called the “Slovak Las Vegas”. The Slovak Parliament on Wednesday December 08 changed the country’s laws on gambling, removing a special category of casino which translates roughly to “casino in a recreational complex”. This casino category was introduced under the country’s former prime minister, and included a preferential tax regime.
The proposed €1.5 billion mega casino complex falls into the now-defunct category. This means that if construction continues, the developer, TriGranit, will not get the tax breaks they were counting on. Investors previously suggested that if the Parliament ever revoked this tax relief, they may not build the casino in Slovakia, but would move it to another country, perhaps south to Hungary. There are not yet any signs that the project will be affected by the new law.