Slovakia blacklists leading online betting sites from operating in the country

  • Slovakia creates blacklist of online betting sites operating in the country without a license
  • Country’s Ministry of Finance seeking to put in place domain blockages in coming weeks

Leading online casinos William Hill and bet365 are among a number of online betting sites that have been added to Slovakia’s betting website ‘blacklist’ – the first of its kind to be introduced by the country.

On this blacklist are online wagering domains that have been deemed by Slovakian officials to be “unacceptable and untrustworthy,” but it’s worth noting that that is the case because they operate remotely, providing Slovakian bettors with services without an appropriate local license. This practise was made illegal in the country last year.

If any of the websites featured on the list continue to operate their services in Slovakia, they will be effectively be doing so illegally.

Who else makes the list?

So far, the country has added 10 betting sites to its blacklist. Alongside the aforementioned bet365 and William Hill, other names include Bet-at-Home, 1xbet, Bwin, and 888Holdings.

Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance has released a statement to explain that it had “issued warning notices to a total of 17 online gambling operators,” with seven of these not yet on the list.

Of this seven, two operators have since voluntarily withdrawn the services they offer from the country’s online domain, with the remaining five being given a 10-day grace period to remove their operations from Slovakia. Any that continue to operate after this time could be hit with a $500,000 fine.

Regulation changes

The operators on the list have not yet been formally blocked, but it is reported that the Ministry of Finance has said that it is seeking to put into place particular domain blockages in the next few weeks.

This comes after Slovakia, last year, altered its gambling laws to require all sports betting websites to obtain appropriate local licenses. They are also now required to pay 27% tax on their gross revenue from gaming.

Some online gambling operators had quit the country’s market after these regulation changes, but many remained – some of which continue to do so illegally. These will, needless to say, be added to the country’s government’s ‘blacklist.’

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