Slovakian government officials have published a blacklist containing the names of ten gambling operators whose sites they are ready to block from the country’s punters. It’s the most recent move in an effort by the government to crack down on unlicensed foreign operators serving local online gamblers.
The names on the list include – 888 Holdings, Bet365, Bet-at-Home, Bwin, William Hill, 1xbet, Eatsleepbet.com, LVbet.com ,and Kajot-casino.com, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com. Originally, the list included 17 gambling operators, but two of those withdrew from the Slovakian market. An additional five companies were given a 10-day extension to wrap up their Slovakian facing operations.
To say that the Slovakian online gambling market is in a state of flux is something of an understatement. Operators have been dreading the day that the blacklist, and inevitable internet blocking, begin for quite some time.
Just last year the country announced its plans to enforce a whopping 27 percent tax on gross gaming revenues. That pronouncement on its own caused a mass exodus of operators from the market and more are expected to follow.
As is so often the case in European countries, this crackdown does not include any meddling with gambling operations that are run by a government held monopoly, such as the state-run lottery.
The crackdown does, however, extend to land-based casinos. Earlier this year the country banned casinos (but not lottery shops and bookmakers) from its cities and has extended a grace period to casinos until their current licenses expire.
As of this writing none of the blacklisted domains have been formally blocked, but it’s believed that the order to formally block them will come in the near future.
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