Gambling laws in Slovakia

  1.  Regulatory framework
    1. Is there a Gambling Act (or equivalent) in place?    
    2. Is online gambling a regulated activity?
    3. Are there any regulators?
    4. Is there a regulatory regime related to advertising gambling?
  2. Structuring and corporate governance
    1. Is a local presence necessary to run gambling activity?
    2. If yes, are there any mandatory legal forms of business for gambling companies?
    3. Can a local subsidiary be formed by foreign shareholders?
    4.  Are there foreign investment restrictions?
    5. Are there any minimum requirements for a gambling company’s statutory capital?
    6. Can management include foreign individuals?
    7.  Are there any mandatory reporting requirements (beyond tax) regarding a gambling company’s corporate governance matters?
  3. Licensing
    1. Do local regulations set out a clear licensing framework for gambling (including the licensing process, criteria, submission requirements, licensing conditions and ongoing compliance requirements)?
    2. Is gambling licensing specific to:    
    3. Is the creation of video games for gambling by a software developer subject to gambling licensing?
    4. What is the term of a licence/permit?
    5. How long does it take to obtain a licence/permit?
    6. Is there any limit on the number of licences that can be granted?
    7.  Are there any specific licensing requirements?
  4.  Compliance
    1. Are there any mandatory AML rules generally and for gambling industry specifically?
    2.   Are there any specific reporting obligations for gambling companies in terms of AML and data protection?    
  5.  Data Protection 
    1.  Are there any specific Data Protection regulations in place?     
    2.  If yes, do they apply extra-territorially?     
    3.  Is there a Data Protection Regulator?     
  6.  Currency control and other cross border issues
    1.  Are there any currency/exchange/finance controls at the present time to transfer cash out of and into the country?     
    2. Where currency/exchange/finance or capital controls do exist:
  7.  Marketing and advertising 
    1.  Is the advertising/marketing of gambling activity allowed in your country?  
    2.  Are there any advertising methods which cannot be used by gambling companies? 
    3. Can gambling companies be sponsors of sports events?
    4.   Is it allowed to involve celebrities to advertise gambling activities?
    5. Are there any CSR requirements for gambling companies?
    6. Are there any other restrictions/limitations on advertising gambling activities?
  8.  Tax 
    1. Is there any specific tax regime for gambling companies?    
    2.   Is there a tax implication for transferring cash out of the country?    
    3.   Is there a tax implication for transferring cash into the country?    
    4.   Is there a tax implication for offering trading activities remotely in the country?     
    5.  Are there any other observations regarding the taxation of gambling activities (locally and remotely)?     

1. Regulatory framework

1.1 Is there a Gambling Act (or equivalent) in place?    

Yes.

Act No. 30/2019 Coll.

1.2 Is online gambling a regulated activity?

Yes.

1.3 Are there any regulators?

Yes.

Gambling Regulatory Authority (Úrad pre reguláciu hazardných hier)

Website: www.urhh.sk/

Yes.

2. Structuring and corporate governance

2.1 Is a local presence necessary to run gambling activity?

Yes.

Yes.

2.3 Can a local subsidiary be formed by foreign shareholders?

Yes.

Foreign shareholders can only be persons established or resident in another EU Member State (EU) or OECD member state.

2.4 Are there foreign investment restrictions?

Yes.

Foreign shareholders can only be persons established or resident in another EU Member State or OECD member state.

A licence may be granted or issued only to a legal entity with its registered office in the Slovak Republic or with its registered office in another EU Member State. A legal entity established in another EU Member State may be granted a licence if it has a registered foreign representation (zahraničné zastúpenie) in Slovakia in the list of foreign representations of the Gambling Regulatory Authority.

2.5 Are there any minimum requirements for a gambling company’s statutory capital?

Yes.

EUR 1,700,000

2.6 Can management include foreign individuals?

Yes.

2.7 Are there any mandatory reporting requirements (beyond tax) regarding a gambling company’s corporate governance matters?

Yes.

Annual obligation to provide the financial statements for the previous accounting period in the register of financial statements by 31 May.

3. Licensing

3.1 Do local regulations set out a clear licensing framework for gambling (including the licensing process, criteria, submission requirements, licensing conditions and ongoing compliance requirements)?

Yes.

3.2 Is gambling licensing specific to:    

3.2.1 Betting?

Yes.

3.2.2 Sports?

Yes.

3.2.3 Skill games?

No.

3.2.4 Card Games?

Yes.

3.2.5 Casinos?

Yes.

3.2.6 Lotteries?

Yes.

3.2.7 Arcades?

Yes.

3.3 Is the creation of video games for gambling by a software developer subject to gambling licensing?

No.

3.4 What is the term of a licence/permit?

Depending on the type of licence, the term might differ and can be issued for two years, five years, ten years or indefinite term.

3.5 How long does it take to obtain a licence/permit?

Approximately one to two months.

3.6 Is there any limit on the number of licences that can be granted?

No.

3.7 Are there any specific licensing requirements?

Yes.

These vary depending on the type of licence (registered capital amount, provision of ticket templates in case of lottery licence, etc.)

4. Compliance

4.1 Are there any mandatory AML rules generally and for gambling industry specifically?

Yes.

Slovak AML Act No. 297/2008 Coll.

In the case of the operation of gambling worth at least EUR 2,000, regardless of whether the gambling is carried out individually or as several successive gambles which are or may be linked, the provider of gambling activity is obliged to perform basic due diligence of the client.

4.2  Are there any specific reporting obligations for gambling companies in terms of AML and data protection?    

Yes.       

Gambling companies are required to report all unusual transactions including attempted transactions to Slovak Financial Intelligence Unit. Gambling companies are required to report, without undue delay, a refusal to perform a requested unusual transaction.

5. Data Protection 

5.1 Are there any specific Data Protection regulations in place?     

Yes.         

Slovak Act on Personal Data Protection No. 18/2018 Coll.

5.2 If yes, do they apply extra-territorially?     

Yes.        

5.3 Is there a Data Protection Regulator?     

Yes.        

Office for Personal Data Protection of the Slovak Republic

6. Currency control and other cross border issues

6.1 Are there any currency/exchange/finance controls at the present time to transfer cash out of and into the country?     

No. 

International sanctions should be considered separately.

6.2 Where currency/exchange/finance or capital controls do exist:

N/A

 

7. Marketing and advertising 

7.1 Is the advertising/marketing of gambling activity allowed in your country?  

Yes.

Currently, there are no restrictions on gambling advertising. However, the Slovak government declared in its 2020–2024 programme an intention to limit gambling advertising in print, online and television media and billboards.

7.2 Are there any advertising methods which cannot be used by gambling companies? 

No.

7.3 Can gambling companies be sponsors of sports events?

Yes.       

7.4  Is it allowed to involve celebrities to advertise gambling activities?

Yes.         

7.5 Are there any CSR requirements for gambling companies?

No.

7.6 Are there any other restrictions/limitations on advertising gambling activities?

Yes.         

It is prohibited to promote available gambling from the Slovak Republic without a licence in the Latin alphabet and in the Latin font system via an electronic communications network or an electronic communications service.

8. Tax 

8.1 Is there any specific tax regime for gambling companies?    

No.

8.2  Is there a tax implication for transferring cash out of the country?    

Yes.

8.3  Is there a tax implication for transferring cash into the country?    

Yes.

8.4  Is there a tax implication for offering trading activities remotely in the country?     

Yes.        

Potential rise of the permanent establishment.

8.5 Are there any other observations regarding the taxation of gambling activities (locally and remotely)?     

No.

 

Find out more gambling regulation related to Slovakia in the CMS Expert Guide to online regulation in Europe.

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Tomáš Matĕjovský
Partner
Prague
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Dušan Vanek
Associate
Bratislava