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Slovak betting companies complain about offshore operators

‘Illegal’ betting companies cost the state budget €2.5-5-million each year, the Association of Betting Companies said at a press conference on Tuesday, May 3. The briefing took place on the sidelines of the ongoing Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia. It was intended to highlight what the companies claim has been an increase in activities by allegedly illegal betting operations during the tournament. The association announced that it will take legal action against the ‘illegal’ companies and against media that run advertisements for them.

‘Illegal’ betting companies cost the state budget €2.5-5-million each year, the Association of Betting Companies said at a press conference on Tuesday, May 3. The briefing took place on the sidelines of the ongoing Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia. It was intended to highlight what the companies claim has been an increase in activities by allegedly illegal betting operations during the tournament. The association announced that it will take legal action against the ‘illegal’ companies and against media that run advertisements for them.

According to current legislation, betting companies registered in Slovakia pay deductions amounting to 5 percent of their receipts to the state. Moreover, the companies are subsequently taxed, while ‘illegal’ betting entities don't pay a single euro to the state, said Niké betting company director Otto Berger, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added that these companies are usually based in tax havens, paying only 0.5 percent of their receipts to the state. He alleged that their activities on the market cause other problems, such as under-age betting, money laundering and winnings paid in instalments. "A tram is travelling through the city propagating bet-at-home [a sponsor of the Ice Hockey World Championship]. They opened a tent in the fan zone ... luring in the under-aged," complained Berger.

The Finance Ministry has already begun dealing with unlicensed betting companies operating or being promoted in Slovakia, Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said on Tuesday.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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