Slot machines will be banned from Slovak bars and pubs in 2013 based on an amendment to the Gambling Act proposed by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), passed by parliament and signed by President Ivan Gašparovič on July 18, the TASR newswire reported.
The amendment also prohibits drinking alcohol and smoking in gambling venues; bars will be allowed in gambling rooms but they will not be able to sell alcohol, TASR wrote. The new law also gives local authorities the ability to block casinos, gambling rooms, betting or charity lotteries in their communities. The amendment also requires casinos and gambling rooms to ban entry to compulsive gamblers if they or their relatives request that this be done.
The amendment also requires that individual shot machine games will have a break of four seconds rather than the previous three seconds between games and establishes a new interval of 15 seconds between the paying out of winnings and the beginning of a new game.
Casinos and gambling rooms have been warning that the state and local authorities will lose €40 million because of this amendment and that thousands of people in the gambling industry will lose their jobs.
Certain gambling taxes are also to increase in September. Lottery operators are currently obliged to pay 17 percent from stakes into the state budget. This will grow to 18 percent in September. Casino operators at the moment pay 24 percent from bets into the state budget and another 3 percent to the local community. The former is to increase to 26 percent.
The taxes paid by slot machine operators will grow by €400 to €1,900 per year per machine as of January 1, 2012. Tax payments for videogames will increase from €3,200 to €3,900 per year. These changes are expected to increase the taxes collected by the state by €900,000 in 2011 and by €16 million each year in 2012, 2013 and 2014, TASR wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
19. Jul 2011 at 14:00