After close to three years of deliberation the Slovenian government has decided against moving forward with an amendment to the Slovenian Gambling Act following a coalition deadlock on the issue.
The draft amendment would have opened the nation’s land-based and online casino market to private and foreign investors, in accordance within European legislation, however any changes have now been postponed until the autumn of 2018, after the next round of elections.
Under the current gambling legislation only a nationally-registered company where the majority shareholder is either the Republic of Slovenia, municipalities, or stated-owned companies already holding a gambling license can operate casino gaming.
The act effectively bars free entry into the market by outside investors as private owners can only ever own up to 49 percent of operations and only existing companies can further apply for online licenses.
All this however contravenes pan-continental legislation and in 2012 the European Commission notified that amendments must be prepared. In accordance laws were drafted in order to allow for companies with offices registered in other EMEA nations to apply for a gambling license and consequently abolish the state ownership practices present.
Additionally the provision that only those currently holding land-based licenses may apply for online ones would be repealed.
The announcement that this has been postponed until the next governmental term in 2018 leaves the nation’s gambling landscape in a state of apparent flux.
It is clear that its borders will open to outside investment at some point in the future but the exact timeline is entirely dependant on the willingness of a coalition, or single government, which is an unwanted variable.