The Slovenian Sports Betting Market

slovThe Republic Of Slovenia, once a part of Yugoslavia, has a relatively young, legal sports betting market. The country is located in southern Central Europe and has been independent since 1991. Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and became the first former communist country to join the Eurozone in 2007.

In this guide to online sports betting in Slovenia, first up you can find an overview of sports betting in the country followed by how the market has developed online. After this is a section covering the taxation of your winnings and how accessible the international sites are for Slovenian bettors. Finally there are some thoughts on how the market is likely to develop in the future.

Online Sportsbooks For Slovenia

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BetVictor
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An Overview of Sports Betting in Slovenia

Prior to declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, sports betting opportunities were very restrictive in Slovenia. In line with the 1962 gambling legislation only a handful of operators were licensed to provide betting and this came in the form of pools style betting on football results. After 1991 more gambling ventures including casinos started to appear around Slovenia, although it was not until 1995 when legislation was put in place to manage these. The legislation was amended again in 2001 and 2003.

In 2007 new legislation was brought in to cover sports betting. This put sports betting under the control of a branch of Slovenia’s lottery operator Sportna Loterija [1]. The company offered a number of random games along with betting markets on a range of sports, the most popular of which is football. Despite Sportna Loterija functioning as a monopoly there have been no notable complaints or investigations into this and Slovenian’s who wished wager elsewhere had to do so either online or on the black market.

Slovenians Have Home Grown Casinos, But Can Gamble Anywhere

While there were no laws banning online betting in 2006 the Slovenia Government tried to enforce ISP blocks starting with Bwin and Bet-At-Home [2]. With no legal support these instructions were not upheld by all ISPs and Slovenian’s were still able to access online sites based outside of the country.

Further changes were discussed from 2010 until 2013 although these focus mainly on the casino market. It was decided in 2013 that a single betting license would be issued [3] to Sportna Loterija while 30 licenses would be issued to other games providers. Along with this Sportna Loterija would be able to launch its own online site, while those based outside Slovenia again would be blocked.

Sportna Loterija website went live in May 2014 in time for the World Cup and has proved relatively popular since. Without any ISP blocks in place, and no law criminalizing play on foreign sites the majority of Slovenians still choose to wager with international sports betting companies. How long this will continue for is uncertain.

No Taxes for Sports Bettors in Slovenia

Slovenian sports bettors are not liable to pay any taxes on their winnings although taxes are applied to the Sportna Loterija. Offshore sites are not covered by Slovenian law so are not liable to pay any taxes until they can become licensed and there would be no framework to collect taxes from players should the domestic situation change.

You Won’t Be Stuck For Somewhere to Bet Online

While there are some international sites which choose to block Slovenian players there are a large number that do accept them, believing they are operating within their rights under EU law. While you can find sites in Croat-Serb and other European languages there are not that many offering their services in Slovene, so you may have to either find a language you are familiar with or rely on a browser translation if you wish to use these sites.

Using local currency is a different story, as the vast majority of sites allow you to wager in Euros. You can make deposits or withdrawals using credit or debit cards and will find that Visa and MasterCard are both accepted. Other options include bank transfers or using online e-wallets like NETeller or Skrill.

The Future of Online Sports Betting in Slovenia is Unclear

With many recent changes in the Slovenia’s online market, albeit to continue the current monopoly, it is uncertain what happens next in the country. Opposition by companies looking to get into the market legally, rulings by the EU or strong voices in the Slovenian government could easily result in either a crack-down on foreign sites or in a relaxation in the laws. Despite these options what appears most likely is a continuation of the current state of affairs, with one officially licensed operator and many operating in a grey market with no enforcement against them.

References

[1] Policy Challenges of Problem Gambling in Slovenia (background – history of gambling legislation) – School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia
[2] Slovenian gov blocks gambling sites – Boingboing
[3] Liberalization of Gaming Market on the Way – Slovenia Times

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