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Slovenia Warns of a Spike in Illegal Gambling Activity

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The National Assembly of Slovenia has expressed growing concern over the persistence of illegal online gambling activities despite regulatory efforts. Inspections in the gambling sector revealed that many online operators were conducting games of chance without the required concessions. These black market entities do not pay the required taxes and offer virtually zero customer protection, raising significant concerns.

Current Measures Achieve Only Limited Success

According to Slovenian gambling laws, operators must obtain a valid concession from the government. This process ensures that companies follow the country’s strict gambling policies and can be held accountable for violations. However, despite regulatory decisions prohibiting illegal activities, many continue to circumvent the rules, prompting the need for more stringent measures.

In 2023, Slovenian authorities conducted 115 inspections to monitor and enforce the ban on illegal gambling activities via the Internet and other media. The authorities issued 34 statements against violators who operated without proper licensing. Interestingly, 28 persisted in their activities, disregarding official warnings, causing the Slovenian regulator to prompt the administrative court to issue IP blocks on offending websites.

The government’s measures aim to restrict access to black market websites, posing a challenge to players who may already have gaming accounts on these platforms, emphasizing the possible dangers, including links to organized crime. While unfortunate for users, this move should hopefully channel gamblers toward regulated operators where they can enjoy adequate protection.

Players Using Unlicensed Websites Face Increased Risk

To avoid potential legal issues, the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (Furs) advises online gambling participants to verify the legality of a website in Slovenia. The Ministry of Finance publishes a list of organizers with valid concessions on its website to assist players in making informed choices about legal gambling platforms.

Authorities advise players to familiarize themselves with gambling legislation, warning that engaging with unlicensed entities could lead to undesirable consequences, including losing access to operator accounts and the funds associated with them. However, despite Slovenia’s best efforts, most black market operators can circumvent measures like IP blocks and resume operations.

Slovenia’s troubles with illegal gambling closely mirror those of other European jurisdictions like Germany, where half of all gaming activity occurs on unlicensed platforms. While blocking offending websites offers some success, precedent in other markets shows that real progress requires the ability to pursue legal action against offenders abroad while empowering the licensed sector.

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