Bratislava Bans Gambling (Again!)
Following an anti-gambling petition, the city councilors of the Slovakian capital Bratislava have decided on 17 December to ban gambling. The law is set to come into effect starting January 1, 2021.
Out of 40 council members, 39 of them voted in favor of the ban while one member abstained. This is the second time a ban of this sort was introduced in Slovakia. The first attempt at forbidding this type of activity lasted less than two years, from May 1, 2017, to December 28, 2018.
However, this doesn’t mean all the operators have to hang the ‘Closed’ sign immediately. Instead, the city will wait for their gambling licenses to expire which should happen in the period between 2023 and 2024. After that, the licenses won’t be renewed.
Hoping For The Best
Although the mayor of Bratislava is hopeful that this law will bring positive changes to the city, the operators of the gambling venues don’t agree. They think these measures solve nothing and that current legislation is enough but that the government has done very little to combat illegal betting.
Given the fact that these venues generated 2.76 million euros of revenue in 2019, it’s undeniable that the industry has an important part when it comes to the city’s finances. At last count, there were 89 places providing gambling services, two bingo halls, and six casinos in the city. There is no doubt that this legal step represents a big challenge for the future of the people employed in this sector.