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Slovakia – Bratislava slot operators avoid capital punishment

By - 8 June 2018

The Regional Court in Bratislava has overturned a ruling that would have closed all casinos in the Slovakian capital as being ‘incompatible with the law.’

The initial ruling, made in April 2017 saw the Bratislava City Council vote ti ban all forms of gambling within in the city limits aside from sports betting and lottery outlets. It would have shut 305 casinos and slot halls by 2021.
The Court has also prevented the City Council from staging any more votes on the issue.

Around 136,000 city residents signed a petition complaining about the initial ban. The Slovak Gambling Operators Association had also challenged the decision in court.

Around 50 slot halls had already shut due to their licenses expiring and not being renewed in light of the expected ban. Had the ban gone through, Olympic Entertainment Group would have had to close four casinos located in Bratislava in 2019. The gross gaming revenues of the casinos located in Bratislava amounted to €8.2m in 2016 with assets of €1.1m.

Madis Jääger, CEO of Olympic Entertainment Group, said: “OEG received information that on June 7 2018 the Regional Court in Bratislava overturned the Bratislava City Council decision and decided that the ban on gambling in Bratislava is not in accordance with the law. Therefore, the most negative scenario where OEG subsidiaries would have had to close its casinos in Bratislava starting from 2019, will not be realised. Considering the 7 June 2018 court decision OEG subsidiaries will continue operating casinos in Bratislava in an ordinary manner.”

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