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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build traffic

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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build trafficReading Time: 5 minutes

Are the Slovaks about to liberalize their iGaming market? Is it worth it to wait for any new laws? This deep-dive into the Slovak market takes a closer look at the reality on the ground and how you can profit from it.

This year in May, the Slovak government announced a planned liberalization of its restrictive iGaming laws.
This change would abolish the current state-owned monopoly on online casinos and it is hoped it will attract foreign operators. The plan is still in its early stages, but the detail released so far suggests the change will come into force in 2019, with a planned 23% tax on revenue.

What this deep dive will cover

We will go behind the headlines and cover the current market situation in Slovakia as it really is.

From the domestic players, to international operators, to the best-performing affiliates, you will see who is making money in the Slovak market right now.

We are also going to look at potential marketing strategies for those who want to build traffic from Slovakia.

Who this deep dive is for

If you are an operator who is considering applying for a licence, then you should read this.

If you are an operator or affiliate who has been scared away from the Slovak market by news reports of IP-blocks, payment processor bans, and €500,000 fines, then you should definitely read this.

But first a legal disclaimer

I am just a Slovak-speaking iGaming/marketing geek and not a lawyer, so none of the information below should be seen as legal advice—it isn’t. These are just my observations on Slovakia and iGaming.

Make sure to get proper legal advice before entering any grey market like Slovakia, Czech Republic or Hungary.

The legal situation today (June 2018)

Only the state-owned monopoly Tipos is permitted to run an online casino, which it does alongside a sportsbook and a lottery product.

Operators with a land-based betting business may also run online sportsbooks, and there are a number of Slovak and Czech betting firms which offer this. These firms currently pay a 27% tax on revenue.

Foreign firms who market to Slovak residents without a licence are named on a blacklist published by the Slovak Ministry of Finance. The list is updated every Monday and can be found here.

The current blacklist is a mixed bag of household names (William Hill, Bet365, Bwin), smaller operators based in the likes of Curacao, and a few affiliates.

As of June 2018, some of the names still on the list have removed any Slovak language options on their site, and yet they still appear there. The blacklist seems to be like the Hotel California—you may check in, but you may never leave.

If the firms do not shut down their websites to Slovak visitors within 10 days of going on the blacklist, Slovak Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must IP-block the website from Slovakia. However, all my technical tests show it is possible to access all the sites on the list while based in Slovakia.

The blacklist also contains IBAN details for each operator. Although there have been some public threats to stop Slovak payment processors from sending payments to these companies, I haven’t heard of this ever happening.

Indeed, there is no mention of any payments ban on the current version of the list.

The Slovak Ministry of Finance also threatens to issue fines to persistent offenders. There is a potential fine of €500,000 for operators and €250,000 for advertisers/affiliates.

Again, we haven’t heard of such fines being either issued or paid. Considering that the Dutch have failed to collect any fines since 2015, it’s probably safe to assume that no international operators have ever paid any Slovak fines.

Proposed changes to the law (by 2019)

The Ministry of Finance has recently proposed ending the state monopoly on online casinos, allowing domestic and foreign firms to seek a licence in the country.

The new proposed tax rate is 23% on revenue. This tax rate might tempt more applications for a licence than the Czech Republic did in 2017 with a 35% tax rate on revenue.

An important note on political risks to new gambling legislation

In general, Slovak political parties see anti-gambling laws as a big vote-winner.

In a further complication, Slovakia has a slightly unstable political climate, with coalition governments ruling almost exclusively since independence. These coalitions of two, three, four or more parties, all with different outlooks on gambling, mean that it’s very difficult to predict what the next government will actually do.

A perfect example of this instability is the recent disagreement between the Bratislava city council and the Bratislava regional government on the subject of banning land-based gambling in the Slovak capital. The next Slovak parliamentary election is due in 2020.

Frankly, basing an iGaming strategy on this proposed law being passed and then staying in place for more than a few months, is highly risky.

The iGaming market in Slovakia today

If you choose to enter this market, you should know what the current landscape looks like, particularly with regards to who the established competition is.

Apart from the state monopoly (Tipos), there are several betting operators with a physical presence in the country, who have a licence to also market a website to Slovak customers.

On top of this, there are plenty of international operators who continue to offer their sites in the Slovak language, including some big names.

Below are the main domestic, government-approved players with sites in the Slovak language.

– Tipos.sk – this is the state-owned monopoly, offering sportsbook, casino and lottery games. The betting odds are reasonably in line with the international market, but as the only licenced company offering online casino in the country, the selection of slot games looks dated and limited.
– iFortuna.sk – offering sportsbook only, this is the online version of a Czech gaming group which has land-based betting shops in Slovakia.
– Nike.sk – offering sportsbook only, the online version of a Slovak gaming group which has land-based betting shops in Slovakia.
– Tipsport.sk – Slovak sportsbook
– Doxxbet.sk – Slovak sportsbook, who also have sites in other countries e.g. Nigeria

On top of these domestic players, there are plenty of international operators which currently offer services in the Slovak language:

– bet365.com (licensed in Gibraltar and soon Malta, offering sportsbook & casino – they are currently on the blacklist)
– kajot-casino.com (licensed in Malta, casino only, currently on the blacklist)
– vulkanbet.com (licensed in Malta, sportsbook & casino, NOT mentioned on the blacklist)
– 1xslot.com (licensed in Cyprus, casino only)
– bohemiacasino.com (licensed in Malta, casino only, NOT mentioned on the blacklist)
– slotv.com (licensed in Cyprus, casino only)

Due to the similarities between Czech and Slovak, it’s easy for Slovak customers to read and speak the Czech language, making websites offering support in Czech a possible option for these customers.

Lots of international sites were scared off the Czech market, but a few still offer this language option, and presumably are of interest to Slovak customers.

Here are a couple you should be aware of: williamhill.com (licensed in Gibraltar, sportsbook & casino); ceskecasino.com (licensed in Curacao, casino only)

Affiliates offering content in the Slovak language

Of course, affiliates also play a key role in Slovakia. Here are the top 5 performing affiliate sites for the Slovak market: mistrcasino.cz; casino-online-sk.com (included on the blacklist); kasino-online-sk.com (included on the blacklist); najlepsiecasino.com; casino-hry.sk.
It’s interesting to note that none of these top-performing affiliates are working with any of the government-approved Slovak-based operators.

 

Written by: Ivana Flynn for Calvinayre.com. Ivana is a Malta-based SEO Consultant dedicated to helping iGaming operators and affiliates improve their organic search rankings. Her biggest professional passion is using SEO to break into new and tricky markets. In her spare time, she bakes, works out and plays with her cats.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Poland to fight against tax crimes

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Poland to fight against tax crimesReading Time: 1 minute

 

A law has been prepared by the Ministry of Justice, which allows effective counteracting organised crime, especially tax crime, illegal circulation of alcohol, cigarettes and electronics or illegal gambling. This is done by the amendment of the Penal Code prepared in the Ministry of Justice.

The new law aimed at criminals who are cheating on taxes, duties or excises.

Revenues from VAT to the state budget in 2017 increased by PLN 30 billion, which is by almost a quarter compared to the previous year. This is more than all year spending on the “Rodzina 500+” programme.

The next action is far-reaching changes in the Penal Fiscal Code. They are necessary because the obsolete law (the Penal Fiscal Code Act has not undergone a deeper amendment for 10 years) means that huge amounts instead of, for example, social purposes go to the pockets of criminals who cheat on taxes, duties or excises.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Poland to fight against tax crimes

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£5,000 cash up for grabs for predicting if Altior wins or loses at Ascot

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£5,000 cash up for grabs for predicting if Altior wins or loses at AscotReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Matchbook, the sponsors of Saturday’s Clarence House Chase at Ascot, are running a competition on Saturday that will give racegoers a chance to win a £5,000 cash prize by predicting whether Altior wins or loses in the Grade 1 contest.

In a competition designed to engage and educate punters about the benefits of betting with an exchange, punters will either chose to receive a blue lanyard (back bet) or a pink lanyard (lay) which will carry a unique number on.

If Altior wins, the “backers” are in for a chance to win; if Altior loses, the “layers” are in for a chance to win. Matchbook will then draw the lucky number and the correct number and correct colour wins the £5,000 cash prize.

The competition will take place on the ground floor of the main grandstand at Ascot racecourse.

Competition details:

  • Upon arrival, promo staff will hand out blue (Back Bets) and pink (Lay bets) Matchbook branded lanyards to racegoers inside the course gates
  • Lanyards will have a clear pocket which will contain a card. Each card will have a unique number (0001-1000 tbc) and details of how they can win a cash prize of £5000. Card will also have details on Matchbook and our social media handles
  • 18+ only
  • To enter, users will have to come to the Matchbook stand with their unique number, enter it, along with their email address on a dedicated screen before the Clarence House Chase(CHC)
  • The competition will be based on the favourite in the Clarence House Chase winning or losing. If the favourite wins, all the people who have registered with blue(back) lanyards are in the draw for the £5k. The pink (layers) will be out as the favourite won. And the opposite if the favourite doesn’t win
  • Matchbook staff will also have lanyards to give out to visitors at the Matchbook stand
  • Once the last race (16:05) is over, all eligible entrants will come to the Matchbook stand for the big draw.

 

Matchbook is a peer-to-peer betting exchange designed for smart bettors who want better value, deeper liquidity and exceptional customer service. We’re not the alternative, we’re the difference.

Matchbook is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the UK Gambling Commission.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: £5,000 cash up for grabs for predicting if Altior wins or loses at Ascot

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Betconnect launches to enable punters to follow the bets of professional gamblers

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Betconnect launches to enable punters to follow the bets of professional gamblersReading Time: 2 minutes

 

World’s only social betting network that gives everyone access to live bets from professional gamblers who can’t place bets with traditional bookmakers

 

A new betting site launches out of Beta today, letting ordinary punters follow the bets of professionals.

Betconnect is the first notable disruptive technology platform in the industry since Betfair in 2000 and aims to level the playing field between bookmakers, professional gamblers and punters.

For many years, professional gamblers have found their accounts closed or restricted by bookmakers due to their success. In fact, new research published today shows that one in ten (9.8%) of British punters have at some point been restricted. Betconnect connects these people with a network of regular punters in a shared betting experience.

Pros can create and submit bets into the betconnect platform on all major sports and betting markets, using the very best real-time odds. The bets are then intelligently distributed to a network of punters who are prepared to match the bet in exchange for the tip received in the process.

 

Make betting a more informed punt

Many of the betconnect Pros have had their betting accounts restricted or closed by the bookies.

The Pros are held to account through the publication of their profit-and-loss statistics. Punters can therefore be assured of the quality of the ‘tips’ they’re receiving, which are called Bet Requests on the betconnect platform. Every Bet Request is financially backed by the Pro so they can be safe in the knowledge that their interests are aligned. If the Punter chooses to Follow the Bet Request and the Pro wins, they win too.

Underpinning the betconnect user experience is a technology platform and algorithm that has been engineered by a team of Silicon Valley inspired software engineers based in the UK. The platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide a highly personalised and seamless experience for both punters and pros.

Mark Weaver, co-founder of betconnect said, “Business is booming for British bookmakers and we believe it’s time to tip things back in favour of punters. Betconnect is a place where regular punters can benefit from the expertise of Pros who’ve been restricted by bookmakers.”

Dan Schreiber, co-founder of betconnect said, “Millions enjoy betting as a hobby and now recreational punters can follow the bets of professional gamblers. The central idea is about sharing expertise in a way that everyone benefits. eToro has proved the concept and appetite of people to be guided by financial trading experts. We are applying the same concept to betting. Recreational punters are able to join betconnect, browse our directory of pros, and connect with the ones whose bets they are interested in following.”

 

About betconnect:

Betconnect is the world’s only social betting platform that gives you access to the bets of professional gamblers. We send you personalised bets – each called a Bet Request – direct from the Pros for you to Match. Many of our Pros have had their accounts restricted or closed so they can’t place bets with traditional bookmakers. Betconnect Ltd is licenced and regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission (Number: 000-044346-R-323354-001) for customers in Great Britain.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Betconnect launches to enable punters to follow the bets of professional gamblers

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