STA, March 27, 2018 – The National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, vetoed on Tuesday the recently passed legislation liberalising sports betting. The councillors fear that the changes would have a detrimental effect to the funding of sports associations, charities and organisations of the disabled.
The current gaming act restricts conventional games of chance, including betting, to two providers - the national lottery operator Loterija Slovenije and Športna Loterija for sports betting.
Veto initiator Boris Šuštaršič believes that liberalisation would increase jackpot funds and lead to lower concession fees.
MP Branko Zorman, who filed the bill, rejected the claims, accusing the veto proponents of parroting the two lottery operators. He believes that 80% of Slovenians bet through online services based abroad, which do not have a concession or pay taxes here.
The legislation would require providers to obtain a licence and pay licence fees, which Zorman believes will generate more funds for sports and for disability and humanitarian organisations and not less as claimed by veto proponents.
The bill was supported by senior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) and the opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi). The national assembly will have to take a revote and endorse the bill with a two-thirds majority to get it enacted.