A country that is known around the globe for its amazing mountain peaks at the Julian Alps, Slovenia is no stranger to standing at the top of many team sports. Names like Jan Oblak, Kevin Kampl, Luka Doncic or Goran Dragic are widely known across the globe as they’re playing at the highest level possible in football and basketball. A series of gambling laws issued between 1995 and 2013 have established the legal background for betting sites in Slovenia and the industry is booming with around 35% of Slovenian citizens engaging in online sports betting on a weekly basis. However, despite the stable legal framework, punters can’t freely access the best betting sites in Slovenia as Sportna Loterija holds a market monopoly. You can find everything about the legal landscape and what are your options a punter in Slovenia, in the article below.
Is online sports betting legal in Slovenia? To answer that question, we need to take a look at the way the country evolved in terms of legislation aimed at this very lucrative domain. Ever since 1991 when Yugoslavia was dissolved, gambling has been legal in Slovenia. However, there were no laws or rules regarding gambling in the years after the activity was declared legal and that resulted in chaos and some criminal activity. The first attempt to regulate the Slovenian betting market came in 1995 with the Gambling Act that focused on licensing and regulating all the gambling operations.
Since the online betting market was starting to take shape, amendments to the Gambling Act were made in 2001 and 2003. Despite the amendments, online operators were still free to target the country with no restrictions. In 2004, when Slovenia joined the European Union, things took an unexpected turn. Instead of taking steps towards liberalizing the market and come with the legal framework for licensing, Slovenia started to target foreign bookies with domain blocks and restrictions.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Slovenia betting laws were finally updated to modern times. However, the Gaming Act that came into effect in 2016 orchestrated a state monopoly on online betting after Sportna Loterija was the only operator to receive a license for online activity. With no competition, the services offered by Sportna Loterija aren’t exactly what punters wanted and that generated a demand from Slovenian players for international online bookmakers.
There were several attempts to change the Gaming Act of 2013 and turn Slovenia into a liberalized market where foreign bookmakers can apply for online licenses as well. The most recent one was even voted in the National Assembly last year. However, the plan to end Sportna Loterija monopoly was rejected by the parliament.
As previously mentioned, since Sportna Loterija is the only online betting operator in the country, there’s no real pressure on them to provide top-quality services. That’s why international betting sites available in Slovenia are enjoying a lot of attention due to the high odds on a long list of sports and diverse betting markets for punters to choose from. Having plenty of football, basketball and volleyball markets is one sure way to stand out from the crowd in Słowyńije and going the extra mile to translate the website and provide customer support in Slovenian as well is also guaranteed to put a bookie in the top betting sites Slovenia has to offer.
Sporadic domain blocks were applied in Slovenia ever since 2006, however, along with the Gaming Act of 2013, the ISPs were forced to block the most aggressive online bookies targeting the country. However, the measure wasn’t sustained over time. And while some of the big players in the industry decided to voluntarily leave the market – Betfair would be a good example in that direction – most of the sites are still accessible. For any bookmakers in Slovenia that aren’t accessible directly due to ISP restrictions or anything else, using a VPN app is the easiest way to remove any restrictions and enjoy top-quality betting sites.
Just like with the ISP blocks, the Gaming Act of 2013 mentioned some possible restrictions when it comes to payments towards unlicensed online bookmakers. However, the authorities couldn’t find the proper channels to enforce these restrictions so Slovenian punters are free to use all the payment options to top up their accounts. Ewallets like Skrill and Neteller remain the most popular among Slovenian punters, however, credit and debit cards, bank transfers or PaysafeCard vouchers are also popular. Also, you will be glad to know that there are no taxes applied on your wins from online betting in Slovenia.
Since there’s no functional licensing system in place, betting exchanges don’t have the proper framework to deliver their services to Slovenian punters. However, similar to the bookmakers, some of the exchanges are still accessible via VPN. Betfair was available in Slovenia until 2016, however, they decided to leave the market until the situation with the licenses is resolved. With the latest betting law being stopped in its tracks, it’s hard to believe that a change will come soon despite increasing pressure from the EU Commission. So, to enjoy the services of betting exchanges like Betdaq or Smarkets, VPN software remains your best bet.
If you’re playing at Sportna Loterija, contacting the Slovenian Ministry of Finance is the way to go as this is the institution that supervises and licenses betting in the country. If you choose the much more diverse services of international online bookmakers licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority or the United Kingdom Gamblign Commission, getting in touch with the regulatory authority directly is your best bet for filing a complaint. As always, we’re available to assist you in the best way possible when it comes to making your voice heard.