Located in central Europe, Slovenia is a country that offers gambling in some formats, with the majority offered via land-based venues. Since 1991, Slovenia has offered gambling services, with options for slot halls and casinos. Online gambling is also legal, and players will find limited opportunities for local licensed operators.
Slovenia gained its independence in 1991, and at that time, officials decided to allow casino gambling. The Law on Gambling is the main law that covers this type of gaming in the country. It was not until 1995 that brick-and-mortar casinos were regulated, a full four years after the country’s independence. Despite the few years difference, casinos still operated from 1991-95.
The oldest gaming venue in the country is the Grand Casino Portoroz. It was established many years ago before the country gained its independence. Early on in the country, casinos could only be created in the tourist towns, where at least one thousand beds were available for visitors, and there were a certain number of tourists stays per year.
These requirements were removed later on to allow the cities that are located near the Italian border to offer services. This ensured that players from Italy, including tourists, would come over and play casino games.
Over a dozen casinos are currently operating in Slovenia, with the Ministry of Finance putting a cap on the industry at 15 venues. The largest casino in Europe is located in the country and is known as the Perla Casino & Hotel.
Slot halls are also legal in the country, and almost four dozen are in operation. These venues can offer gaming machines and are smaller than a traditional casino. At a casino, players can enjoy table and card games and slots.
Casinos are also typically connected to a hotel so that tourists can book overnight stays and enjoy an extended trip. Players must be 18 or older to enter a casino. Locals must show their ID for entry, while tourists can use a passport.
The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia is responsible for licensing the industry. Casino or slot hall operators must apply for licensing to be eligible.
Online Casinos in Slovenia
Officials in Slovenia legalized online casino gaming in 2016, and Casino Portoroz monopolizes the industry. Players can freely enjoy gaming options with major changes to the industry on the horizon.
The Slovenian Draft Gambling Act was passed by parliament in 2021 and, since that time, has been pending approval. If the legislation passes, it will create a more liberal industry in the county. The legal framework will make gambling compliant with the European Union and impose fines and ISP bans on sites offering services without a proper license. The country already blocks offshore platforms, which is against EU rules and regulations.
It was in 2012 that the country began introducing legislation to change the online gambling sector. Officials aimed to introduce a gaming act that would regulate iGaming in the country. The original idea was to create a new gaming act that would work with the directives of the European Union. Once finalized, the changes were to take effect by 2014.
This did not happen. Lawmakers continually debated as to how online casinos should function in the country and how the new regulations would not work. Politics also got in the way as lawmakers wanted to ensure they pleased their constituents.
It was not until 2016 that compromises were made, and online casino gaming was legalized. The only license was given to Casino Portoroz, though, so the industry was not an open one. The operator is the owner of the oldest casino in the country, one that has been around since the early 1900s.
Private companies cannot obtain online gambling licensing, and no licensing process exists to create a competitive market. This does not align with the EU, hence the most recent legal changes that have yet to be enacted.
It is unclear when the new law will go into effect. So far, it has been a few years and no movement has come after parliament approved the measure.
Gambling Tax Rates in Slovenia
Every service connected to the gambling industry is taxed in Slovenia. The general gambling tax is a 5 to 18% rate based on the type of game and gross gambling revenue earnings. A concession license fee is 5 to 45% based on the game and gross earnings. Gambling winnings are taxed 15% if the amount is over €300.
The percentages are on top of the regular tax rate, which is 19%. Gambling is considered VAT-exempt. The overall tax rates are considered high, so if the industry does open to international providers, it is unlikely that companies will want to obtain licensing.
Operators will continue to function normally, accept players without obtaining licensing, and avoid the high tax rates. We may see officials consider this and decide to lower the percentage rates, but that is not expected.
Players are not subject to taxes in Slovenia. Gambling winnings are taxed but are paid by the companies offering the prizes.