Bratislava’s Gaming Ban Overruled by Slovak Court

Olympic Entertainment operates in Eastern Europe and has shown an increase in profits. That is the good news from May. During this time, Bratislava has tried to block their gambling operators by banning gambling, but a Slovak Court has overruled the decision.

Gambling is legal in Bratislava after the court overturned the decision to ban gaming in the capital.

Thursday, the Regional Court decided the vote to target the gambling establishments was incompatible with the country’s current gaming laws. The court ruled that the City Council did not have the power to set a gambling vote and that it could not pass. The City Council is also not allowed to hold a third vote to try and stymie gambling in Bratislava.

The Mayor, Ivo Nesrovnal, claims the court is trampling the wishes of 136,000 residents of the city who petitioned for the vote to stop gambling within the city limits. Local media reported a quote from Nesrovnal who issued a warning that the fight to ban gambling is not over and the council will take the matter to the Supreme Court. This will happen after they study the ruling in depth to find any legal way to fight the overturned ruling by the local court system.

Slovak Association of Entertainment and Games said the ruling was too late for 50 gaming venues that had to close due to the May 2017 ban and their license expiration. Olympic Entertainment Group, who reported good numbers for revenue, is one of the locations that is happy to have the ruling overturned because they are safe to proceed. They are going to continue to operate as normal. The OEG may suffer forced closures in Latvia since the court case is not going their way in Latvia. Slovakia did announce plans to open an online casino market for internationally licensed operators too, which is part of the issue.

History of the Ban

The ban occurred in 2017, when the OEG published a release from the Bratislava City Council stating they would ban gambling operations in the capital. The ban went into effect in May of 2017, but the Slovak Courts were looking at whether the ban was within the laws.

The ban was placed on all gaming operations within the city limits, except for sports betting shops and lottery locations. The vote meant that 305 casinos, bingo, and slot halls would need to close when their individual licenses expired, and all venues would need to be shut by 2021.

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