Gambling Watchdog in Slovakia Busts 54 Illegal EGMs

The gambling regulator in Slovakia announced it seized illegal electronic gaming machines (EGMs), after completing an operation that spanned across the country.

Slovakian Gambling Watchdog Completes New Raid

The Office for the Regulation of Gambling Games (URHH), the gambling watchdog in the country, said Wednesday it completed a nationwide raid. During the recent raid, the URHH seized a total of 54 illegal EGMs. According to the gambling watchdog, the machines seized were mainly the so-called quiz game machines and weight machines.

Under Slovakia’s current Gambling Act, any operator of gambling machines must have a URHH license. What’s more, the regulation does not allow restaurants or other small businesses to operate gaming machines. Regardless, the URHH noted that some vendors breach the Gambling Act and operate gaming machines that are disguised as “cryptocurrency mining machines or knowledge contest machines.” In light of this, the gambling regulator noted that it examines each individual machine to determine if it has a gambling game. This process is completed regardless if the machine is presented as “quiz machine,” a knowledge game, or a “mining machine,” the regulator revealed.

Police Helps URHH, Protects Officials

Commenting about the recent raids, Dávid Lenčéš, URHH’s general director, revealed that in previous cases professional locksmiths had to assist the gambling regulator, as some vendors would not grant access to the EGMs. He pointed out another case where operators owning illegal EGMs would attach the machines firmly to walls or floors to make seizing them difficult or impossible.

It has already happened in the past that office workers have faced physical attacks or had to remove some equipment through professional locksmiths.

Dávid Lenčéš, general director at the Office for the Regulation of Gambling Games

According to Lenčéš, URHH’s officials have faced physical attacks by vendors operating illegal EGMs. This is a prime reason why for the current raids the regulator’s officials were accompanied by law enforcement. He explained that operating gambling machines requires a license which is why any machine without one is considered illegal.

Since these gaming devices have not been issued or granted a valid license, we consider them illegal,

added Lenčéš

Lenčéš added that URHH officials are constantly on the lookout for illegal EGMs. While the recent raid and seizures are the result of efforts by URHH, some gaming machines were seized after reports submitted by players. The recent raid complements URHH’s ongoing efforts against illegal gambling in the last few months. In fact, the raid marks the second successful operation against such devices in the last four months.

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