This centremost Central European country is widely toured by diverse peoples because of its pronounced landscape, various mountains, numerous expensive castles and palaces that are almost everywhere, the remarkable Old Town of Bratislava (with its road exclusively for pedestrians), the Frankovka Modrá red wine, exuberant bistro scenes, Bratislava Castle, the sewer worker of Čumil, the Múzeum Kysuckej Dediny.
The spontaneous Slovak National Museum blessed with well-defined artifacts, arts and crafts, the High Tatras, the Danube River, the Spiš Castle, and many more unmistakable attractions. When it comes to gambling, Slovakia is imperfectly rich and partially worthwhile for it is still young.
While the exact roots of gambling in Slovakia is quite unknown, wagering on horse races have existed in the country since the 19th century. In fact, this form of gambling was widely popular in the country at the time and still popular today. Hungarian politician Count István Széchenyi (popularly known as the Greatest Hungarian) organized the first racing meeting of Hungary in Bratislava on April 16th, 1826. A year later, the horses to be used for the race were transported from Kopčany, Slovakia to Kladruby nad Labem, Czech. Finally, the race successfully took place in Budapest, Hungary on June 6th, 1827.
Some 12 years later (1839), the Racing Association was founded in Bratislava. This association created schedules and conditions for organizing horse races in Slovakia. In accordance, the first horse racing competition took place in 1841. In 1865, the very first steeplechase (a kind of horse race) in Slovakia took place in the same Bratislava. On November 14th, 1866, the Racing Association founded the Carpathian Horse Racing Association in Košice – and its first meeting was held on June 23rd, 1867.
The Trial Stakes of Austria-Hungary was to hold in 1868 so they established the first hippodrome in Bratislava. The Trial Stakes ran until 1878 when it was transferred to Austrian capital Vienna. For a number of years now, Turf Direktorium Für Die Slowakei have been organizing and operating horse races in Slovakia. The company belongs to the (France-based) International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Furthermore, the Slovak National Lottery was established on December 11th, 1992 as a joint-stock state monopoly. The lottery is officially called TIPOS and greatly owned by the Ministry of Finance, the Physical Culture Association, and the Ministry of Culture. According to Slovak laws, TIPOS is the only company that can offer numerical lotteries, cash receipts lotteries, special bingo, and online gambling games (or Internet Games, as stated in the Act) within Slovakia.
Nevertheless, casinos emerged in the country in the 1990s with the establishment of Casinos Slovakia Inc. in 1990. In 1991, the company opened its first casino in Piešťany: Casino Piešťany Pribinova. Following this, they opened Casino Košice in 1993 and Casino Café Reduta in 1994. (The company also opened two new casinos in 2007.) While casinos have a short history in Slovakia (when compared to other countries in Europe), there are more than 30 casinos in Slovakia currently.
On the legal side, all facilities and activities of gambling in the country are supervised by five Slovak entities: the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Directorate, municipalities, customs offices, and tax offices. Further, there have been a number of licensing laws in the country for a number of years but-officially-the 2005 Gambling Act (numbered 171/2005) is the most relevant law of gambling in the country.
The Gambling Act is currently in use with two amendments made in 2011 and 2012 individually, Also, in 2016, offshore online gambling operators were permitted to offer their services to Slovaks but they must be licensed in the country, situated their servers within the country, and ready to pay a tax of 27 percent. Unfortunately, there are no licensees so far in February 2018.
According to the Gambling Act, lottery games, casino gambling, betting, gaming machines, video lottery terminals, electronic games, charity lotteries, online gambling, card games outside casinos, and ‘Other Games’ (which are games that match the definition of gambling games in the Gambling Act) are equally legal in Slovakia.
In addition to the Gambling Act, some other laws (such as the Criminal Code, the Administrative Procedure Code, the AML Act, and the Tax Code) impose one or more conditions for gambling in Slovakia.
Today, there are 38 casinos in Slovakia along with numerous sportsbooks, bingo halls, lottery outlets, poker clubs, etc. Casino gambling and all other forms of gambling are legal. However, there are certain limitations especially when it comes to online gambling. But nonetheless, the limitations do not hinder the casino entertainment of Slovakia.
As a country, Slovakia is attractive to tourists and this can be credited to its enormous list of natural attractions. When combined with its above-average gambling industry, Slovakia is a remarkable destination for players. Luxury, as well as variety, is readily available and the gambling atmosphere is marked with excitement.
The 38 casinos in Slovakia are spread throughout a number of regions; these are Košice, Piešťany, Žilina, Zvolen, Trenčín, Prievidza, Poprad, Nitra, Kežmarok, Skalica, Trnava, Žiar nad Hronom, and Bratislava. Bratislava is the largest casino city in Slovakia, with almost 10 casinos, about 50 table games, and approximately 500 gaming machines.
With 288 gaming machines and 11 table games, the Grand Casino Admiral Bratislava is the largest casino throughout the length and breadth of Slovakia. Lastly, other casinos have nothing close to Grand Casino Admiral Bratislava; casinos such as Olympic Casino Košice and Olympic Casino Bratislava, Carlton have gaming machines just above 50.
Casino gambling in Slovakia is extensive, with games such as Blackjack, Oasis Poker, Punto Banco, Blackjack Switch, American Roulette, Oasis Stud Poker, Mini-Baccarat, Electronic Roulette, Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Hold’em, Baccarat, Billiards, Draw Poker, Tropical Stud Poker, Slot Machines, Video Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, NL Texas Hold’em, 8-Pin Ball Roulette, Admiral Ride Poker, Mini Punto Banco, and 5 Card Stud. Also, these casinos are located in luxe hotels or resorts, or close to one.
Poker and bingo (plus special bingo) are well-known in this part of Europe. There are many poker clubs (Poker Club Monte Carlo Košice as a prime example) and bingo halls across the country. Moreover, like every other European territory, sports betting is the country’s favorite form of gambling. Football (soccer) is generally well-liked while pari-mutuel betting on horse races is historic. There are three horse racetracks in the country: Závodisko Bratislava, Závodisko Senica, and Závodisko Šurany.
Lotteries are also popular in the country and there are many different classifications of lotteries, For one, the state lottery (the Slovak National Lottery, operated by a company named TIPOS) offers a number of lottery games which include Mates, Stávka, Šanca, Stastna 7, Bohati a zdravi, 10 Klub Keno, Zverokruh, Loto 5/35 Keno, Športka, Euromania, and Tipos Bingo. Meanwhile, other establishments can operate lottery games provided they are not classified as a state lottery; these could be instant lotteries or charity lotteries.
Online gambling – with an exception of TIPOS – was highly prohibited in Slovakia for a long time. In fact, the 2005 Gambling Act specifically limited ‘Internet Games’ to the state lottery. Today, however, Slovaks and other people in Slovakia can access offshore gambling websites and participate in legal gambling activities without any penalization – and licensing is possible.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Slovakia.
Admiral Club Casino
Banco Casino & Crowne Plaza Bratislava
Casino Admiral Nitra
Casino Admiral Trnava
Casino Admiral Zilina
Casino Café Reduta
Casino Piešťany Pribinova
Grand Casino Admiral Bratislava
Merkur Casino – Bratislava 2
Merkur Casino – Bratislava 3
Merkur Casino – Bratislava 4
Merkur Casino – Bratislava 6
Merkur Casino – Košice
Merkur Casino – Nitra
Merkur Casino – Skalica
Merkur Casino – Trenčín
Merkur Casino – Žilina
OlyBet Slots & Sports Bar Bratislava – CENTRAL
Olympic Casino Bratislava, Carlton
Olympic Casino Bratislava, Eurovea
Olympic Casino Košice
Olympic Casino Trenčín
Olympic Casino Trnava
Olympic Casino Žilina & Hotel Holiday Inn
Poker Club Monte Carlo Košice
Radisson BLU Carlton Hotel & Olympic Casino
Rebuy Stars Casino Bratislava
Rebuy Stars Casino Bratislava – Pečnianska
Rebuy Stars Casino Nitra
Rebuy Stars Casino Piešťany
Rebuy Stars Casino Poprad
Rebuy Stars Casino Prievidza
Rebuy Stars Casino Zvolen
Rebuy Stars Zvolen Pribinova
– The minimum gambling age in Slovakia is 18 years like most countries.
– Any draw and lottery with a prize below €1,500 is not a gambling game in Slovakia. Actually, games of skill are not gambling games as well.
– There are general licenses for draw lotteries, raffles, and card games (those played outside a casino). Other forms of gambling have individual licenses; these include lottery games, casino gambling, gaming machines, betting, and online gambling).
– A licensee must have at least €500,000 at the disposal of the establishment.
– The Ministry of Finance decides who to issue a license or not, and takes 15 to 60 days to decide.
– The Ministry deals with the licensing and regulation of any gambling establishment within the country while the Tax Office of the Slovak Republic deals with the taxation of these establishments and enforce they comply with the laws.
– While individual licenses are indefinite, other licenses have a stipulated timeframe. For example, licenses for the state lottery, charity lotteries, betting and bingo (excluding special bingo) are valid for five years while licenses for ‘Other Games’, casino gambling, telecommunication games, instant lotteries, and draw lotteries are valid for two years.
– Gambling operators are obliged to pay 21 percent income tax and the appropriate gambling levy: 15 percent for state raffles and draw lotteries, 30 percent for casino gambling, 1 percent for horse race betting, 4 percent for special bingo, 4.5 percent for bingo, 6 percent for betting games and charity lotteries, 20 percent for numerical lotteries, etc.
– Slot machines are very popular in Slovakia. There are numerous in coffeehouses, shops, and pubs across the country.
– In 2011, it was suggested to the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic to block offshore gambling websites but the Ministry instantly declined the suggestion because of some critiques from the European Commission and the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic.
– In 2011, the world-famous World Poker Tournament was hosted in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. The poker ended with a cash prize of €140,685 won by Roberto Romanello, an expert from Wales.
– The majority of casinos in Slovakia are owned by Olympic Entertainment Group, Casinos Slovakia Inc., Rebuy Stars, and Merkur Group.
– In Slovakia, players from a territory of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have an equal right.
– Although TIPOS was established in 1992, it started operating precisely on December 1st, 1993 – the exact date that marked the cessation of Czechoslovakia as well as the independence of the Slovak Republic.
– TIPOS paid SKK3.3 billion worth of cash prizes in 2006 and SKK5.1 in 2007.
– There are about 266 gambling websites accepting players from Slovakia.
– Although players are not persecuted for engaging in Bitcoin gambling, Bitcoin – according to the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) – is not qualified as a currency. Therefore, the country does not support its use – and the European law is a plus to this opposition. As a result, Bitcoin gambling is not regulated in Slovakia but neither is it abolished.
– In Slovakia, illegal gambling generates about €28 million a year.