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2023 Report from Slovakia’s Regulator Emphasizes Growth and Concerns



Slovakia’s Gambling Landscape: A Surge in Bets Amid Regulatory and Social Challenges

In a striking revelation, Slovakia’s Gambling Regulation Office (ÚRHH) unveiled a significant uptick in betting activities within its regulated market, with stakes soaring to €21.4bn in 2023. This surge not only reflects the growing enthusiasm among Slovakian bettors but also underscores the pivotal role of gambling contributions in bolstering the state’s coffers. Amidst this financial boon, the regulator grapples with the dual challenges of curbing unlicensed gambling operations and addressing the contentious proposal of municipal gambling bans, which threaten to push bettors towards the shadowy realms of the black market.

The Betting Bonanza:

Slovakia’s regulated gambling sector, encompassing sports betting, horse race betting, poker, and casino gaming, witnessed an unparalleled influx of bets totaling €21.4bn. This massive engagement translated into substantial winnings for players and a significant boost in state revenues, with contributions exceeding €301m—a notable uptick from the previous year. Such financial dynamics underscore the sector’s vital contribution to the national economy and the efficacy of regulatory measures in nurturing a thriving gambling ecosystem.

Tackling Unlicensed Operations:

The ÚRHH, under the stewardship of Director General Martin Bohoš, has intensified efforts to clamp down on unlicensed gambling activities. By spearheading targeted operations against illicit gaming machines and monitoring unlicensed online operators and controversial loot boxes, the regulator demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of Slovakia’s gambling market. These endeavors highlight the ongoing battle against unregulated gambling, emphasizing the importance of vigilant oversight and robust regulatory frameworks.

Municipal Bans: A Double-Edged Sword:

Amidst regulatory triumphs, the prospect of municipal gambling bans looms large, threatening to disrupt the regulated market’s equilibrium. Bohoš’s cautionary stance against blanket bans in major cities like Bratislava, which seek to eradicate legal gambling venues, sheds light on the potential repercussions of such measures. By inadvertently funneling bettors towards illicit alternatives, these bans risk undermining regulatory achievements and diminishing valuable state contributions from land-based casinos—a dilemma that calls for a nuanced approach and broader societal discourse.


Strategic Innovations and Inspections:

The ÚRHH’s proactive measures, including the inception of a dedicated online gaming department and an uptick in regulatory inspections, illustrate a strategic pivot towards enhanced performance and supervision. These initiatives, aimed at bolstering the effectiveness of regulatory oversight, particularly in the online domain, signal a forward-looking approach to managing Slovakia’s complex gambling landscape.


As Slovakia’s gambling sector navigates the intricacies of regulatory challenges and societal concerns, the remarkable surge in betting activities in 2023 stands as a testament to the industry’s resilience and potential for growth. With the ÚRHH at the helm, steering the course through turbulent waters of unlicensed operations and municipal bans, the future of gambling in Slovakia hinges on finding a delicate balance between economic contributions, regulatory integrity, and social responsibility. As the dialogue unfolds, stakeholders across the spectrum are called upon to shape a gambling environment that is both vibrant and vigilant, ensuring a sustainable path forward for all involved.

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