According to the ÚRHH, this rise in inspections can be attributed to a “restructuring” of supervision and a heightened emphasis on performance by the regulatory leadership.
The ÚRHH also highlighted that the establishment of a dedicated online gaming department in November 2022 played a significant role in enhancing the effectiveness of their supervision efforts. The primary focus of this new department is to oversee licensed internet gaming, while also working towards identifying and preventing consumers from accessing websites that operate or promote unlicensed gambling.
Dávid Lenčéš, the General Director of the ÚRHH, expressed his satisfaction with the regulatory achievements, stating, “I am very pleased to see our goals being met in the regulation of gambling.” He extended his gratitude to the supervisors across Slovakia who actively search for illegal establishments and ensure that legal operators fulfill all their legal obligations.
“Systematically supervising gambling activities is one of the key responsibilities of our office as a gambling regulator,”
Inspections carried out by the ÚRHH in the first quarter of 2023
The regulatory body experienced a notable 45% increase in inspections specifically targeting establishments operating without a license.
During this period, the supervisors of the ÚRHH conducted 437 checks that focused on quiz and mining machines to ensure compliance and prevent any illicit activities.
According to the Slovak Gambling Act, small businesses, including restaurants, are prohibited from operating gaming machines. These devices are only allowed to operate within approved venues such as gaming rooms and casinos, and each machine must possess a license issued by the ÚRHH.
“The heightened and systematic control measures against illegal operations are justified and yielding results. As compared to 2022, the number of detected illegal devices in the market has significantly decreased.”
He further explained,
“The search for illegal establishments and the seizure of unauthorized devices serve a preventive purpose, ultimately safeguarding society, especially vulnerable individuals such as juveniles and those at risk, who are excluded from engaging in gambling activities.”
Supervision of remote gambling activities
Apart from conducting on-site inspections, the ÚRHH also maintains supervision over online gambling activities.
During the first quarter of 2023, the regulatory body observed a substantial increase of nearly 90% in digital inspections compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
The regulator stated that this mode of surveillance enables them to effectively monitor a larger number of operations, enhancing their ability to ensure compliance in the online gambling sector.