Serbia Moves to Expand Casino Gaming & Increase Online Betting Taxes

6 Mar 2020

The Serbian Finance Ministry has tabled a new bill in the National Assembly with a plan to repeal their Gambling Act of 2011. Should this bill be passed into law, the tax rate for betting will be increased from a 5% standard to 15% for online betting and 10% for the rest of the gambling games.

Siniša Mali, the head of the Finance Ministry, defended this bid asserting that 75% of the revenue earned from gambling in the country originates from wagers placed online.

This new bill also aims to permit a considerable increase in the number of licensed land-based casinos from only two licensed Serbian casinos to a maximum of 10. Such licenses will be valid for 10 years, with the license fee for the casinos starting from €500,000.

Additionally, the bill also aims to add restrictions on land-based venues that host bookmakers and slot machine games. They will be prohibited from falling within 200 meters of learning institutions, and no gambling venues will be allowed to be set-up within 100 meters of each other. However, these new restrictions will only apply to gambling facilities that will acquire new licenses, after the new regulation takes effect.

The bill would also create an electronic surveillance system. The system is meant to single out unlawful online betting sites which will then be shut down by the Serbia Gambling Authority. Betting promotions and advertisements will also be compelled to indicate that gambling is only for adults, and add a warning message about addiction. Likewise, in a move to promote safer gambling, all locals employed by betting operators will have to obtain exclusive betting addiction prevention coaching.

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