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NEW GAMBLING ACT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

With the start of the implementation of the new Gambling Act (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 18/2020 – hereinafter: the Law) significant novelties in this area have come into force, as well as starting obligatory deadlines for organizers of games of chance to harmonize their business with the provisions of the new Law.

The organizers of special gambling (i) in casinos, (ii) at slot machines, (iii) betting and (iv) on-line gambling are obliged to submit to the Gaming Authority, by June 30, 2020, proofs of ownership structure, certain financial documents(balance sheets, audit of financial statements, etc.), as well as evidence of non-condemnation of the gambling organizer, owners, real owners, associates and appointed persons.

From the date of implementation of the new Law, within 15 months, ending July 10, 2021, organizers of special gambling are obliged to harmonize their business related to:

  • share capital(approval for the organization of special games of chance (i) at slot machines, (ii) betting and (iii) on-line gambling may be obtained by a legal entity withregistered share capital which may not be less than a dinar equivalent of EUR 250,000 calculated at the official average the course of the National Bank of Serbia. The organizer must cumulatively fulfil this condition regarding the amount of share capital for each authorization);
  • securing the collection of winnings and collection of fees(organizers of special games of chance must, during the period for which the permit has been issued, to have a special deposit in a bank with the territory of the Republic of Serbia or hold a bank guarantee in the amounts as follows: (i) organizers of special gambling at slot machines of at least EUR 500 in dinar equivalent, per slot machine; (ii) organizer of special games of chance – betting of at least EUR 5,000 in dinar equivalent per betting office; (iii) organizer of on-line special games of chance of EUR 300,000 in dinar equivalent);
  • information and communication system(special gambling operators are obliged to use the information and communication system for special gambling, which enables the storage, archiving and exchange of data electronically with the software solution of the Gambling Administration for supervision);
  • video surveillance(provision of continuous video surveillance with a recording of all slot machines in the slot club/ betting office, entry and exit of the slot club/ betting office, as well as surveillance of players and visitors, as well as keeping surveillance videos within the specified time frame);
  • labelling and registration stickers.

The new Law also prescribes the obligation for organizers of special games of chance to register in the Company Register an activity from the group 92.00 Gambling and betting Classification of activities as principal activity.

A novelty has also been introduced regarding the approval for special gambling, and now the fees for obtaining the special gambling permit are calculated in proportion to the number of days until the end of the month from the date of receipt of the approval decision.

The new Law also promotes the social responsibility of gambling organizers, so that advertisements must be accompanied by a ban on minors and a warning on the prevention of addiction diseases while introducing an absolute prohibition on advertising in print and electronic media intended for minors.

The new solutions significantly expand the legal framework in the field of organizing sweepstakes in goods and services provided by legal entities and entrepreneurs for advertising purposes of their products and services, i.e. precisely define the term sweepstakes, extend their duration from 30 to 45 days. It allows organizing games for advertising purposes four times during the calendar year instead of the previous two times, thus meeting the numerous demands of the economy, as well as increasing budget revenues.

The Law also introduces new restrictions on the use of the word root, i.e. the words “casino”, “sazino”, “kasino” ili “kazino“, as well as the prohibition of organizing of special games of chance, to the organizer who owns or co-owns a sports club for events in that sport and competition rank.

Attorney at law Damir Petrović

The information contained herein has been provided only for the purpose of general information and cannot be considered as a legal opinion or legal advice. Accordingly, the Law Firm Petrović Mojsić & Partners disclaims all responsibility and accept no liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents contained herein.