The new Law on Games of Chance, applied from April 2020 did not introduce material changes to gambling business itself, apart from increased financial burden to operators (higher minimum initial capital, fees, deposits and new technical requirements) and in general the novelties have not been numerous, but it also stipulated the obligation of adoption of new harmonized rulebooks.
Since certain ordinances date even from year 2004, the adoption of completely new set of ordinances in this area is welcomed. The Ministry of Finance adopted a total of 21 ordinances that entered into force on December 26, 2020, of which 19 ordinances existed before and now are completely replaced and amended in order to be harmonized with the new law. The changes therein mostly refer to the specification of new legal terms and requirements, including harmonization with the new obligations of the organizers. Two ordinances are new bylaws, namely the Rulebook on the manner of keeping mandatory records and reporting on turnover for each type of classic games of chance as well as the Rulebook on the manner of keeping obligatory records and reporting on realized turnover for special games of chance via electronic communication.
The amendment to the Rulebook on types of games of chance (catalogue on types of games of chance) introduces a closer description of the types of betting that are betting on the outcomes of sporting events, outcomes of other sporting events (dance, music, singing and similar) and betting on a computer-generated virtual event.
The new Rulebook on closer conditions, i.e. the content of the rules of games of chance, unlike the previously valid one, introduces exhaustively listed elements that must be contained in the Rules of the game.
The new provision is also the one stating that prize games in goods and services are also considered to be the games in which everyone wins, when for the participants the type and value of the prize represent uncertainty.
New rulebooks were adopted that regulate the manner of determining the fulfilment of conditions for obtaining approval for organizing special games of chance - betting, games on slot machines and games of chance through electronic means of communication, as well as regarding obtaining consent for organizing prize games in goods and services.
These rulebooks are harmonized with the amended legal provisions regarding the conditions, requirements and documentation required to be submitted to the Gaming Authority and regulate in a more precise way which documentation is submitted and in which way the Gaming Authority determines the fulfilment of conditions.
The request can be submitted in written or electronic form, provided that if the applicant is the holder of data, the original documents or certified copies must still be submitted. The new rulebooks on the information-communication system for organizing special games of chance regulate in more details and in accordance with the novelties from the new Law the manner and procedure of determining the fulfilment of technical and functional characteristics of the system, storage conditions and data exchange with the Gaming Authority.
Details of electronic transactions, exchanges with the software solution of the Gaming Authority, as well as the procedure and verification manner of data in the operator’s database shall be regulated by the directives of the Gaming Authority. These rulebooks will be applied from July 11, 2021.
New rulebooks that regulate the technical and functional characteristics of tables and slot machines, as well as the conditions for performing table repairs, shall be applied from January 15, 2021. The new Rulebook on detailed conditions for conducting audio and video surveillance, the manner of keeping documentation and physical protection in the casino, conducting video surveillance and keeping documentation in the slot machine club and betting shop, shall be applied from July 11, 2021.
The same applies to the rulebooks that determine the form and content of stickers and registration of gambling tables, slot machines and betting counters. The Ministry also adopted the rulebooks regulating manner of keeping records, reporting on turnover by slot machine and by betting counter and the content of records on the bases for calculation and paying fees for organizing games in casinos, which shall be applied as from July 11, 2021.
We remind the operators on the obligation to comply with the new conditions in terms of the initial capital, deposits and bank guarantees, the IT communication system and video surveillance provisions, including compliance with above mentioned ordinances, at latest until 10 July 2020.
By Jelena Stankovic Lukic, Partner, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic