Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare, Montenegro
Montenegro is among the few countries where you can get 100,000 euros at a bookmaker or through online betting, without having to pay a single euro to the state on the basis of taxes. Even if you use foreign betting sites, bet365, bet-at-home, or William Hill, then you know for sure that winnings are never taxed and that they are fully transferred to your account. However, that came to an end in Montenegro.
Albania has completely abolished sports betting, betting on foreign sites is being abolished in Croatia, a similar law is being prepared in Serbia, while this area in Montenegro is still unregulated, so we lose millions of revenues a year. Therefore, the drafting of the new Law on Games of Chance is slowly coming to an end, which would eliminate all the shortcomings of the old law from 2003.
As the Standard was informed by the Gambling Administration, currently six companies in Montenegro are organizing online betting.
“For organizing online betting, they pay a concession fee of 10,000 euros per month,” the Gaming Authority told us.
However, there are many sites that do not pay a single euro into the state coffers, and on which a large number of Montenegrin citizens bet every day.
In order to put an end to this problem, due to which we are constantly losing money, Montenegro has decided to go the way of Croatia and make a clear division into legal and illegal betting sites.
So, as we find out, the law will clearly define who and in what way can organize online betting in Montenegro.
Those who pay the state concession on a monthly basis will be marked as legal, while the IP addresses of other sites will be blocked.
This was indirectly confirmed to us in the Gambling Administration.
“A new Law on Games of Chance is being drafted, which will eliminate the shortcomings of the current law and improve the field of games of chance, using comparative experiences. After the drafting of the law, a public debate will follow, during which the final solutions will be crystallized “, announced the Directorate for Games of Chance.
In addition to the fact that Montenegrin citizens would have to give up betting on foreign sites that do not pay a concession fee to our country, they are more likely to be “hurt” by the fact that the new law will tax 15% of winnings in betting games, including stake.
Profit taxation in Croatia has been in place for years.
As a reminder, back in 2015, the Ministry of Finance tried to include the taxation of winnings by amending the Law on Games of Chance, but the organizers of games of chance reacted violently and in 25 days collected 25,000 signatures of citizens who demanded that the decision not be made. conducts. To date, it has not been implemented.
However, there are all chances that it will be implemented soon, because the drafting of the new Law on Games of Chance should be completed during this year.
Experiences in the region
In addition to Croatia, where profits are taxed and betting on foreign sites is banned, a similar law is expected in Serbia.
As in Montenegro, the problem in Serbia is finding a common language between the state and the organizers of taxable profits.
The most drastic is Albania, where betting is banned by a government decision. A small exception is the casinos within the five-star hotel, where games of chance are allowed.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, winnings at the bookmaker are also taxed.
The tax on winnings made in classic games of chance is paid at a rate of ten percent on winnings in the amount of five to 1,000 euros, at a rate of 15 percent on winnings above 1,000 to 4,000 euros, and at a rate of 20 percent on winnings above 4,000 to 50,000 euros, and at a rate of 30 percent on winnings above 50,000 euros.
Taxation is present in almost all European countries and ranges between 10-30 percent in relation to the amount of profit.
Betting on the winner of the election is prohibited
The recent elections in the United States of America were also seen in bookmakers, which offered odds for the victory of Donald Trump or Joe Biden. However, in Montenegro, this type of betting is explicitly prohibited by the new law, CdM reports.
“On the territory of Montenegro, it is prohibited to organize bets that are contrary to legal regulations and general moral principles, morally acceptable behavior and do not respect the integrity and dignity of persons, then relating to the results of elections for President of Montenegro, for presidents of European Union , for members of parliament, for members of the EU parliament and for members of representative bodies of local self-government units, as well as for lottery games, including games abroad, as well as their simulations “, the draft law states.
Last year, 8.3 million euros were poured into the state budget of Montenegro on the basis of concession fees from those who organize betting games, the Administration for Games of Chance announced.
– These obligations are prescribed by Article 54 of the Law on Games of Chance (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro”, No. 52/2004 and “Official Gazette of Montenegro”, No. 13/2007, 40/2011 – other law, 61/2013 and 37/2017), which states that the concession fee consists of a fixed and a variable part. The fixed part of the organizer’s obligation amounts to EUR 500 per month per bookmaker, while the variable part is determined monthly in the amount of 10 percent of the base, which is the total amount of payments, less the value of payments – the Management explained.
In addition to the concession fee, the organizers of games of chance have the obligation to pay taxes and contributions. 72 taxpayers were registered, ie 1,356 facilities. However, the practice is that the organizers of games of chance have another activity.
– There are no records of employees in bookmakers and casinos, or other facilities owned by that company – says Milica Vuletić from the Tax Administration. – The current number of insured persons on the employment code is 2,086. The average gross salary is 342 euros.
And where is the limit when fun grows into addiction, explains sociologist Srdjan Vukadinovic.
– The amount, ie the amount of payment, is less important. It doesn’t matter if someone pays in euros, two or five. You should pay special attention to that, because daily betting is a kind of addiction. You start with small stakes, so if there is a profit, then you play more and more and gradually enter into financial doubts. And then step by step, deception that you can get a lot with a little. They reckon, “I will break away from that vice.” Such are rare – Vukadinović points out.
Rare are those who “play” occasionally, and more frequent cases of betting on a daily basis. They also have where. There is no shortage of bookmakers, there are them on every corner. Deposits from the symbolic ones, even bigger ones in hundreds or even thousands of euros.
Ministry of Finance – Games of Chance Administration, the Republic of Serbia
“Where once there were workshops, now there are casinos” – a sentence that depicted a whole period of expansion of facilities in which many people were looking for a way to a fuller wallet with a ticket, could soon change. The draft law on games of chance, which entered the parliamentary procedure, foresaw greater protection of citizens from great exposure to this type of entertainment, among other things, so that in the future the minimum distance between casinos, slot clubs and gambling clubs can be less than 100 meters.
The new law stipulates that such bars are still at least 200 meters away from the school.
Legislators, as has been said before, have placed significant emphasis on social responsibility, in order to ensure the best possible prevention of juvenile gambling.
The most important novelties that the new law will surely bring for the betting business are:
- Distance not less than 100 meters
- The law will close smaller branches
- Higher deposit insurance
- Video surveillance, recordings must be saved
- Pasting new posters
- Age control of the appliance
When it comes to the new Law on Games of Chance, it is very good that a public debate on its draft was organized. In that way, the wider social public, and especially the professional one, had the opportunity to give their comments, proposals, and suggestions. Among the proposed solutions, there are many that will complicate and complicate business.
Disputed 100 meters and a potential padlock
The question is how the implementation of the law will be organized and controlled in the coming period (if the current draft is adopted) because it is known that in almost every city, especially the capitals, gambling places are literally next to each other, and we often have examples of four different organizers sharing almost the same address.
The law says that a measure should actually be introduced so that gambling place owners cannot be located even a kilometer near the school. Neither primary nor secondary.
The UPIS refers to this provision when they talk about making business difficult.
– The provision on the distance of 200 meters as it was in the Draft, and now in the proposal of 100 meters between the places where games of chance are organized, is very unfavorable and will make business more difficult. In that case, we understand the intention of the Government and the Ministry of Finance to increase the level of protection of players, and especially the protection of minors. Here, it is important to point out that the provision on the minimum distance does not apply to existing stores, but to stores that will be opened after the entry into force of the new law – they point out for our portal.
According to this, the situation from the Belgrade settlement of Labudovo brda, where as many as four gambling places are located in only 100 meters, will remain as it is.
It is also expected that the new law will provide higher revenues to the state budget by increasing taxes, guarantees and fees to organizers. The state is obviously very interested in implementing this to the end. The goal is also to translate exactly those revenues which, as Kovacevic points out and are not reported “properly”, into legal flow.
Nevertheless, the decision on distance from schools should definitely be the first in mind.
In order to ensure the payment of winnings and fees, the organizer of special games of chance in casinos must have a special deposit of at least 300,000 euros in dinar equivalent per casino or a bank guarantee for that amount in the period for which the license is given in a bank based in Serbia.
It is also envisaged that every day when the games are organized, a risk deposit in the amount of at least 50,000 euros in dinar equivalent must be provided in the cash register.
However, the UPIS clearly states that the measure related to the provisions that increase the amounts of bank guarantees, founding capital and other levies will significantly complicate the work.
The organizer is obliged to provide uninterrupted video and audio surveillance with recording over all tables for games of chance, cash registers and entry – exit to the casino, as well as video surveillance of slot machines, players and visitors.
He is obliged to keep the video surveillance recordings for 30 days, and on the order of the Gambling Administration for longer.
Precisely for the protection of the youngest, it was specified that the organizers are obliged to implement the ban on the participation of minors in games of chance in the most efficient way. It is the obligation of each organizer to display a poster measuring 100 by 80 centimeters inside the facility where he organizes games of chance in the immediate vicinity of the front door, which contains the appropriate text on the prevention of addiction, as well as contact details of the institution authorized by the Ministry of Health to treat addiction. games of chance.
It is envisaged that along with the advertising of classic and special games of chance, there will also be a notice on the ban on the participation of minors in games of chance and an appropriate text of warnings on the prevention of addiction.
The organizer may put into use slot machines that are in his ownership or lease, ie leasing.
There must be at least five slot machines from the same organizer in the room where special games of chance are held.
It is specified that the machines that are put into use for the first time cannot, at the time of acquisition, be one year older than the day of their production.
– Commenting on the provision on the age of slot machines is pointless because that provision existed, that is, it exists in the valid law and it is up to the Gaming Administration to control its implementation – Karan says.
The draft law is now in the parliamentary procedure and it remains to be seen in which version it will be adopted, ie whether its content will be improved through amendments.
Certainly, fines ranging from 100,000 to two million dinars are envisaged for violating the law.
And the Administration of Games of Chance for our portal, when asked whether the inspections will be regularly controlled, stated:
– The Directorate for Games of Chance is responsible for performing office and field supervision over the application of the law. Until April last year, the supervision of the organizers was the responsibility of the Tax Administration.
– Those who play games of chance through electronic media will also have to have a capital of 250,000 euros. To ensure the payment of winnings in the bank, it is expected to have a dedicated deposit in the amount of 300,000 euros. Every day on which the games are organized, he must provide a deposit in the cash register in the amount of at least 10,000 euros.
For ambitious organizers, who organize both slot machines and betting and online games, the share capital must amount to at least 750,000 euros.
The anticipated minimum amount of the monthly fee for vending machines should be 40, instead of the previous 35 euros per device. In the case of bookmakers, the obligation is increased from 500 to 550 euros per bookmaker. Organizers of online games should pay 15,000 euros a month instead of 7,500.
-Experts say online casinos and bookmakers represent the future of gambling. There are more and more people who decide to try their luck from the armchair in “Texas holdem”, roulette, “blackjack”, betting … However, the Law on Games of Chance forbids anyone from Serbia to pay a stake for games organized abroad , and for his profit to be paid in our country.
The Directorate for Games of Chance at the Ministry of Finance says that only the State Lottery of Serbia has the right to organize games of chance via the Internet and telephone.
– The lottery can hire certain companies – operators, but with the prior consent of the Government of Serbia – they say in the Administration.
– For organizing games of chance without the approval of the authorities, a fine or imprisonment of up to two years is threatened. Those who participate in such games of chance, however, are not sanctioned.
According to unofficial information, so far no one has been additionally engaged in organizing games of chance on the Internet. An Austrian company intended to start online betting in Serbia, but gave up due to difficulties with the legal procedure.
Judging by this interpretation, there are only two completely legal online games of chance in Serbia – “pokerdukat.rs” and “casino.rs”. While it is estimated that tens of thousands of Serbs participate in online betting, about 3,000 accounts have been opened on the Pokerdukat website.
– “Pokerdukat” fulfilled expectations, considering that the campaign we are preparing for April has not started yet – they say in the Lottery. – Players are interested and an increasing number are starting to join, because this is the only way to legally participate in online games of chance in Serbia.
The law also prohibits the sale, transfer, issuance, advertising and any presentation of foreign tickets and tickets in Serbia.