Skip to main content
Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Law on Games of Chance - Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Law on Games of Chance

More results

Introduction

Since March 2019, the new Law on Games of Chance defines games of chance as an activity of public interest and the exclusive right of the entity of Republika Srpska (article 7).

Country
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sector
Culture and tourism
Type of Law
Capturing a market, an industry or public resources

Description of the law

Since March 2019, the new Law on Games of Chance defines games of chance as an activity of public interest and the exclusive right of the entity of Republika Srpska (article 7).

This right is exercised through the state-owned enterprise Lutrija Republike Srpske a.d. Banja Luka (Lutrija RS). All lottery games and electronic games of chance can be organised by Lutrija RS solely or in cooperation with other legal entities, which it can independently select. The Ministry of Finance, which oversees implementation of the law, may grant licences for organising some games of chance to other legal entities besides Lutrija RS.

The law also introduced new forms of video lottery and electronic games of chance under the complete control of the state.

After adoption of the new law, Lutrija RS announced a public procurement procedure for the organisation of electronic lottery games. To take part in the procurement, companies needed to have three billion euro per year in turnover, which is more than half the GPD of Republika Srpska. The high threshold restricted local companies’ ability to bid.

The bid was won by Casinos Austria VLT AG, a company registered in Switzerland nine days before the procurement call was published.

Casinos Austria VLT AG and Lutrija RS created a joint venture called Electronic Video Lottery d.o.o. Banja Luka, with a ratio of 49 to 51 per cent control of the company.

In January 2021, Casinos Austria VLT AG became Casinos Austria International AG with the same top management. Casinos Austria International manages the group’s international operations, including that of National Videolottery of North Macedonia.

Video lottery companies in Republika Srpska and North Macedonia have the same ownership structure of 51 to 49 per cent between national lotteries and Casinos Austria subsidiaries, thus indicating attempts by the same actors to control a highly profitable sector in the region.

A significant provision of the law is that the Ministry of Finance now holds complete control over the payments from and to individuals who gamble (see here).