Like the residents of other parts of the Soviet Bloc during the Cold War Era, Slovenians were not allowed to participate in any form of legal gambling prior to 1989. All forms of betting were forbidden.
Following independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, however, Slovenia saw casinos and other gaming centres naturally begin to appear in major cities. In response, the Gambling Act of 1995 was passed in order to regulate and control gambling throughout the country.
Legalisation of wagering activities has served the nation in two ways. The local population enjoys gambling as a form of recreation, with special interest in land-based casino games, sports betting and lotteries. Additionally, revenues are generated by foreigners who cross the border to take advantage of Slovenia’s liberal policies, led by visitors from neighbouring Italy.
Indeed, foreign tourists are specifically targeted by Slovenia’s gambling industry, accounting for perhaps as much as quarter of all tourism in the country. Large casinos line the Italian border, making it easy for hundreds to cross into Slovenia each day for betting purposes. The minimum age for casino gambling is 18 years old, and a passport or other form of valid identification is required.
The biggest casino in Slovenia is the Perla Casino and Hotel, with 1,138 gaming machines and 86 table and poker games. It is located in Nova Gorica, which is also home to the 9,150-square-foot Princess Casino and the 82-room Park Casino and Hotel. All three venues are open 24 hours a day.
Ljubljana (the nation’s capital) and Kranjska Gora (an Austrian border town) are two other gaming centres. In total, Slovenia counts 20 government-licensed and authorised casinos, where sports betting is also legal when using sportsbooks located inside. Horse and dog racing, however, are not available within the country.
Two types of lottery are offered to Slovenians. The main one is the Loterija Slovenije, or national lottery, which offers a broad variety of games, including Loto, Astro, 3X3 Plus 6, Deteljica, Ekspres, Hip, Kviz srecka and Izredna srecka. Competing with them is the so-called “Sports Lottery,” better known locally as Sportna Loterija d.d.
As a member of NATO, the Council of Europe and the European Union, Slovenia adopted the Euro as its only currency in 2007. Although the official language of the country is Slovenian, both Hungarian and Italian are spoken in border areas and the casinos have found it profitable to employ dealers who are fluent in English.
As for online gaming, there are presently no gambling web sites hosted in Slovenia, other than the lotteries, which are permitted to have an Internet presence. The government grants no licenses and does not allow local companies to provide casino or sports wagering services online. In fact, until 2006 the Slovenian government tried to suppress wagering at foreign-based gaming sites, too—a measure that proved to be unenforceable. More successful have been efforts to ban the advertising of foreign gambling sites in Slovenian cyberspace since 2010.
For the time being online gambling in Slovenia is considered to be a grey area, neither sanctioned nor technically illegal. At the latest count, some 473 sports betting sites were accepting play from Slovenia, including six Slovenian-language sites: ladbrokes, bet-at-home, bwin Sportsbook & Racebook, BetCity, SK Fortuna and CBM Bookmaker.
Many of the Slovenia-friendly allow players to deposit funds directly using credit and debit cards. Others allow transactions in Euros via such financial services as Click2Pay, ClickandBuy, Ecocard, Entropay, Ezipay, Moneybookers, NETeller, Paysafecard and Ukash.