Montenegrin MPs adopted amendments to the Law on Games of Chance, which, among other things, increased the concession for opening a casino from two to three million euros.
With the amendments to the law, account surcharges for betting on the Internet will no longer be able to be paid at kiosks and stores, but only at the organizer’s facilities, while an additional variable fee is introduced for internet organizers of betting games, and both fixed and variable fees are added for online casinos.
It is precisely defined that one site for organizing games of chance can be obtained for one paid concession, in order not to repeat, as during the time of the Minister of Finance Radoj Žugić, that E-gambling received 40 sites for one concession. The Government of Montenegro also undertakes to form a state enterprise for lottery games of chance by the end of the year.
In order for this law, like the others, to enter into force, it needs to be signed by the President of Montenegro. Outgoing President Milo Đukanović, who has ten days left in his mandate, refuses to sign any law passed by the Assembly since he passed the controversial decree on its dissolution.
All laws adopted during this period, including this one, could become valid if they are signed by the new President Jakov Milatović after they come into force, or if they are re-adopted by a new convocation of the Assembly after the June elections.
The basic part of this law, which related only to the establishment of the state lottery, was proposed to the Assembly by a group of representatives of Democratic Montenegro on March 3rd, before the dissolution of the Assembly. Democrat MP Momo Koprivica submitted six amendments to the Assembly on May 5th, which were supported by the Economy Committee on May 8th, and then on the same day, the Assembly adopted them with 41 votes in favor.
The amendment to the law increases the one-time fee for casinos from two million euros to three million. This fee is paid when obtaining a casino concession that is valid for ten years, and can be extended for another five years. After the expiration of that 15-year term, the organizer must request a new concession and pay a fee of two, or three million euros in the future.
The adopted amendments increase the annual fixed concession fee for casinos from 50,000 to 70,000 euros, while the variable monthly fee increases from 10 to 15 percent of the difference in all payments and payouts in the casino. The explanation states that these changes will increase the revenues of the state budget.