New draft law which determines distance of casinos and betting shops from educational institutions

adkm new draft law 29.1

At the proposal of the Ministry of Finance, an amendment will be made to the Law on games of chance and entertainment  games.

In the new Draft-Law on amending and supplementing the Law on games of chance and entertainment  games, the proposer Ministry of Finance proposes the betting shops and casinos to be 500 meters away from the educational institutions, such as primary, secondary schools and faculties. According to their assessment, such a proposal will have a positive effect on the young population, which in this way would protect them from habits that are not appropriate for their age.

The Ministry of Finance has determined this need because the current law does not determine the distance from primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions to the business premises where the games of chance take place. With the current law, the organizers of games of chance in a betting shop and slot machine club, by obtaining a license for a slot machine club and betting shop have the opportunity to open an unlimited number of business premises, ie payment points. The experience to date has shown that this way of opening business premises for organizing slot machines has positive effects only for slot machine organizers, who are allowed to pay a fee for just one license to open a large number of business premises, which in turn has negative effects on the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia due to less realized revenues on this basis.

The set time frame for preparation of this Draft-Law on amending and supplementing the Law on games of chance and entertainment  games is from 21.01.2021 to 16.02.2021, and no public debate has been announced for it.

In the explanation submitted by the proposer, it is stated that the purpose of enacting this law is to protect the young population from bad and inappropriate habits for their age, due to which they propose the business premises, ie the payment points where the games of chance are organized, to be 500 meters away from primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions that can be reached by the shortest safe road.

However, so far in the public such a proposal has met with negative comments from stakeholders, because as they say, such a change will mean a dismissal of many employees and reduction of the legal work of organizers of games of chance, which will stop the inflow of millions in the Budget, and according to them it will lead to success on the black market, ie growth of the black economy.

Additionally, it will be determined whether these negative comments will have any impact on the proposer and the Government, as well as what will be the real consequences of the adoption of this Draft Law on amending and supplementing the Law on games of chance and entertainment games.

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