Ljubljana, 12 April (STA) - After ten major Slovenian internet service providers objected to the January amendments to the gaming act, demanding that ISPs block access to foreign betting websites, the Finance Ministry published new amendments annulling the blockade on Monday.
In line with the January amendments, the Office for Gaming Supervision demanded in mid-March that ISPs block access to the websites of Bwin, Bet-at-home and Expekt, which are not authorised by the Slovenian government to provide gaming services.
At heart of the issue is the fact that foreign online bookmakers do not pay licence fees in Slovenia and the amendments are widely believed to have been adopted under pressure from domestic betting providers.
The ISPs meanwhile argued that Slovenian citizens have the right to effective and undisturbed communication via electronic networks and that access should only be limited in case the user wants that or if this is requested by court.
They have also turned to the information commissioner and the Information Society Directorate at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and gained support from both.
Subsequently, the ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to change the gaming act, arguing that the January amendments had introduced the possibility of encroaching upon internet freedom.
The new amendments, which state among other things that only a court can block access, have been published at the ministry's web site and will be in public debate until 26 April.