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PM Allows for Possibility of Foreign Investment in Gaming

Ljubljana, 26 August (STA) - Prime Minister Borut Pahor called for investments in Slovenia's troubled gaming industry as he spoke after Thursday's session of the cabinet. He said that foreign investors should be welcomed in participating in reviving the sector.

The prime minister's comments come as the government prepares for a public debate on its draft strategy for the gaming sector.

Pahor said the document had been drawn up by the Finance Ministry and will be put to public debate in September.

"One of the fundamental issues that must be cleared up is whether we will view gaming as some kind of a dirty activity...or we will accept that this is a legitimate business activity that must be regulated and supervised," said Pahor about doubts that have accompanied proposed gaming investments.

He said the main problem for Slovenia's gaming industry in recent years has been a drop in competitiveness. "We need to improve the quality of the services to make it competitive."

If the view prevails that gaming is a "legitimate part of tourism", then Slovenia will have to invest in gaming and invite foreign investors to participate, added Pahor.

Pahor said his opinion was that gaming was an important part of Slovenia's tourism sector. Measures should therefore be taken that would make gaming companies participate in promoting tourism in general.

As far as ownership is concerned, Pahor favours a state gaming holding, although he said that experts should provide an answer for this.

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