Gambling revenue almost halved in 2020

Ljubljana – Total gross revenue from gambling in Slovenia was slowly rising after the financial crisis until it plummeted in 2020 as casinos were closed for most of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, while fewer lottery tickers were sold, shows data from the Financial Administration (FURS).

Gross gaming revenue – all payments minus the prizes paid out – dropped by 42% to EUR 188 million from 2019, the year when the total gross revenue rose a bit more robustly after it had been increasing by a few millions each year. The drop compared to the pre-crisis year 2008 was more than 50%.

Both lotteries which organise classic games – national lottery operator Loterija Slovenije and sport lottery Športna Loterija – saw their revenue drop 10% to EUR 61.3 million.

Gross revenue of casinos and gaming parlours meanwhile dropped by roughly 50% to EUR 127 million from 2019.

Casinos suffered a 52% drop and gaming parlours that of 46%, as visitor numbers plummeted, at casinos by 60% to 658,000 visits and at gaming parlours by 51% to 819,000.

While at 5 million in 2008, visitor numbers have been decreasing for several years, including in 2019 when total gross revenue from gambling rose by 5% to EUR 322 million.

Last year there were 10 casinos with a total of 254 tables and 3,705 slot machines in Slovenia alongside 22 gaming parlours with 3,475 slot machines.

To enter the gaming business, a company needs to obtain a licence from the state, with the majority of the money going to the state budget; it is used for tourism promotion and for the municipalities in which the casinos and gaming parlours are seated.

In 2020, concession fees totalled over EUR 69 million, with casinos accounting for EUR 24 million, gaming parlours for EUR 19.5 million and the two lotteries for just shy of EUR 26 million.

Concession fees from Loterija Slovenije and Športna Loterija go to two foundations, one helping disability and humanitarian NGOs and the other sport organisations.