Budget support from Slovakia enabled gambling legislation revision and IT solutions improvement.
Montenegro decided to put its efforts into mitigating the social and economic impact of gambling. Slovakia provided the assistance in the amount of EUR 1 million between 2018 – 2020 through a so-called budget support instrument; a modern means of delivering official development aid through financial contribution linked to the achievement national sectoral priorities selected by the recipient country.
The government of Montenegro opted to tackle the gambling problem through revising legislation on gambling and improving the regulatory oversight by means of IT solutions. The stricter regulatory framework and the new IT system functions are expected to provide better protection of youth, and more revenues to the state budget. Despite interruptions brought about by the pandemic and the government change after the parliamentary elections in 2020, Montenegro succeeded in meeting both of these priorities.
Slovak experts in action
Montenegro´s fast progress in this field was sustained by the technical assistance realized in 2019 – 2020 by Slovak experts, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Country Office in Montenegro. The Slovaks assisted with analysing the users’ needs of the online monitoring IT solution, the current state of the software and hardware set-ups, and helped with formulating recommendations for further development of the software. The IT system expansion would help Montenegro to regulate and control this field reliably, and would benefit their national economy and the health of its citizens. Slovak expertise was also used by Montenegro when revisiting the gambling legislation. The Slovak expert prepared a report assessing the draft law from the perspective of the appropriate online supervision practice and up-to-date trends in the area of the gambling. At the same time, he provided comments on transparency, taxation and unified rules for all gambling operators.
The Slovak Ministry of Finance has been delivering technical assistance to Montenegro in the area of public financial management for years. The cooperation in strengthening the national gambling regulation is significant in light of Slovakia´s pledge as a member of Addis Tax Initiative, to contribute to strengthening tax systems through international development cooperation. The activities focused on improvement of the revenue side of the Montenegrin budget should therefore be understood not only as a successful case of international cooperation, but also as a step of the MF SR towards upholding its international commitments.