The example of the company E-Gambling Montenegro (EGM) shows how the state should not treat foreign investors. Due to various obstructions and different interpretations of the law, the company has not been able to operate normally for years, Dnevne Novine newspaper carried. After obtaining the necessary permits, E-Gambling Montenegro and its partners operated in an international e-gambling market, which has not been used or exploited at all before that. They did not operate at the local, Montenegrin market. Thus, EGM, as it emphasised several times, positively contributed to the reputation of Montenegro and its budget both directly and indirectly and not at the expense of others, Dnevne Novine wrote.
How did it all begin?
It all began in 2012 when E-Gambling Montenegro obtained license and necessary permits from the relevant authorities in Montenegro. At that license, EGM registered multiple sites, by which it did not break the Law on Games of Chance. However, the company faced a media campaign and the double standards of representatives of the Games of Chance Administration, which start a fight against the company. The administration and its then acting director Ilija Vukcevic has repeatedly accused the company E-Gambling Montenegro of violating the legal framework and reportedly costing the state millions of euros. As proof, they offered their legal interpretation of the controversial articles of the Law on Games of Chance and pointed out that €10,000 worth license must be paid for each individual site. Vukcevic even asked the revocation of the EGM gambling license, arguing that it was irregular. Vukcevic’s statements were followed on a daily basis by an unprecedented media campaign, which according to the company was deliberately launched to make EGM’s work senseless and to make the company give up organising games of chance via the Internet for the benefit of competing companies.
To make matters worse, before any findings of inspection authorities, Vukcevic publicly stated that EGM worked irregularly and violated the law and then concluded the company’s gambling license should be revoked. Due to the spread of various negative pieces of information, which were later proven to be false, international associations and rating agencies put EGM on the so-called “black list”, which means that no new clients wanted to cooperate with the company, whereas the existing clients cancelled further cooperation. Completely unjustified, informal and negative impact has also caused hostility at the local level, so that banks and other service providers (accountants and bookkeepers) cancelled contracts with EGM because they did not want to deal with “criminal organisation”.
Operate in accordance with the law
The fact that the campaign was contrived and that its main spokesman Ilija Vukcevic tells lies was supported by the last inspection report which clearly says that EGM is absolutely regular company that operates in accordance with the Montenegrin law, and not an organised criminal group, as it was presented by certain media, it was said in Dnevne Novine’s article.
The newspaper emphasises that during the campaign, Vukcevic has not met with the representatives of EGM in order to clarify all doubts. EGM repeatedly pointed out that Vukcevic significantly exceeded and abused its authority used it against the company.
Even during his “last days” in office, as EGM stated, without reason or explanation, Vukcevic seized company’s guarantee deposits in order to bring the company in a difficult position.
Faced with large financial losses caused by the extraordinary disruption in the work and tarnishing the company’s image, E-Gambling Montenegro has filed several lawsuits. As the company previously stated, it will not give up on them until it proves to be right and finally stop the negative campaign. The fact that the government dismissed Vukcevic several months after the contrived campaign proves that the EGM representatives were right.
Inspection check ordered
According to Vukcevic, E-Gambling Montenegro obtained a contract to open 21 betting site with a single license under suspicious circumstances. So far, the organisers were able to open one site for one license, which they paid €10,000 per month. As Vukcevic explained, E-Gambling Montenegro paid only €10,000 for all sites, thus allegedly violating the Law on games of chance.
As he says, this cost the state budget millions of euros, which is why the Games of Chance Administration ordered the company’s operations to be inspected and checked.
Source: Cafe Del Montenegro