Two huge pieces of legislation have made progress in Czech with the Prague City Council approving a decree banning all slots, VLTs and gaming terminals in Prague whilst the Czech Republic Ministry of Finance launching a self-exclusion register that will allow gamblers to block themselves from all types in gambling.
Firstly, the decree in the capital banning slots will ban all mechanical, electromechanical and electronic slots and video lottery terminals in the capital whilst allowing traditional table gaming to remain. Although the ban would kick in immediately, existing licences would be honoured with the last expiring in 2024.
However, operators will still be able to run casino venues that offer live gaming services within the 16 city districts across Prague that permit this form of legal gambling.
Prague Councillor Hana Kordová Marvanová said: “In Prague, we decided to follow the path of a blanket ban on slot machines throughout the city, because we set ourselves the goal of reducing the most dangerous forms of gambling, which include playing slot machines. Statistics show that limiting the availability of gambling has a significant positive impact in the area of negative social phenomena, such as pathological gambling or non-payment.”
“We have promised all parts of the city that they do not have to worry about the loss of revenue from taxes on technical games, which they have so far used to finance public needs such as culture, education, sport or social affairs,” Kordová Marvanová said.
“Therefore, together with the approval of the decree, the task of compensating the City Council for possible loss of income so that the financing needs of important public activities do not suffer was also approved.”
The nationwide self-exclusion register will launch as a pilot scheme from September 15 to December. Gamblers named on the register will not be able to gamble or set up another user account with any licensed operator. Operators can also add customers to the register.
Czech Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová said: “Thanks to this register, it will no longer be possible for money paid out in benefits to end up in gaming machines, as is unfortunately still the case in many incidences. The launch of a system that can exclude vulnerable groups or pathological gamblers from the temptation of hard gambling will help not only them, but also their families and those close to them.”