The Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic has conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of new gambling regulations adopted in 2016.
The analysis highlights several positive effects of the law, both in the number of slot machines, which has decreased 62% from 53,554 to 20,269, and in that gamblers are now less likely to fall into addiction.
There were also positive effects on the character of cities, as bars with slot machines were replaced by modern cafes, hairdressers and places for children.
“By setting clear rules, we have managed not only to tame rampant gambling, but above all to better protect our citizens and their families from the destructive consequences of gambling addiction. There are currently over 200,000 people on our list of people who are not allowed to participate in gambling,” Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said.
Among the regulations introduced were strengthened supervisory powers and mandatory registration, limits on gambling advertising, and a ban on the use of alcohol and cigarettes while gambling. The Gambling Act has also increased awareness of the negative effects of gambling and introduced a new and more efficient system of taxation.
However, the new challenge is Internet gambling: since the entry into force of the Gambling Act in 2017, there has been an increase in internet gambling from 10% of the total to 45% in 2020.
“Internet gaming is becoming increasingly risky, mainly due to the speed of the game, players’ anonymity and the 24-hour-a-day availability,” Schillerová said.
Some rules to discourage gambling on the internet already exist, including mandatory registration for gamblers, self-limitation measures (setting a maximum daily gambling amount), reporting obligations on the operator, and regulation of advertising.
Nevertheless, they are not sufficient to stem the phenomenon, and so new containment measures will be adopted to face the new challenges related to online gambling.