Almost a thousand of the Czech Republic’s gambling houses have closed traffic due to a new law. Nearly a thousand of camps ended at the turn of last year and this year. The number was also surprising by the Treasury, because it is roughly three times what was expected by Deputy Finance Minister Ondřej Závodský. At the end of the year, he predicted a decline of roughly 300 games.
- Due to the new law on gambling, nearly 1,000 games ended in the New Year in the Czech Republic, with 2951 remaining.
- “It’s a bit of unexpected success,” said former Finance Deputy Ondřej Závodský, who is the spiritual father of the law.
- For example, players must register without exception and play rooms must have a camera system.
Since the New Year, the law has significantly tightened the conditions for gambling. Above all, it prohibits anonymous gaming and, for example, anyone who wants to keep a slot machine must have a player registration.
“They obviously did not pay the operators to adapt to the new law, so they set up the activity themselves,” said Závodský.
t’s a little unexpected success. It came a few months before we were supposed to, “added Závodský, who is the spiritual father of the new strict anti-gambling law, but he paradoxically ended in the ministry – the new finance minister, Alena Schiller, dismissed him from the post of deputy right the day after his appointment and the gambling agenda took him.
Three years ago there were over six thousand playrooms in the country, 3890 at the end of last year. “We are now at 2951,” says Závodský.
Since the beginning of the year, the slot machines in pubs and bars have not been allowed. There may only be temporary vending machines that have permission from an earlier period, but most of them will expire by the end of February. “Only ten-year licenses granted by the Ministry of Finance in 2008 and 2009 will run,” said Závodský, which is about 140 pubs and 265 slot machines.
Change to illegal? Nonsense
According to the chairman of the association Citizens against Hazard Martin Svoboda, the real loss of gaming machines may be lower.
“We hope that the number of machines that have now disappeared will not move into larger gambling,” he says.
Gambling operators also claim that pushing against automates causes most of the forbidden devices to move into illegality and create black gambling cameras. And the state, on the contrary, is coming for money.
“Today, vending machines and games in the Czech Republic are dwindling, but illegal ones are growing at the same pace,” said former Synot senator and owner Ivo Valenta.
“According to our long-term monitoring of both legal and” illegal “gambling, a maximum of five percent of the original number of illegal vending machines will arise in a place where gambling was completely banned,” opposes Martin Svoboda. “The pressure for the emergence of illegal gambling does exist, but there is the customs administration, which has increased the powers of the state,” said Závodský.
Gambling is gaining more.
The fact that, after a hard campaign against him, the risk does not sharply move into illegality, the figures on money collection are confirmed. While in the year 2015 the state and municipalities received eight billion crowns on gambling, in 2016 it was already 10.5 billion. And that amount should increase.
The state has increased its gambling tax in 2015 and the second time at the beginning of last year through a new lottery law. While originally gambling companies paid 20 percent of the proceeds from the state and municipalities, from 35 percent last year for technical games (such as slot machines) and 23 percent for other gambling games. Also, the distribution of taxes has changed – while 80 percent of the tax revenue has previously been to municipalities and 20 percent of the state, now is a ratio of 63 percent for municipalities and 37 percent for the state.
Against gambling, municipalities began to pull out after 2011, when the Constitutional Court gave them the right to restrict the restrictions. The anti-risk decree issued 621 municipalities by the end of last year, and almost two-thirds of them ban completely.