Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová is very happy with the results of the 2017 Game Law that launched the country and announced that in 2020, an exclusion registry will be launched that seeks to block players voluntarily and involuntarily.
Although the national drug policy coordinator of the Czech Republic revealed that there has been a considerable increase in online gambling in the country and suggested that it may be necessary to introduce more controls.
During the national gambling conference held in Prague on November 5, Schillerová announced that the exclusion registration will be launched in the middle of next year.
The plan apart from including players who voluntarily exclude themselves, also covers those who receive social assistance and treatment against gambling addiction; as well as bankrupt players. Those who appear on the list cannot play online or in person.
“We are making progress in the creation of the exclusion registry. We will publish technical documentation at the beginning of this year and we will start testing after the new year so that this registry is operational in mid-2020,” Schillerová said.
The minister praised the effects of the 2017 gaming law, with which the game was regulated in the Czech Republic for the first time, and said that its success was based on limiting the ability of illegal operators to attract customers from the country.
“The law of the game has changed everything. It opened the market to foreign operators, which allowed its regulation and appropriate taxes,” she said.
Schillerová said that the legal instrument
“introduced the mandatory registration of all online gambling players, thus avoiding the participation of people under 18 in the game, also brought important measures for their protection and helped reduce the black market.”
She explained that after the first month of entering into force of the law, about 90% of illegal online gambling disappeared from the Czech market. She also revealed that “a total of 121 websites have already been blocked. In total, fines worth CZK615.1m were imposed for the illegal operation of online gambling”.
For the operation of illegal online games that violated the law or the game plan, the Czech state imposed sanctions of CZK360,000, she said. The minister added that controlling online gambling remains a real challenge for the Czech government.
According to Schillerová “in spite of the fundamental progress in the creation of a modern regulation of the game and the application of the rules of the game, we naturally do not rest on our laurels, especially on the Internet. Responding to new trends in this area is another challenge for us”.
The national drug policy coordinator, Jarmila Vedralová, who also participated in the event, expressed concern about the prevalence of online gambling, especially among young men. In a statement published on November 7, the Czech national drug and addiction monitoring center revealed that more than 45% of all money from the game is deposited online.
Vedralová states that
“Currently, all the indicators of online play are growing, the proportion of online players among pathological players is increasing, and online sports betting is the biggest problem.”
She warned that
“young men are at particular risk of problems with gambling in the online environment. It is this dependence to which our next steps point. It’s not about eliminating new technologies from life, but it’s important to find a balance in their use.”
In April, the Ministry of Finance proposed an increase in taxes on gambling, except for gaming machines. The tax approved a month later, went from 23% of GGR – including lotteries, bingo and live games – to 30% and 25% to fight bets with fixed odds.
Part of the funds raised will be used to support aid programs for problem players. According to data from the General Directorate of Finance in 2018 there was a drop in revenues from regulated gambling in the Chaca Republic of 21.3% (CZK31.3bn (£ 1.1bn / € 1.2bn / $ 1.4bn), due to a smaller contribution of slot machines.