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Draft Amendment Proposed to Update Czech Gambling Act

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A draft amendment to the Czech Republic’s Gambling Act has been proposed after a review of the laws that came into effect on 1 January 2017.

The primary aim of this Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Act on Gambling and its Associated Legislation is to enhance player security and reduce criminal activity while also growing legal gambling avenues.

Introduction of Panic Buttons

In order to increase player protection, both online and land-based casinos must have a new panic button feature for players prominently displayed. After it has been pressed, the player will be blocked from gambling with all operators for 48 hours.

Players must also be given the chance to self-exclude for set periods during which they will not be able to be removed from the self-exclusion database and also have the option to extend the block. The register would also be increased to include those under criminal investigation.

Laws to Legalize Live Dealer Gaming

The proposed amendment will also allow live dealer games in the country as, at present, only random number generator and digital table games are allowed at live casinos.

There will also be increased blocking of illegal online gambling. Any operator whose games are available in the Czech Republic will be considered active there, even if they are not targeting local players. This will be extended to all “applications and platforms that offer or mediate illegal gambling games”, which may mean that affiliates can only work with locally licensed operators.

New Fee System for License Applicants

The draft bill will also change the way that license applicants pay deposits as part of the process. It would see the amount paid determined by a series of four bands.

At present, those applying for a license must either deposit funds into a ministry bank account or provide a bank guarantee. At present, gaming halls pay between CZK1.0m and CZK50.0m, while casinos pay between CZK10.0m and CZK50.0m. For an online license, operators pay CZK5.0m for betting on racing, CZK30.0m for odds betting and totalizator games, and CZK50.0m for lotteries and casino games.

The total amount paid as a deposit will be determined by the amount of customer activity and how risky the games offered by the licensee are.

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