Prague could ban all slot machines as early as next year. A new bill was designed to ban electronic machines in the Czech Republic capital, but how to replace the money that the government perceives from them is still an unanswered question.
Prague City Hall is preparing an amendment to the Gambling Decree, which would completely ban the operation of gaming machines in Prague. Councilor Hana Kordova Marvanová said that the reason for the change is that the current wording prohibiting only gambling clubs, in general, is not sufficient.
Authorities in Prague claim that operators have moved the machines to casinos whose operation is permitted. The municipality consulted the city districts on the draft amendment, and according to the Councilor, most of them agreed. The amendment to the decree will be completed by the end of January and Prague representatives could discuss it in March or April.
“The last decree on gambling regulation is from 2015. Unfortunately, it did not limit the number of casino gambling rooms, but in fact, they are only slot machines where almost anyone can play day and night except for short breaks. Slot machines are a bad sign for the city because they are the most addictive and are linked to all sorts of crime, so it is both a social and security risk,” said Marvanová.
“I am aware that this will deprive boroughs of a significant portion of their income to finance sports and similar activities. That is why I also want the City to compensate for this loss of income for the boroughs so that no borough is motivated to keep the gambling clubs just for money,” added Marvanová.
In November 2019, Prague 7 closed its last gambling site, this complying with the zero-tolerance policy against gambling that was enforced in 2015 by a City of Prague decree. While the process took longer than expected, Prague 7 is now completely without gambling.
Back in 2014, Prague 7 held a local referendum in which 92% of the voters decided to favour the zero-tolerance policy.