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Proposed amendments to Czech Republic’s Gambling Act

The Czech Republic’s Gambling Act is undergoing proposed amendments following a review of the laws that became effective on January 1, 2017.

The main objective of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the Act on Gambling and its Associated Legislation is to improve player safety, combat criminal activities, and foster the growth of legal gambling opportunities.

Introduction of Panic Buttons

To enhance player protection in both online and land-based casinos, a new panic button feature will be mandated and prominently displayed for players. When activated, this button will block the player from gambling with all operators for a 48-hour period.

Additionally, players will have the option to self-exclude themselves for specific durations during which they cannot be removed from the self-exclusion database. They will also have the choice to extend the exclusion period. The register will be expanded to include individuals under criminal investigation.

Laws to Legalise Live Dealer Gaming

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

Furthermore, measures will be taken to increase the prevention of illegal online gambling. Any operator whose games are accessible in the Czech Republic will be considered operating there, even if they are not explicitly targeting local players. This extension will encompass all “applications and platforms that offer or mediate illegal gambling games,” which may limit affiliates to working only with locally licensed operators.

New Fee System for License Applicants

The draft bill also introduces changes to the payment of deposits for license applicants. The amount paid will now be determined based on four different bands.

Currently, those seeking a license must either deposit funds into a ministry bank account or provide a bank guarantee. For gaming halls, the deposit ranges from CZK 1.0m to CZK 50.0m, while casinos pay between CZK 10.0m and CZK 50.0m. For online licenses, operators pay CZK 5.0m for betting on racing, CZK 30.0m for odds betting and totalizator games, and CZK 50.0m for lotteries and casino games.

The total deposit amount will be determined by the level of customer activity and the risk associated with the games offered by the licensee.

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