Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic is one the most open countries in Europe when it comes to gambling, but visitors and residents should be aware of provisions.
Since breaking free from the former Soviet Union, the Czech Republic has become one of the more enjoyable destinations for tourists and a great place to live for residents. There is an incredible culture, fantastic opportunities, and a number of wonderful things to do. It has really blossomed as a country over the last 25 years.
It has also become a great place to play casino style games. Whether you enjoy gambling in person or playing online, there are great opportunities in the Czech Republic, helping it to thrive as a tourist destination for people from across Europe.
Enjoy gambling in the Czech Republic
Gambling has been legal in the Czech Republic since 2012. There are a number of casinos and other gaming establishments that are found throughout the country, plus there are casino websites with licenses to operate in the Czech Republic according to this data from bestonlinecasino.com.
This site shows that there are a group of online casinos allowing people within the borders of the country to be able to play casino style games no matter where they are. This allows people to enjoy these games even if they are not where a casino is located or if they simply would prefer to play in the privacy of their room or while eating dinner.
Many places to enjoy in the Czech Republic
Part of the reason why these online casinos have become so popular is because there are great cities and sites in the Czech Republic which make it so that you likely don’t want to spend a significant amount of time in a casino when you could be out taking in the beauty of the country.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe. There are incredible sites and architecture, as well as the beautiful and renowned Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. There is a thriving nightlife and it has just about any form of entertainment you could ask for.
This is just one of several amazing sites in the country, which include the Castle Karlstejn. Located in the Czech valleys, this is an enormous Gothic castle constructed by Emperor Charles IV. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Czech Republic has to offer.
What about gambling?
Of course, this article’s primary reason was to discuss the legality and offerings the country has when it comes to gambling.
As mentioned, gambling has been legal in the country since 2012. However, there has been a considerable amount of change in the laws since 2017, when the Czech Ministry of Finance introduced a series of new gambling regulations. These included mandatory-session loss limits across the entire industry.
One of the significant changes in the new regulations was the call for a reduction in the number of “technical games” establishments. In 2018, there were 1,636 gaming venues in the country, 548 of those were casinos. That number has declined sharply, ensuring that the regulatory body has a greater ability to monitor the safe and lawful operation of these establishments.
There were a number of tax provisions that were included in the new laws, but these had no impact on players. What the new regulations did was impose new guidelines to protect players.
Quite possibly the most significant of these was to allow players to exclude themselves from playing. These new exclusion lists allowed players to take the proactive step of banning themselves from playing at any gambling establishment within the country. This was seen as a major step in helping to curb addiction.
As part of the measure, professionals were given some authority to bar players from being able to play. Players could have their name added to the exclusion list if a court or healthcare professional deemed the person an addict, incapable of controlling themselves. They would also be added to the exclusion list if they had filed for bankruptcy. Those who had mental health issues beyond addiction could also be added to the list.
While some protested this list, it was hailed as a big step forward in protecting players from finding themselves in deep financial hardship. The regulations focused on protecting those players who were more at risk of succumbing to the addictions and allure of casinos.
An interesting provision that was added to the laws prohibited any of these operators from providing any service within the gambling establishment itself. That means that those who were excluded for any reason would not be able to use restaurant facilities, buy drinks at bars, or purchase tobacco products or other goods within the establishment. The goal was to keep people out of casinos if they were deemed unable to control the urge.
Licensed and qualified operators
What separates the Czech Republic from many other nations in Europe is that there are actually two separate entities that are governed by the Czech Ministry of Finance. These are casinos and other licensed operators. Casinos are granted a 10-year license to operate and are required to begin the process of renewing that license within a year of their license expiring.
Casinos do not necessarily have to meet traditional standards to be deemed a “casino.” This definition pertained to establishments offering a certain number of games and slot machines.
Meanwhile, there are over 700 establishments that offer casino style games without being recognized as a casino. These are usually small establishments and may be nothing more than an additional room attached to a restaurant or bar where people can play cards, slot machines, or roulette. There is a limitation on the number of games and type of games they are allowed to offer.
Curbing the illegal market
When the new regulations were implemented, one of the goals was to reduce the number of gambling establishments within the country. However, there was a conscious effort to ensure that this did not lead to illegal activity. A growing concern was that people would turn to illegal operations if a licensed operator was not available to them.
The Czech Republic has exercised measures to curb the illegal casino market. Several new provisions were granted that gave authority to the minister to shut down these operations and impose heavy fines. This included unlicensed website operators offering gaming activities.
According to the provisions, one of the primary concerns about illegal activities is that new measures to exclude those who may have an issue with gambling would not be enforceable. The ministry wanted to ensure that there was no possibility for players to circumvent the exclusion.
What the new provisions have done is helped to create a safer environment to play casino games in the Czech Republic. Patrons are encouraged to ensure that a proper license has been granted to any facility or establishment where they intend to play games. This protects them from any form of fraud or other illegal activity. If consumers become aware of an illegal operation, they are encouraged to inform law enforcement officials immediately. The goal is to ensure that players can have a safe and fair experience.