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Prague City Council Approves Slot Machine Ban

Niji Narayan

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Prague City Council Approves Slot Machine Ban
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Prague City Council has voted in favour of a decree banning all electronic and mechanical gambling machines in the Czech capital from 2024.

The decree was approved by the legislature earlier in the week and only needed councillors’ approval. Councillors say they approved the decree in a bid to tackle problem gambling.

Councillor Hana Kordová Marvanová said: “We decided to follow the path of a blanket ban on slot machines throughout the city because we set ourselves the goal of reducing the most dangerous forms of gambling, which include playing slot machines.

“Statistics show that limiting the availability of gambling has a significant positive impact in the area of negative social phenomena, such as pathological gambling or non-payment.

“We have promised all parts of the city that they do not have to worry about the loss of revenue from taxes on technical games, which they have so far used to finance public needs such as culture, education, sport or social affairs.

“Together with the approval of the decree, the task of compensating the City Council for possible loss of income so that the financing needs of important public activities do not suffer was also approved.”

Several other cities in the Czech Republic, including Brno, Ostrava, Břeclav, Kyjov, Klatovy and České Budějovice, have already implemented similar bans.

Central Europe

Czech Gambling Expects Bank ID to Provide Smoother Access to the Market

Niji Narayan

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Czech Gambling Expects Bank ID to Provide Smoother Access to the Market
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The Czech Republic gambling industry hopes that the government will proceed with regulatory adjustments to banking and customer verification requirements that will allow for a smoother market entry.

A measure approved by the “5th Directive on AML” will see the Czech Republic adopt “remote customer verification” measures assigned by individual banks.

Commonly referred to as “bank IDs,” the Czech stakeholders hope that the compliance measure will lead to the government relaxing its cumbersome face-to-face verification requirements.

Denisa Marcekova, Head of the Czech & Slovak Internet Gambling Association, backed the measure, claiming it has been proven as an effective verification provision in Sweden.

“I strongly believe this is a significant step in the right direction. I hope that the recently launched governmental review of the Czech gambling regulation will result in even in the near future,” she said.

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Central Europe

Czech Government Prevails in Latest Casino Kartáč Case

Niji Narayan

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Czech Government Prevails in Latest Casino Kartáč Case
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The Czech government has claimed a victory in a legal dispute with land-based operator Casino Kartáč Group, in relation to the operation of interactive video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Casino Kartáč had issued a claim for €53.8m in compensation for lost profit, alleging that the Ministry of Finance’s procedure for issuing permits for VLTs was incorrect.

However, during a hearing in District Court in Prague 1, legal representatives of the Office for Representation of the State in Property Matters (ÚZSVM) argued that the Ministry had acted in accordance with national law.

The District Court agreed with the ÚZSVM and dismissed the compensation claim from Casino Kartáč.

“The internal legal team did an excellent job again and has already defended many billions of crowns in the state in protracted lawsuits with this company,” Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said.

“The courts have repeatedly ruled in our favour, which confirms our strong legal position. In addition, by managing these disputes without the involvement of external law firms, we save the state considerable financial resources,” the Minister added.

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Central Europe

NHL Selects Tipsport as its First European Sportsbook Partner

Niji Narayan

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NHL Selects Tipsport as its First European Sportsbook Partner
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The National Hockey League (NHL) has selected Tipsport as its first European sportsbook partner in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Through the deal, Tipsport will be allowed to utilise NHL’s official brand and logo. In addition, Tipsport will leverage marketing campaigns and opportunities to flagship events such as the Global Series games in Czech Republic or Slovakia, and promote its ice hockey markets.

Meanwhile, Tipsport NHL markets will be enhanced by direct data gathered by the NHL’s new “puck and player” tracking system, boosting in-game statistics and optimising live odds.

“The sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, utilizing technology and data that are proprietary to the NHL,” John Lewicki, NHL’s International Vice President of Business Development and partnerships, said.

“As a sports betting leader in the Czech and Slovak markets, Tipsport is an ideal partner for us to begin our entry into this space in Europe and provides a tremendous opportunity to further fan engagement around the globe,” John Lewicki added.

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