Czech Republic submits Gambling Act amendments

The proposed amendments are subject to an EU standstill period until October 17.
The proposed amendments are subject to an EU standstill period until October 17.

The Czech government’s proposed amendments aim to increase player safety and broaden legal gambling options.

Czech Republic.- The Czech Republic’s government has submitted amendments to the country’s Gambling Act following a review of the legislation, which came into force in 2017. An impact assessment aimed to propose changes to improve player safety and broaden legal gambling offerings.

The proposed amendments, which have been submitted to the European Commission for review, would allow online live dealer games. This would broader the range of online gambling offerings beyond random number generator and digital table games.

Meanwhile, the amendments would introduce a mandatory “panic button” feature for both land-based gaming and online gambling. The button would have to be displayed prominently and would immediately block players from gambling with any licensed operator for 48 hours when pressed. Players would also be able to self-exclude for a fixed period and to extend their exclusion.

A gambling self-exclusion register was introduced in 2020. The proposed changes would expand it to include people facing criminal investigations.

The updated legislation would also impose stricter blocks on illegal gambling. Similar to moves taken in the Netherlands and Sweden, the Czech Republic will consider all operators whose games are accessible in the country to be active in the market irrespective of whether their marketing targets local players. It appears that the rule would also allow local affiliates to work only with Czech-licensed operators.

The bill also proposed changes in the amount that operators must pay as a deposit when they make licence applications. The deposit would be calculated according to the level of customer activity and risk profile of the games offered. The proposed changes are now subject to an EU standstill period until October 17.

See also: Czech Republic to hike gambling tax

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