Online gambling on the rise among Czechs players

According to national anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril, the growth in online gambling is a new phenomenon in the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic.- During the presentation of the annual gambling report for 2015, Jindrich Voboril, national anti-drug coordinator declared that the growth in online gambling is a new phenomenon in the Czech Republic.

Voboril also commented that without a support for prevention and treatment, the regulation of gambling is insufficient and that the proportion of pathological gamblers who are medically treated is considerably smaller than that of illegal drug users. The support for prevention and treatment is as important as legal regulation, he added.

Whilst the number of gambling rooms is falling, the number of various games on the Internet is rising and this applies not only to bets, but also to applications similar to slot machines. The latest estimates said there are 50,000-100,000 pathological gamblers in the Czech Republic, a figure similar to that of illegal drug users.

“The number of the underage is rising most rapidly. Thirty percent of teenagers under 17 have tried gambling. The average age of gamblers has fallen,” explained Voboril. “We have all but failed to have the people treated. Compared with drug addicts, only one-tenth, about 3,000 people are treated. Unlike the previous period, when it was 1500, this is an increase, but the figure is still small. Without a prevention and treatment targeted on the core of the problem, which means pathological gamblers, all the sphere will be still lagging behind.”

Currently in the Czech Republic, there are ten to 20 facilities with a focus on help to problem gamblers. In addition, the government has set aside 25 million crowns (€924,750) to increase the number of relevant facilities.