Prague councilors earlier this week approved a Bill seeking to ban Slot games in the city over gambling harm concerns.
The Prague Legislature is now set to decide whether Slot games would completely be banned in the city. The councilors expressed the concerns of gambling addiction, bankruptcy, and increasing crimes related to gambling activities in Prague. The councilors stated that the crimes put a risk to everybody in society and hence must be weeded out.
The Bill that has been approved by Prague Legislature proposes the prohibition of electronic, electromechanical and mechanical gambling games in the city. According to the bill, video lottery terminals and slot machines may also be banned. However, the Bill makes an exception to live gambling in the city, which may be allowed to continue.
Councilor Hana Kordova Marvanová stated that since the Gambling Decree does not restrict the number of gambling rooms in the city, the slot machines have increased monumentally and pose risk to both society and security. She called presence of slot machines ‘a bad sign’ for the city and emphasized upon addiction and related crimes it leads to.
Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib stated that the city has been trying to regulate gambling since the year 2007 and that the authorities should respond quickly to the proposed changes in order to reduce the pathological phenomena that arise in connection with the slot machines, reported Gambling News.
In 2012, the city had already witnessed a mass ban on gambling activities where gambling organizations had reduced substantially. Now, the authorities have to contemplate on revenue generation problem and affected tourism that will arise as a result of banning Slot games.
Next week would be a decider for Slot operators at Prague, who have been allowed to keep the machines until the expiry of their permits.