In the Czech Republic and the city council for Prague has reportedly passed a contentious measure that is set to ban local premises from operating new electronic gaming machines including slots from the first day of January.
According to a Monday report from the online news domain at ExPats.cz, the city-wide edict does not concern non-electronic titles or live casino table games such as roulette and blackjack and is to additionally give licensed venues a three-year window in which to decommission any existing electronic machines.
The largest city in the Czech Republic is currently home to approximately 4,000 electronic gaming machines after having begun the last decade hosting almost 16,000 such units. Local councillor Hana Kordova Marvanova reportedly explained that Prague now has 101 gambling-friendly properties but that most of these will very likely close as they have to date been almost exclusively focused on the provision of the soon-to-be-banned entertainments.
Prague is a historic city of some 2.6 million people and last year reportedly collected about $34.2 million in aggregated gambling taxes. ExPats.cz detailed that the prohibition was also ratified in the face of concerted criticism from opposition political parties that such a move would see this windfall decrease by at least $19.5 million to directly harm a multitude of initiatives aimed at supporting a raft of local cultural, social and educational programs.
However, Kordova Marvanova reportedly earlier asserted that she would be willing to work with her fellow councillors and the administration of mayor Zdenek Hrib on ways to assuage this anticipated shortfall via the redirection of funds from the city’s existing budget.
Finally, the representative reportedly pronounced that the 65-seat city council passed the electronic gaming machine ban so as to help reduce problem gambling after balking at an earlier suggestion that select districts or venues be allowed to keep their units so as to prevent an expected suburban proliferation.
Kordova Marvanova reportedly told ExPats.cz…
“I cannot submit a regulation that would go against the right to competition.”