Czech Republic Assists Problem Gambling By Launching New Self-Exclusion Registry
The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Finance has released a new self-exclusion registry as it continues its efforts to help problem gamblers in the country.
Czech punters can now enroll themselves with this register which will prevent them from receiving any gambling services and offers from reaching them.
The registry launched on September 15, 2020 as a pilot scheme and covers brick and mortar as well as online casinos and sportsbooks.
All gambling operators licensed in the Czech Republic must join the registry, and be ready to block individuals listed on it by December 20, when the pilot stage of the scheme will end.
Gambling operators are tasked with making sure that all their players are absent from the registry. While the Czech Republic expects that most individuals on the registry will be comprised of those who voluntarily signed up for the program, other individuals can be enrolled in the registry by third-parties under three conditions.
If a punter is being treated for gambling addiction, if they declare bankruptcy, or if they are receiving welfare payments or benefits from the state.
The Czech Republic’s Minister of Finance, Alena Schillerova, said that the use of welfare payments or benefits to gamble has long been an issue in the country. With the new registry, this will be made impossible.
Schillerova has made the registry a pet project, promising in November 2019 that the registry will be launched by mid-2020. Schillerova also noted that the registry will help local punters control their gambling habit better and protect themselves and others from caused as a result of excessive gambling.
The registry is the second of three steps the Czech Republic has promised to take to tackle problem gambling. In June 2019, the government launched the Analytical Module of the Gambling Information System (AISG), a system that collects gambling data in real time to help inform regulatory strategies.
New Taxes Based on Gambling Risk
The AISG helped create the Czech Republic’s new gambling taxes, which went into effect in January 2020. The taxes correspond to how dangerous the government has rated the different kinds of gambling options available. The more risky they are, the higher the taxes they pay.
Lotteries, Bingo, and live games saw a tax increase from 23 percent to 30 percent, while taxes on fixed odds bets rose from 23 percent to 25 percent. The third and final phase will involve the Ministry of Finance teaming up with public administration bodies to create internal processes to ensure consumer safety.