The Czech capital had approved the ban in 2020.
Czech Republic.- The Czech capital of Prague has imposed the ban on slot machines first approved almost four years ago. Although passed in September of 2020, the ban was not due to come into force completely until this year because licensed venues were allowed to continue to operate their existing gambling machines until their licences expired.
The city’s Gambling Regulation Department has now confirmed that those licences have expired and as such there are no legal gambling machines in the city. The remaining slots were being removed from venues, it said.
There have already been cases of operations targeting unlicensed slot machines. Officers carried out 76 inspections last year and seized 45 gaming machines from 14 venues. An unlicensed gambling venue in Střížkov, Prague 9, was closed down last month after 16 machines were discovered.
The ban on land-based slots only affects the Czech capital, with slots remaining legal elsewhere in the Czech Republic. However, the city of Jirkov passed a ban on almost all forms of gambling some months after the move in Prague.
Online slots are legal, although the Czech authorities have been clamping down on unlicensed online offerings. As in the Netherlands and Sweden, regulators now consider enforcement action against any operator whose product is accessible in the country, not only those deemed to be actively targeting local customers.
Bratislava, the capital of neighbouring Slovakia, passed a ban on gaming halls and casinos in 2021.