The Gambling Regulation Department in the Czech Republic has announced that a ban on slot machines in Prague has officially been put into effect. This ban was initially approved by the Prague City Council in September 2020 and covers all technical gambling games within the capital, including slot machines, regardless of whether the venues hold a license.
Until recently, slot machines were still in operation in Prague, with some being removed from venues at the beginning of the year. However, as of January 1, 2024, the ban has been fully enforced, making it illegal for venues in Prague to offer slot machine play.
The ban only applies to land-based slots, and online games are still accessible to play in Prague. However, new regulations now state that any online gambling sites operating without a license and accessible in the country are deemed illegal, extending the ban to online gambling as well.
Director of the Gambling Regulation Department, Martin Šabo, has stated that further changes may occur in the Czech Republic due to imposed fines, as a review from the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition found that the decree is not entirely in line with competition law regulations.
Despite the ban, some venues have continued to run illegal gambling operations, resulting in customs officials in Prague taking action. An investigation uncovered an illegally operated gambling hall in the city, which led to the seizure of 16 pieces of technical gaming equipment and machine reset keys, along with cash.
In the past year, customs officers have conducted 76 checks, discovering 14 illegal venues and seizing 45 machines. This demonstrates that Prague authorities remain vigilant in clamping down on illegal gambling activities within the city. While there may be further changes in the future, the ban on slot machines in Prague is now fully in effect, and authorities are actively working to enforce it.