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Daily News: Czech Republic bans slot machines and gambling comes to life in Ukraine

Slot machines will be completely banned in Prague

The Prague authorities have approved a new decree, according to which a complete ban on the placement and using of slot machines would be implied from January 1st, 2021. Operators operating in the Czech capital will be able to liquidate the entire fleet of devices in three stages before the expiration of the licenses.

Opposition parties criticized the document, having noted that this decision would lead to a large loss of tax payments of the city treasury. Last year, representatives of the Prague gambling business replenished the budget by 770 MCZK. About 440 million of this amount came as payment for the operation of slot machines which will be prohibited.

About half of these funds are distributed to individual city districts, depending on the population. The funds are invested to initiatives that support sports, culture, education and social programs.

A number of local activists requested slot machines to keep working in some areas, such as hotel casinos. However, officials said this could violate Czech competition law.

Armenia banned casinos located near schools and hospitals

At a regular meeting, the Armenian government considered and adopted a resolution according to which the work of casinos and bookmakers located in close vicinity to educational institutions will be prohibited, as well as cultural and historical places. The bill also prohibits the location of gambling establishments near hospitals and office buildings.

In the capital of the country, Yerevan, the radius of prohibition will be 150 meters, and for other regions it will be 100 meters. The limitation for Vayots Dzor, Syunik and Tavush regions will be only 50 meters.

The bill prescribes separately the area of gambling rooms in each establishment - it should not exceed 200 square meters. In the reception which must be in every casino and slot machine hall, visitors will be required to provide their documents for checking. The resolution strictly regulates the age of admission to gambling - from 21 years. Also, casinos will be unavailable for persons recognized as gambling addicted by the court.

Foreign companies strive to enter the gambling market of Ukraine

Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Oleg Nemchinov said in his interview that not only domestic, but also foreign companies were demonstrating interest in the recently legalized market of gambling services in the country.

“We have already been registering regular appeals to the Ministry of Finance. Our market is very interesting for international brands, large bookmakers and lottery operators. The main licensing process will begin as soon as the special commission starts working,” the functionary confirmed his words.

He added that the law implies the regulation of those areas of the gambling business that have been previously banned in Ukraine. Also, according to him, the law will establish a list of sports not related to gambling.

Nemchinov commented on some provisions of the bill: "Transitional provisions are considered billiard, bowling and sports poker as sports that are not belong to the gambling sector."

According to the minister, the legalization of gambling in Ukraine has a big advantage due to the fact that the people involved in this area will work officially.