Prague actively combats gambling. According to the decision of the Prague City Hall in 2015, there should not be a single gambling bar in the city, only casinos, which must apply for a license from the country’s Ministry of Finance. How many casinos can be allowed in each district of Prague – local town halls decide. Some district mayor’s offices opted for zero tolerance, while others were not as strict.
The authorities say that getting rid of gambling establishments will help in the fight against gambling addiction, which is now seen as a big problem in the Czech Republic. Gambling bars, in particular, have been linked to petty crime as people commit crimes to support their gambling habits.
Currently, the districts of Prague 2 and Prague 6 do not have any gambling bars or casinos on their territory at all. Although back in 2011 there were 694 of them in the Prague 2 district. The districts of Prague 4, 5 and 7 also announced zero tolerance for gambling and are now waiting for the Ministry of Finance to complete the procedure for revoking licenses from operators.
Whether there will be additional changes in the Prague 1 district, which includes most of the city’s tourist attractions, is not yet clear. There are currently 21 casinos in the area. The city authorities are monitoring this area and will soon assess the activities of these companies. Prague 8 also has 21 casinos, but plans to reduce their number to 18. Prague 10 is also considering a further cut to 14 casinos. There are also three gambling establishments in the Prague 7 area. The Prague 3 district authorities do not strive for zero tolerance, there are five casinos in the area.
Note that according to statistics, there are more than 110 thousand people in the Czech Republic who are addicted to gambling. This rate is two times higher than any other country in Europe.