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Parliament ousts slot machines from pubs

SLOT machines and video gaming machines will be banned from pubs beginning in 2013 and will only be permitted in gaming houses or casinos and alcohol and tobacco will be prohibited from gaming houses based on changes to the law on gambling passed by the Slovak parliament on July 12.

SLOT machines and video gaming machines will be banned from pubs beginning in 2013 and will only be permitted in gaming houses or casinos and alcohol and tobacco will be prohibited from gaming houses based on changes to the law on gambling passed by the Slovak parliament on July 12.

One of the authors of the bill, Radovan Prochazka of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), stated that he believes the amendment will reduce the likelihood of a spread of pathological gambling, the SITA newswire reported. The amendment also requires beginning September 1, 2011 that establishment of a gaming house, casino, betting house or charity lotteries requires the approval of the municipal council.

The new law also changes the operation of slot machines. The interval between individual games on a slot machine will be extended from three to four seconds. After a gambler wins a game, a new one should not start in less than 15 seconds in order to discourage gamblers from impulsive gambling. The law also requires that pathological gamblers will be banned from entry to places with gambling if they or their relatives request it.

Entrepreneurs in the gambling business in Slovakia warned before the vote that the amendment submitted by KDH deputies would lead to the termination of thousands of jobs and a shortfall in budgets of municipalities and the state amounting to as much as €40 million.

In the voting, MPs from the opposition SNS party supported the amendment and MPs from the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, which had originally objected to the draft, voted for it as well.

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