Bratislava bans gambling, again

This is the second attempt to remove casinos and other gambling venues from the capital.

Gambling in Bratislava will be banned again. Gambling in Bratislava will be banned again. (Source: Sme)

Gambling is to be banned in Bratislava again. The first attempt was only effective for less than two years, lasting until late 2018.

Bratislava councillors approved an absolute ban on gambling in the capital on December 17, in response to an anti-gambling petition. Out of 40 councillors present, 39 voted for the ban and one abstained.

Related articleGambling is again legal in Bratislava Read more 

The ban will be effective as of January 1, 2021. This does not mean that casinos and other gambling venues will disappear from the city immediately, but their licenses will not be renewed on expiry, i.e. between 2023 and 2024. New licenses will not be issued.

While Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo believes that the ban will move Bratislava forward, operators of casinos and other gambling venues argue that it will simply drive gambling underground.

Operator of casinos Róbert Vystavil recalled during a discussion that blanket bans on gambling in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have solved nothing and that regulatory authorities have been unable to tackle illegal gambling to date. He claims that the current regulations on gambling are sufficient.

The first absolute ban on gambling instigated by the anti-gambling initiative Zastavme Hazard, was valid in Bratislava between May 1, 2017 and December 28, 2018. The ban became ineffective after the Regional Prosecution Service declared that the ban did not comply with the law, with the Regional Court in Bratislava sharing this view in June 2018.

The city’s revenues from gambling amounted to €2.76 million in 2019. There were 89 gambling venues, two bingo venues and six casinos in Bratislava at the end of 2019.

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