- Regulators in the Czech Republic are looking at new measures to protect players
- By introducing maximum loss limits players will not be able to lose beyond a certain amount
Gambling regulators have a delicate tightrope to tread, balancing their responsibilities to players with their obligations to operators. Their role is to ensure that the industry is in good health whilst enacting and enforcing policies that will protect players when playing online.
Normally, those protections are built around encouraging players to set daily or weekly maximum deposit limits and urging casinos to enforce these as well as self-exclusion requests in extreme cases. In the Czech Republic however, players now have a new protection in place – one focused not on what they deposit, but on what they lose.
Maximum hourly loss targets
The Czech Ministry of Finance has published new guidelines for casino operators that will oblige them to set maximum hourly losses. The provisions, which take immediate effect, apply to both online and land-based premises.
Given the vast sums that players can quickly win or lose in the space of a few minutes, especially when playing high limit versions of instant win games together with the likes of auto-roulette and blackjack, there appears to be a basis for this innovative approach.
The ministry has even gone so far as to devise a mathematical formula which should be used to determine the maximum hourly losses that are permitted based on the stake involved, the maximum number of games per hour and the average payout. The Czech government has been proactive of late when it comes to gabetting, with the Czech Gambling Act introduced at the start of 2017.
Open to EU operators
From January 1, the country of some 10.5 million people has opened its doors to EU operators interested in applying for a gaming license. It’s the Czech Ministry of Finance who issue these licenses, which require the applicant to pass stringent criteria. The new gambling act also introduced a new taxation rate of 35% for technical games and 23% for other games.
The ministry has already implemented various player protections with the passing of the act including limits on bets and winnings, the obligation to take mandatory breaks from playing and a register of individuals who are excluded from casino play.
The new ruling, based around hourly loss limits, will further beef up the already substantial protections that are in place for players. It will be interesting to see whether this concept gains traction with other regulators across Europe as well as further afield.
Regulators have an obligation to protect players within their remit, and in this instance the Czech regulator looks to be doing just that. By introducing a maximum hourly losses it is effectively stopping players lose too much of their money – so long as they don’t go on an hours long playing session. What operators will think of this move remains to be seen but, ultimately, measures in the interests of players are always a positive introduction.
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