PRESS RELEASE: Blocking illegal gambling shall be the responsibility of access providers
Prague 30. 3. 2021 – The Internet is increasingly a place where players take part in gambling. Participation on them brings several risks for gamblers and only undertakings with a basic authorization issued by the Ministry of Finance are therefore allowed to operate gambling. Under the Gambling Act, Internet access service providers shall block the access to websites on the list of illegal internet games.
In the online environment, it is much more challenging to ensure the protection of players and the enforceability of operators' obligations. Preventing the operation of gambling, for which the Ministry of Finance has not issued a permit, and which nevertheless targets residents of the Czech Republic, is crucial. This is the only way to ensure that persons under the age of 18 do not participate in gambling, that self-restrictive measures are respected by the player, the participation of persons in the register of excluded players, either registered ex-officio or at their own request, are prevented from participating.
Based on Section 82 of the Gambling Act (Act No. 186/2016 Coll.), Internet access service providers in the Czech Republic shall block access to websites, included in the list of illegal Internet games, within 15 days after the date of publishing the website in that list. A list of illegal Internet games is available on the website of the Ministry of Finance. Currently, about 180 websites are registered in this list and more are continuously being added. The website is added to the list of illegal Internet games as a result of administrative registration procedure.
Blocking at the Domain Name Service (DNS) level has been set as the minimum blocking level. The Ministry of Finance has issued a methodology where providers can find more information. Failure to comply with the obligation to prevent access to websites on the list of illegal internet games within the relevant time limit is an administrative offence under the provisions of Paragraph 123(2) of the Gambling Act. A fine of up to 1 million CZK may be imposed for this administrative offence. Any questions about the gambling agenda shall be sent to the Ministry of Finance, Department 73 Procedural Agenda and Gambling Regulation via email address email@example.com.
Czech Telecommunication Unit