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The unceasing European trend in emphasizing the policy of reducing the harms of gambling and the principles of responsible gambling was also an inspiration for the Czech Republic, and it has been following this trend since last week.

The Institute for Gambling Regulation (IFGR), which represents 95% of the legal gambling market in the Czech Republic, with 35 members including both online and land-based operators, test laboratories as well as manufacturers, introduced last week a unique comprehensive project called “Responsible Gambling”.

As part of this project, the Institute prepared “Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators”. The gambling operators have undertaken to abide by its partial rules, which go beyond the already strict Czech regulation, which will contribute to a safer gambling environment, that is through responsible behaviour and conduct towards players. “Code of Responsible Advertising and Marketing” is also included.

The Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators contains very specific 26 obligations, which are divided into 4 areas:

  1. Raising Awareness of Responsible Gambling
  • For example, there is the obligation to inform customers about responsible gambling immediately after registration on the website, by e-mail or by an annual notification of the possibility of setting limits

 

  1. Prevention Of High-Risk Behaviour
  • Early detection of high-risk gambling using a mathematical algorithm for finding high-risk players and early targeted intervention and assistance to these players

 

  1. Training of Employees in The Field of Responsible Gambling
  • Basic (so that everyone is aware of responsible gambling)
  • Special (employees in selected positions, e.g., RG specialists, VIP marketing, employees in the premises)

 

  1. Responsible Marketing and Advertising
  • Suspension of marketing to high-risk players, persons registered in the Register of Excluded Persons and persons under 18 years of age

 

As part of the Responsible Gambling project, the Institute, in cooperation with operators and the National Institute of Mental Health, is creating a predictive mathematical model that will evaluate real-time changes in the behaviour of a gambling game participant. The created software will be able to recognize the moment when a player starts betting risky and immediately alert the player to this fact. In cooperation with leading Czech scientific experts, the subsequent intervention and immediate assistance which shall help the player regain the lost control over their gambling is then provided.

The uniqueness of this project lies in the fact that it will not only be the implementation of the created software at the level of individual operators, but there is an agreement that in the future, a single “bar” will be set for all involved operators. Therefore, once the software indicates a player’s risky gambling with one of the operators, the others will perceive the player’s gambling the same.

In order to provide high-risk players with adequate help, we are building a training centre for employees and the professional assistance network consisting of addictologists, financial and legal advisers in cooperation with experts.

On Thursday, 16 September 2021, a ceremonial presentation of the Responsible Gambling project took place; participants included the director of the IFGR, Mgr. Jan Řehola, Ph.D., Simo Dragicevic (researcher dealing with player behaviour and predicting its riskiness, founder of Bet Buddy), PhDr. Ladislav Csémy (National Institute for Health Choking), doc. MUDr. Viktor Mravčík, Ph.D. (National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addictions (NMS) at the Secretariat of the Government Council for the Coordination of Drug Policy at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic) and representatives of state administration and addictology organizations.

As part of the ceremonial presentation of the Responsible Gambling project, representatives of the four largest online operators in the Czech Republic, namely FORTUNA, CHANCE, TIPSPORT and SAZKA, signed the Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators.