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Czech News in English » News » National » Czechs increasingly indulge in online gambling

Czechs increasingly indulge in online gambling

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Prague, July 28 (CTK) – Growth in online gambling is a new phenomenon in the Czech Republic, national anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril said on Thursday, presenting the annual gambling report for 2015.

The number of the teenagers who have tried online gambling is on the rise, Voboril said.

Without a support for prevention and treatment, the regulation of gambling is insufficient, he added.

The proportion of pathological gamblers who are medically treated is considerably smaller than that of illegal drug users, Voboril said.

While the number of gambling rooms is falling, the number of various games on the Internet is rising. This covers not only bets, but also applications similar to slot machines, he added.

“The number of the underage is rising most rapidly. Thirty percent of teenagers under 17 have tried gambling. The average age of gamblers has fallen,” Voboril said.

According to the latest estimates, there are 50,000-100,000 pathological gamblers in the Czech Republic. The figure is similar to that of illegal drug users, Voboril said.

“We have all but failed to have the people treated. Compared with drug addicts, only one-tenth, about 3,000 people are treated,” he added.

“Unlike the previous period, when it was 1500, this is an increase, but the figure is still small,” Voboril said.

In the Czech Republic, there are ten to 20 facilities with a focus on help to problem gamblers.

The support for prevention and treatment is as important as legal regulation, Voboril said.

“Without a prevention and treatment targeted on the core of the problem, which means pathological gamblers, all the sphere will be still lagging behind,” he added.

The government has set aside 25 million crowns on an increase in the number of the relevant facilities.

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