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Czech Republic Plans Tough Controls on Gambling

28 January 2005

CZECH REPUBLIC – As reported by the Prague Post: "Tough controls on casinos and gambling businesses planned by the government are no more than a first step in regulating an industry that is mired in corruption and linked to money laundering and violent criminals, observers say.

"Casino bosses will face more detailed checks on their background and will have to prove each year that they do not have a criminal record, under a planned amendment to the law announced by the Finance Ministry Jan. 18.

"…One journalist for a national newspaper who has investigated links between casinos and crime said the government plan is 'a pretty good step,' but its aim is 'limited to quickly dealing with the most obvious mess' in regulating the industry.

"…One of the steps planned by the government is forcing lottery operators to publish on the Internet the amount of money they give to activities benefiting the public. They would have to make public the way the cash is used, as well as any connections between an operator and the beneficiary of donations, which the law obliges the industry to make.

"…The proposed amendment to the law is expected to go before the Cabinet in March. It also aims to give municipal authorities new powers to forbid casinos from operating…"

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