The trend of the last decade is to regulate gaming in establishments on the level of communal local authority using generally binding ordinances (GBO). The extreme measure of this regulation is prohibition, which is hiding behind a euphemistic term named “zero tolerance”.
Prohibition of gaming etc. on a local level proved itself to be extremely problematic and almost always a bad choice for many a good reason. For starters let’s put aside the interest of operators to have at least a minimal amount of entrepreneurial security, without which it proves to be impossible to invest in a functional gaming establishment. Lets have a look at the problem from a point of view of the local authority or so to say general public:
It is possible to ban only a part of the offered services
The local authority administration can not ban via GBO all gaming activities or all “hard” gaming involving quick and high stakes. They can regulate only gaming on slot machines or the so called live casino games such as roulette, poker etc. in an establishment, that being a gambling club or a casino.
In case of prohibition, spread betting and even technical and casino games, if they are offered via the internet, remain intact. The actual outcome of measures such as these is fluctuation of customers from the in-house gaming environment to internet options. This virtual environment is much harder to control and rids the communities of tangible benefits such as employment and tax revenues. Legal gaming is being compensated by illegal or border line gambling forms: gambling dens pretending to be private clubs or quizomats.
Because prohibition is always a local issue, legal operators are swiftly reacting and adapting to situations via opening new businesses in nearby villages or cities and they even provide free transport to new venues from the prohibition areas. The main argument supporting the nonsense of prohibition is being defined by easy accessibility of hard gaming through the internet. The trend, easily to be monitored by the statistics of the Ministry of Finance, is showing an annual growth in spread betting over the internet by tenth of percents. This type of gaming is to be compared for its speed and no limit betting, to slot machine games.
Unpredictable regulation without rules
The regime of local by-laws is furthermore capricious and lacks rules. The prohibition by-law is subject to political ruling with no justification, no analysis. A by-law can be voted upon on every proceeding of the municipal council. Considering the fact, that the council proceeds every 3 month at the least, the security of running a business such as a casino or a gaming place is narrowed down to the potential lifespan of several weeks or month. This "NO-system”, considering a fact that investments in luxury casino businesses can reach nine figures digits, is unprecedented in other “rule of law” countries.
It is to be acknowledged, that the prohibition by-laws are sometimes a reaction to an overabundance of establishments, which the municipalities had no way to control prior to 2010. The new gambling law, which sets strict standards for gaming establishments and casinos and helps to eliminate small gambling establishments or pubs furnished with slot machines, makes this regulation obsolete.
Opinion of the CCLI
CCLI calls upon small municipalities to adapt legally binding ordinances regulating only particular types of gambling, only after thorough analysis. CCLI’s project of stock-taking may be applied by the chamber upon request as an objective measure of mapping types of services offered by the local establishments.