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Unlicensed gambling domain blocking ruled constitutional in the Czech Republic

Unlicensed gambling domain blocking ruled constitutional in the Czech Republic

Unlicensed gambling domain blocking ruled constitutional in the Czech Republic

Now that Czech National Court ruled that the decision to block illegal gambling sites in the country is constitutional, the authorities will move forward with igaming block.

This month we saw the launch of PokerStars.cz, the first licensed online poker and casino operator since the new Gambling Act was introduced in Czech Republic on January 1, 2017.

Even though many international operators left the market months before the deadline, some have chosen to carry on their work as per usual. The government then announced that those not following the decision will be targeted and requested internet service providers (ISPs) to block all domains of sites that are acting against the law.

However, some Czech politicians expressed their concern, questioning whether the domain-blocking plan is constitutional. There were also claims that it is unfair to request ISPs to bear the costs of handling the blocking.

The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic decided that such arguments do not affect the decision and the blocking is in fact constitutional. The court said that it does not stifle freedom of speech and ISPs need to be a part of the process since they are accessible and have the tools necessary to accomplish the task. According to the court, blocking is “likely the only effective (although not perfect) solution” to the problem of unauthorised gambling service.

The regional press revealed that at least 25 gaming platforms are operating without the official approval and are acting against the current law. Responsible officials will now be able to block any domain that is not licensed.

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