ational anti-drugs coordinator Jindřich Vobořil has warned of a rise in online gambling among the young.
In his 2015 report on gambling addictions, Mr. Vobořil said online gambling had become a new phenomenon in the gambling industry.
He said there was a dramatic increase in online gamblers among the young with 30 percent of people under 17 saying they had tried it
Earlier this year Parliament approved a law aimed at restricting online gambling which should come into force next year. The national anti-drugs coordinator said a restrictive policy must go hand in hand with prevention and treatment.
Already worrying figures
In 2015, Vobořil's office released another report showing that around 100,000 people in the Czech Republic were addicted to gambling, online games and betting while another 440,000 people had problems with them in 2014. Last year, one third of adult Czechs tried gambling, while the number of young gamblers is rising most of all. The riskiest group are people aged 35 to 44, the study had already warned.
The Viktor Mravcik national drug and addiction monitoring centre said people spent around 138.1 billion crowns on gambling in 2014, which raised the operators' revenues by 10 percent
The gamblers lost 31.4 billion crowns. Gambling brought 7.9 billion crowns to the state budget in 2014, 2.4 billion crowns of which went to the state and 5.5 billion crowns to municipalities, which was an average of 550 crowns per capita.
However, in some regions, the revenue was up to three times as high. This is mainly true of areas along the border with Austria adn Germany, Mravcik said.
A recent study by the psychiatric centre in Prague showed that gambling has negative impacts. Losses, falling into debt, various kinds of problems and the disintegration of families cost around 16 billion crowns annually.
"Approximately 20 percent of those gambling are problem gamblers. If at least half of them were involved in the intervention help programme, the losses could be cut by one to two billion crowns," Voboril said.