Gambling machines go dark in Bratislava pubs

A campaign to shut down gaming machines in pubs won widespread support after activists touted the ban as a way to protect families from being hurt by gambling addiction. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Gambling machines go dark in Bratislava pubs - NewsMavens
Slot machines. Wikicommons.

Why this story matters:

politics, finance, economy, family

The new year brought a gambling ban to Bratislava bars, as more than 100 pubs were ordered by the City Council to shut down their gaming machines as of Jan. 1.

The move came after activists, many of them members of the anti-abortion and anti-gay rights movement Alliance for the Family, launched an anti-gambling campaign in 2017. The group touted the pub ban as a way to protect families whose loved ones had gambling problems and were spending money recklessly.

The campaign found a welcome audience: about a third Bratislava residents signed the alliance's petition to ban the machines. After a dramatic discussion and a vote by the city council, gambling machines in pubs were banned.

Unplugging the machines, which are typically found in dark corners of pubs, may not solve the problem of excessive gambling. Online poker and other gaming options are easily found online. And the ban may not last if a court overturns the city council's decision.

Details from the story:

  • Gambling machines were forbidden in Bratislava pubs as of Jan. 1, 2018.
  • 135,000 residents signed a petition to shut down the machines.
  • The church also supported banning gambling in Bratislava pubs
  • The ban is not definitive -- the courts will decide if it's legal.
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