Referendum – illustrative photo.
Kladno – The Regional Court in Prague ruled that the referendum on gambling in Kladno, which took place during the January presidential elections, was invalid. The lawsuit was filed by the Kladno Without Gambling Initiative, whose members include opposition representatives from Kladno. Senator Adéla Šípová (Pirates) announced this on Twitter. This was confirmed to ČTK by Vít Heral, the spokesperson of the Kladno town hall. Although the referendum is not valid, the court did not order its possible re-listing. It will be within the authority of Kladno representatives, Kladno opposition representative and member of the initiative Anna Gamanová (STAN) told ČTK. According to Heral, the city does not completely agree with the court's decision, but respects it.
“We did not influence anything and we proceeded correctly,” said Kladno mayor Milan Volf (Election for Kladno).
According to Gamanová, the court justified the decision on the invalidity of the referendum by the fact that the city did not provide balanced information about the referendum. “The campaign carried out by the city was one-sided,” Gamanová said of the court's opinion.
Opponents pointed out, for example, that Kladno paid for an information campaign against the referendum with public money and that some commissions did not actively offer ballots.< /p>
According to the mayor, the city management does not dispute that the issue of gambling has been defined. “We stand up for ourselves, there is no problem with gambling in the city of Kladno,” added Volf. Kladno regulates gambling, gaming rooms and casinos can only be located at 12 defined addresses, in the past there were about 130. Kladno's income from gambling is approximately 100 million crowns per year.
Voters did not vote to ban gambling in the referendum, because participation was low and was not sufficient to fulfill the legal conditions for its validity or bindingness. 27 percent of voters participated. The turnout in the presidential elections in Kladno reached 62 percent.