Gambling is a specific type of economic activity that significantly affects many aspects of society. It is associated mainly with negative impacts on the lives of individuals and their families, but it also has a positive economic impact on the public budgets of states, regions and municipalities. In this article, we focus on a geographic assessment of the development of gambling in the Czech Republic, which is based on a spatial analysis of data on licensed games and data on the revenues of municipalities arising from gambling. It turns out that the occurrence of gambling is strongly influenced by binary centre/periphery dichotomy, with the exception of the Czech-Austrian and Czech-German border areas which are characterised by a high concentration of casinos resulting from more rigid regulation of gambling on the other side of the border. In this research, the authors develop an innovative scientific discipline within Czech human geography: The geography of gambling.
Due to global climate change and anthropogenic pressures on the landscape, one of the current geographical problems is retention of water in agricultural landscapes. One possibility to tackle this issue is the construction of artificial water bodies, which has historical traditions in the form of fishponds in Central European landscapes. Unfortunately, many such water bodies were transformed into arable lands during the 18th and 19th centuries. In this study, the identification and spatial distribution of these extinct water bodies is subject to examination, using place names in a GIS environment. Some 375 place names were selected from the official database of place names in the Czech Republic. This set of names was compared to current maps, as well as to old maps from the Habsburg monarchy from 1783–1880 (1st, 2nd and 3rd Military Survey). The map resources were used to find out if a place name was related to an extinct fishpond, and in which period the pond ceased to exist. Using spatial statistics, the existence of areas with a high concentration of place names referring to extinct ponds is demonstrated. It has also been established that areas linked to fishpond extinction in the same period now face more frequent droughts. Thus, the set of place names can be used to identify not only extinct water bodies, but also to serve as being potentially useful in other analyses using GIS, as well as in the public sphere (reclamation).