The Czech Republic is one of the European countries where most of the modern types of gambling are completely legal. On the territory of the republic, both land-based gambling establishments and gambling sites are allowed to operate. There are over a hundred casinos in the Czech Republic. According to statistics, there is one slot machine for every 200 inhabitants. The Czech regions are among the largest centers for gambling tourism in Europe.
Czech gambling legislation
At the moment, the provisions governing the gambling business in the Czech Republic are described in the Law on Gambling, which entered into force on January 1, 2017. In this regulation, online casinos were added to the already existing types of gambling. Until January 2017, the country had a law “On Lotteries and Other Gambling”, which was adopted back in 1990. Currently, the following types of gambling are allowed in the Czech Republic:
- sports betting and horse racing, sweepstakes;
- poker and other card games;
- slot machines and terminals;
- casino games (roulette, table games, etc.)
According to Czech law, not all categories of citizens have access to gambling. So, the restrictions are for people receiving benefits or officially declared bankrupt. The coordinates of citizens who are denied access to the casino are included in a special register. However, they are allowed to purchase lottery tickets and take part in small tournaments. Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to gamble.
Regulation and licensing
The Ministry of Finance is the main regulatory body that oversees gambling activities. The process of obtaining a license includes several stages. First of all, you need to obtain a basic license from the Ministry of Finance. Then, for ground-based establishments, it is necessary to obtain permission for the intended use of the premises from the relevant municipal authority. The Tax Cobra organization, created in cooperation with the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Finance, is engaged in the fight against illegal gambling.
To obtain a license, a company must meet the following requirements:
- be a legal entity registered in the Czech Republic or the EU;
- have a transparent organizational structure;
- have an authorized capital of at least EUR 2,000,000;
- have sufficient personnel, organizational and financial potential to organize gambling.
On average, the processing time takes about 30 days. The fee for a basic license is 200 EUR, and for gambling premises – 150 EUR. Online casino permits are issued on the same terms, with the exception of the clauses regarding premises.
Types of games subject to licensing
Below is a list of categories of games that are subject to compulsory licensing in the Czech Republic:
- small tournaments;
- technical games (slots, terminals, etc.);
- live games (any gambling where the result does not depend on a random number generator).
Lotteries and sweepstakes are taxed at 23%, entertainment in which the winnings depend on a random number generator – 35%.
Online gambling in the Czech Republic
Since the legalization of online casinos in the Czech Republic at the beginning of 2017, a number of strict restrictions have come into force. Many large international operators have decided to terminate their activities in the republic. In particular, William Hill left the Czech Republic. Foreign operators faced difficulties in licensing in the Czech territory. As a result, local companies such as Fortuna Entertainment Group, Sazka, Tipsport, Chance and Synot Group have taken the lead.
To conduct business in the Czech Republic, an online casino must have an interface in the state language. The most popular Czech bookmaker sites are Tipsport.cz and iFortuna.cz (the first gambling resource licensed in the Czech Republic). Sazka.cz is the most popular lottery service.
The most popular resources for playing poker are Pokerstars.cz, Pokerstrategy.com and Pokerarena.cz.
Popular slot machines
As in many other European countries, Greentube products are popular in the Czech Republic. Such slots from the Austrian manufacturer as Super Hot, Book of Ra deluxe, Sizzling Hot and other developments can often be seen at the top lines of the ratings of Czech online casinos. Another company whose games are popular in the Czech Republic is Playtech. Now in the country there has grown interest in the following developments of the manufacturer:
- White King;
- The Three Musketeers;
- line Age of The Gods;
- Top Trumps Celebs.
The most popular gambling entertainment in the Czech Republic at the moment, judging by the statistics of attendance of gambling resources, is sports betting.
Gambling software developers in the Czech Republic
The most popular company in the Czech Republic specializing in the development of gambling is Endorphina. This manufacturer has been on the market since 2010. The Czech development team has over 40 games. The company has created such popular slot machines as Twerk, Jetsetter and Fairy tale. Endorphina is the brand that produces complex software solutions and platforms for online casinos. The manufacturer focuses on HTML5-based games that are highly responsive. The company’s games can be played without problems on both stationary and portable devices.
Prospects for the development of gambling in the Czech Republic
The loyal attitude of the Czech authorities to the gambling industry makes it possible to safely predict the dynamic development of this sphere in the country. Despite the tightening of control over gambling after the adoption of the 2017 law, there has been no decline in the popularity of this entertainment format. Local operators began to have a clear priority. Thanks to this, the authorities manage to maintain control over taxation.
In the near future, there is no question of the likelihood of a ban on certain gambling entertainment in the Czech Republic. This is a lucrative business segment that significantly replenishes the state budget. In the long term, an increase in the number of online casinos from local operators is expected, since the licensing procedure is relatively simple. More and more Czech gambling sites prove this by their example.
The Czech Republic is a country in which comfortable and safe conditions have been created for gambling fans. The restrictions apply only to those categories of citizens for whom it is objectively undesirable to get involved in gambling. The authorities go to meet the gambling operators, which makes this business area promising and profitable.