Czech – Czech Republic considers opening online betting up to foreign companiesBy Phil - 13 October 2014
The Finance Ministry in the Czech Republic wants to invite foreign online betting companies to operate with amendments proposed to bring more of the online money spend by Czechs back into the country.
Czechs spent around US$6.3bn in 2012 with five domestic bookies dominating the domestic market, including Prague-listed Fortuna Entertainment Group. Current legislation dictates that bookies must have bricks and mortar shops in Czech to operate online.
Deputy Finance Minister Ondrej Zavodsky said: “Users currently bet abroad, which several foreign companies make easier by introducing sites in Czech. According to our estimates, the state misses out on more than 1 billion crowns a year in this segment.”
The ministry’s proposal, which still needs government approval, could come into effect by 2016.
It would allow foreign online betting groups that register their operations to be regulated and taxed with new tax rates expected to be drawn up by the end of the year.
There are more than 58,000 registered betting machines in Czech.