Czech Republic Online Gambling Growth Stalled

Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017 -
Czech Republic Online Gambling Growth Stalled

The over indulgences of some government plans that allow for online gambling participation are keeping operators and consumers from engaging. Put bluntly the administrative maze is difficult to navigate and frustrating for everyone involved in the process. One government experiencing the results of its overly taxed online gambling industry is the Czech Republic with an extremely slow start to its newly regulated betting business.

PokerStars is the only offshore site operating in the wagering market in the Czech Republic with rival PartyPoker taking its business elsewhere avoiding the prolonged licensing process altogether. The combination of the difficult application process, high taxation and the most difficult hurdle, the physical verification of players’ identity in order to open an online gambling account have created a fail for the online gambling industry.

Head of the legal and methodology unit at the State Oversight Over Gambling Department of the Ministry of Finance in the Czech Republic, Tereza Cejpova,  told iGaming Business recently,  “Usually the foreign applicants have two main issues. The first of them is the face-to-face verification as a primary verification principle and the other one is that our procedures are formal and time consuming.”

Vice president of corporate communications for PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, commented on the situation, “There are ways around a lack of local presence, for example, players can register at banks, notary offices or Czech Points, local administration points found in places such as town halls, but in practice it can prove prohibitive for players to sign up. The face-to-face verification at the 7,500 Czech Points doesn’t always work as it should and isn’t a process required in other jurisdictions.”

The Czech Ministry of Finance announced that as many as ten offshore operators were applying for licences. The operators and consumers are waiting for some changes in the administration’s rules for the online gambling industry but there is little to see on that front in the immediate future.


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