Bitcoin gambling might grow substantially in CEE

Earlier this year quite many online gambling and betting operators have announced that they no longer accept the players from Czech Republic. Even though it has been quite striking for many players, the news were quite expected. In the middle of 2016, the government officials from Czech Republic have announced their desires to eliminate the grey area in online gambling.

According to some researches, the online gambling market in Czech Republic is valued at over five billion US dollars, and the government certainly didn’t want to miss the opportunity to earn on it. As of 2017, all of the gains from various online gambling activities, including poker, will be taxed at a rate of 35%. People that play online lotteries and bet on sports online will have to pay a tax of 23%. Even though such taxes sound like quite a lot, the authorities with require an the players to pay an income tax too, which is currently set at 19%. This way, a poker player may expect to share nearly a half of his winnings with the government.

While the whole situation looks very unfavorable for the Czech players, it is also unfortunately for the operators. Once there is a possibility to apply for a local license, a regulated operator either has to obtain it or quit serving the this market. Things are quite similar with unregulated operators, their websites might simply be blocked on the country-wide level.

Well, even though the Czech government plans to attract more legitimate online gambling portals with this legislation, there might be just a reversal effect. During the last few years online gambling has gotten a new niche, and this niche keeps on growing at a great speed – bitcoin gambling. Yes, gambling with bitcoins provides more privacy and security, less chances to be tracked and decreased costs of transactions. Even though online gambling with bitcoins exists only for a few years, its technological advancement is obvious. Today it is possible to engage in all sorts of gambling with the crypto-currencies: playing poker or slots, betting on football or counter-strike, all types of games and sports are accessible.

Apart from that, it is clear that many operators have already stopped serving Czech customers and even more will stop doing so in the very close future. This makes the market less competitive, hence, even more interesting for the bitcoin casino operators. Would a player go for a regular payment system and face high taxes on his winnings or would he prefer to get some bitcoins and get all of the winnings within paying any taxes? The answer seems to be quite obvious.

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