Friday August 7,2015 : CZECH GOVERNMENT'S ATTEMPTS TO CONTROL GAMBLING INCLUDE ONLINE SEGMENT.
Czechs last year spent 138 billion crowns on gambling in all its forms, in spite of a crackdown that’s a rise of around 10 percent.
Amid a wide-ranging initiative to better control a very active overall gambling market, the Czech government is looking at how online gambling should be tackled, according to a lengthy report at:
General gambling controls accepted by the cabinet but unlikely to be implemented before 2017 include restrictions on non-stop gaming bars, obligatory pauses for players, and the removal of gaming machines from pubs and restaurants.
At present, the cabinet decision is based on provisions that allow casinos to be open all night, although smaller gambling operations will be forced to close between 3 and 10 in the morning.
Gaming machines such as slot machines will be subject to a 35 percent tax, lottery and bingo games will pay 30 percent, and betting on sporting events and such like will be taxed at the rate of 25 percent. The Ministry of Finance says that these tax levels have been chosen with a view to the tax rates on gambling in similar countries.
There have been accusations that the government takes a more liberal approach when it comes to online gambling, with some land operators claiming that the new measures are a government attempt to move land gambling from one environment to another (online) environment.
The Radio CZ article notes that under existing laws, foreign based internet betting companies cannot operate in the Czech Republic. This has not stopped external operators from setting up sites to access the Czech market…all without paying local tax.
The Czech finance ministry has estimated that it is losing annual tax revenues of around a billion crowns due to this situation, and has recommended that foreign internet betting companies be allowed, subject to paying tax. That means competing with other licensing jurisdictions that offer more attractive tax rates and regulations to operators.
Online gambling companies have also warned the Czech authorities that rulings by the European Court of Justice, applicable to all EU members, restrain measures that can be taken against online operators, subject to motivational justifications.