25 UNLICENSED ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATORS STILL ACTIVE IN CZECH REPUBLIC
Transparency International exec claims official inaction despite the new regulations.
The Czech Republic's new online gambling regulatory and licensing regime kicked in on January 1st this year, but there has been a lack of official action against 25 unlicensed and therefore illegal operators, according to a statement released to the Czech press Wednesday by director David Ondracka of Transparency International.
Ondracka claims that the Finance Ministry has not been "resolute" in acting against the illegal operators, who he says include major companies.
"Our monitoring shows that the biggest sinners are Unibet and Lottoland companies. Bet365 and Betfair interrupted their operation, but they did not switch off their websites," Ondracka told local reporters..
Under Czech regulations, operators are required to cease operations and pay out their players, making adjustments to their software platforms before making application for a license from the Finance Ministry, Ondracka explained. The Czech would-be online punters must first register physically with CzechPoint branches, where a daily limit of 5,000 Czech crowns applies.
Citizens Against Gambling (OPH) association head Martin Svoboda reacted to the Transparency International survey by observing that the country is losing significant amounts of money through the activities of illegal online gambling operators.
Ondfracka says TI will carry out another monitoring check three months hence, concluding:
"The Finance Ministry must immediately call on gambling companies that did not ask for a license to terminate their activities and switch off their websites. The firms which applied for a license must temporarily limit their operation and set new conditions,"
He recommended that the Ministry move forward on a blacklisting and ISP-blocking initiative, saying:
"If the companies do not obey, they must be blocked. Finance Minister Andrej Babis and his team have long been persuading the public that this step is feasible and trouble-free."