Czech Republic Gaming Legislation
The current seizure of the main poker sites in the United States had a ripple effect on five casinos operating within the Czech Republic.
These sites are Sazka, Synot Tip, Chance, Fortuna and Tipsport were allowed to offer fixed-odds games only. In comparison to other foreign-based sites operating within the Czech market they have a slight disadvantage.
CEO of Chance, Zdenek Brazdil said, “It’s imperative we operate and abide by the country’s rules.” He requested that the government regulate internet gambling in its entirety especially products such as casino and poker. Local operators are ready with these products, however they’d like to operate and compete in a localized environment only. Petrarain, representative of Fortuna, supported these sentiments. He voiced his disappointed since the government is not in the process of legalizing and license the other products.
Tipsport’s external relations manager, Lubomar Jeayek was more vocal in airing his disappointment with the internet gambling scenario in the Czech Republic. He had the following to say pertaining to the unfairness of the situation he said, “As it is it’s difficult to obtain a license, they ride into this place like it was the Wild West.” Unlike Chance and Fortuna, Tipsport is not prepared to offer casino and poker. Jeayek said there’s still a lot of ambiguity. As such they’re not prepared to invest in the development of new software. He said once it’s legalized and regulated they would join other internet gambling verticals.
Synot is way ahead of the other internet casinos. Ivo Valenta, its founder said they already have internet casino and poker products ready with some of the premier names in the casino industry, the likes of Boss Media, G-Tech G2 and Lottomatica.
They are setting up offices in jurisdictions where internet gambling is allowed or would be legalised within the next couple of months. In essence they would not offer products forbidden by the Czech Republic until its gambling laws have been revised. He added, “It’s our hope that internet gambling would be legalized in the Czech Republic soon and that our leaders would see the potential of it if properly taxed and regulated.”
Government officials stated that the police is not prepared to act against illegal foreign internet casinos at this stage, since they don’t have the necessary legal clarity and high-ranking lobbies acting in favour of Internet freedom.[addtoany]