Friday, March 24, 2006
Czech Republic to allow online betting by national operators

The Czech Ministry of Finance is developing plans to legalize online sports betting. The aim is to allow online betting by the beginning of this Summers’ world soccer championship, at which the Czech national team is also participating.

Today, companies that wish to offer gambling services need a government license. Unlike the foreign gambling websites, the terrestrial license holders are controlled by the government and they have to pay taxes. The new law will allow national operators to apply for an online betting license, whereas it will continue to ban betting through foreign websites and gambling on online casinos and poker sites.

The measure is initiated by the prospect of tax income, in particular from the world soccer betting, and also to offer an alternative to the illegal betting through foreign, Chech language sites.

According to official estimates, online betting volume was slightly below 100 million US$ in 2005