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A new legislative framework for gambling in the Czech Republic was introduced in 2017 and has led to the most fundamental change to the sector since 1990.

The key aims of this new code were stricter state supervision, proper taxation of gambling, effectively sanctioning illegal operators and the elimination of pathological gambling. And for the first time, it introduced complex regulation for all forms of online gambling to Czechia.

The Czech Ministry of Finance continued to refine its new gambling regulations throughout 2017, including the introducing of per-session loss limits for all sectors.

In late August 2017, the Ministry of Finance provided guidance on a number of key terms under the new regulatory system, which included instructions as to what kind of bonuses are permissible. The guidelines take a very restrictive approach, prohibiting the provision of non-cash deposits or bets, among other things.

Additional clarifications on customer identification and registration requirements in casinos and gaming rooms were published in March 2018, pursuant to Article 71 of the gambling act. The act requires casinos/gaming rooms to verify the identity and age of each of their visitors upon entry to the premises, except for those involved in the operation of gambling activities in accordance with Article 5 of the act (i.e. the operator’s employees) or those working with the supervisory authority.

As of mid-2020, which means almost four years later as was initially promised, the Finance Ministry is planning to launch a gambling information monitoring system. The system, which includes a register of excluded players, will allow players in material need, bankruptcy debtors, gamblers with a court ban or prescription for protective treatment for addiction, as well as pathological players on their own request, to be excluded from gambling.

The Decree on the way of notification and transmission of information and data transmission by the gambling operator, the scope of the data transmitted and other technical parameters of the data transmission (hereinafter referred to as the "reporting decree") has undergone notification procedures with the EU and is likely to be published in the Czech Collection of Laws at the beginning of 2019. However, it is not yet clear whether it will enter into force on April 1st, 2019, as announced, or 1 year after its publication in the Collection of Laws.

Towards the end of 2018, it was decided to make a fundamental change of organizational and personnel structure in the area of gambling administration in the Czech Republic. The newly constituted department called Process Agenda and Gambling Regulation, included in the Tax and Customs Section, will be fully in operation probably as of March 2019.

ECA MEMBERS

ECA MEMBERS :   c/o Czech Casinos a.s.

NUMBER OF CASINOS

2017 299
2016 218
2015 175
2014 225
2013 180

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

2017 4000
2016 3952
2015 3200
2014 3200
2013 2800

TERRESTRIAL CONSUMER PROTECTION / SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEASURE

The Gaming Act introduces systematic measures for responsible gaming:

  • Self-restricting measures - the operator shall offer to and enable for the gambling participant to either set himself individual self-restricting measures or individually refuse these
  • Introduction of a register of individuals barred from participating in gambling as a non-public information system of the public administration, serving to prevent access to gambling by any barred individuals
  • The operator is prohibited to provide any benefits to the gambling participant relating to a gambling operation, be it foodstuffs, drinks, tobacco products or stimulating substances
  • With knowledge of local conditions, the local authorities can issue a generally applicable decree limiting location and opening hours for operations of casinos and technical games, or even prohibiting them at all
  • Definition of places, on which a gambling operation is not permitted, like schools, leisure facilities for the children and youth, social care service facilities; healthcare facilities, on the premises serving the purposes of churches or religious societies, etc.
  • Indirect regulating effect has an information duty of an operator inside the casino (a warning that participation in gambling may be harmful, a time indicator visible during the entire duration of participation in gambling)
  • No advertising, message or any other promotion for gambling or for winning opportunities may be placed on the exterior or within the publicly accessible interior of the building where the gambling premises are located
  • The gambling premises, windows and entrances must be secured in a manner preventing viewing of the premises interior

These legal measures are synchronised with other legislative standards, such as the law on the limitation of cash payments and especially the advertising law:

  • Gambling advertising encouraging gambling must not include a statement from which it may be perceived that participation in a gambling game may be a source of funds like the receipt of income from a dependent, independent or similar activity
  • Advertising on gambling shall not be aimed at persons under the age of 18 years, in particular by displaying these persons or by using elements, means or actions which predominantly address such persons.
  • Gambling advertising must include a statement prohibiting the participation of people under the age of 18 in gambling and a visible and clear warning of the following: "The Ministry of Finance warns: Gambling may become addictive!"

Crisis line: Addictology Clinic Prague, Tel.: +420 224 968 208

 

Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old

Smoking Ban: Yes

THE REGULATED MARKET

NATURE OF THE CASINO MARKET

Terrestrial: The period 2017-2019 is to be understood as a transitional period, before the principles of the new legal regulation actually take effect and the ten-year casino licenses issued under the previous law expire. During this period, the casinos can be operated either according to old or according to new codes at the same time.

Online: Online gambling is fully enabled and regulated by a new code in the Czech Republic as of January 2017. The operator from abroad has to be registered in the Czech Republic and to pay taxes there, while the website of illegal operators is blocked.

REGULATED CASINO GAMES

Terrestrial: Regulated gambling products in the Czech Republic are lottery, sports betting, totalisator betting, bingo, technical games, live games, tombola and small card tournaments. The code differentiates between two types of gaming premises:  gaming room (only for technical games) and casino (with the live game as a main activity).

 

Online: All regulated forms of gambling can be offered online except for tombola and small card tournaments. Internet gaming shall be deemed operated on the territory of the Czech Republic if is even only partially focusing on individuals resident in the Czech Republic.

RESPONSIBLE REGULATOR FOR TERRESTRIAL AND ONLINE CASINO GAMES

The following are the authorities executing national administration of the gambling operations under this Act:

  • the Ministry of Finance
  • the local municipal authority; and
  • the customs administration

THE ILLEGAL MARKET

Size of Illegal Gambling Market: Verifiable statistics or legal estimations of the illegal gambling market are not available in Czech Republic. Those studies, that are available, rely on very rough estimates.

Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling: The new legislative frame for gambling brought a substantial change in relation to illegal operators, when as a tax payer takes to consideration not only license holder pursuant to the Gambling Act, but also any person who operates a game of chance, the operation of which requires a licence. As far as unauthorised online games are concerned, internet service providers on the territory of the Czech Republic are obliged to prevent access to any of the websites included in the list of the webpages with unauthorised online games. At the same time, providers of payment services shall not execute payment transactions, whether credited or debited to the payment accounts included in the list of unauthorised online games.

Administrative offences and connected fines are in details solved in 8th part of the Gambling Code.

IN THE CASINO

REVENUES (GGR & Tips EUR Million)

2017 240 million
2016 225 million
2015 137 million
2014 146 million
2013 162 million

HIGH-LEVEL MARKET DATA

Currency : Czech koruna (CZK)

Population:10,551,220 
(Source:The World Bank)

GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 37,82,037
(Source: Eurostat)

Internet Penetration (Internet Users): 79.7%
(Source: The World Bank)

Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 130%
(Source: The World Bank)

Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):36
(Source: World Bank Group)

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Last Updated: May 2019