A new legislative framework for gambling in the Czech Republic was introduced in 2017, leading to the most fundamental change to the sector since 1990.
In the same year, the Ministry of Finance refined its new gambling regulations, including the introduction of mandatory per-session loss limits for the whole industry.
As of mid-2020, almost four years after it was initially promised, the Finance Ministry announced the launch of a gambling information monitoring system.
The system includes a register of excluded players, gamblers in material need, bankruptcy debtors, gamblers with a court ban or prescription for protective treatment for addiction as well as the voluntary inclusion of pathological gamblers.
More recently on January 1, 2021, amendments to the Gambling Act entered into force, ahead of more planned changes to the country's AML Act and Register of Beneficial Owners Act.
The legal changes, which were adopted in December 2020, strengthen the requirements of operators with regards to financial reporting, the self-exclusion register, data handling, and granting the customs authority authority over infractions committed by gambling firms.
On January 22, 2021, the Ministry of Finance won a landmark court case against Casino Kartáč Group, which could have cost the government CZK1.4bn in compensation.
The casino operator alleged mistakes were made in the issuance of video lottery terminal permits which cost it significant profits. However, Czech courts dismissed the case, ruling that the government had acted in accordance with the law.
In September 2020, the Ministry of Finance won a dispute against the same operator over internet roulette, in which Casino Kartáč Group demanded compensation of CZK7bn.
Operator taxes were last majorly altered on January 1, 2020. The Ministry of Finance introduced the tax increases as part of a nine-year strategy undertaken by the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Policy Coordinator, aimed at reducing the availability of addictive substances.
With the exception of a 35 percent tax on "technical games", the Czech legislative term for gaming machines, all gambling tax rates in the country were previously 23 percent of gross gambling revenue (GGR).
Under the new taxes betting, totalisator, raffles and small card tournaments rose 2 points to 25 percent. Taxes for lotteries, bingo and live games are now set at 30 percent. Machine gaming has however remained at 35 percent.
The Gaming Act introduces systematic measures for responsible gaming:
These legal measures are synchronised with other legislative standards, such as the law on the limitation of cash payments and especially the advertising law:
Crisis line: Addictology Clinic Prague, Tel.: +420 224 968 208
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: Yes
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.
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.
The following are the authorities executing national administration of the gambling operations under this Act:
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.
Currency : Czech koruna (CZK)
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 37,82,037
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)
Last Updated: May 2019