The Czech Ministry of Finance is looking into the possibility of creating a system to license and regulate online sportsbooks in the Czech Republic by 2013. Officials are looking closely at France, a country that recently liberalized its online gambling industry, for inspiration.
Today there are many major European operators that cater to Czech bettors, offering internet betting in the Czech Republic without paying local taxes. Technically speaking these sites are “illegal” because they are not in compliance with local gambling laws, but the Ministry of Finance admits they have little recourse under the current system.
Charles Korynta from HN Lottery Division of the Ministry of Finance says that if the country proceeds with plans to amend Czech gambling laws, they will closely follow the French model. “We studied it and we like it,” he says. The system would include a model licensing foreign operators to operate within the Czech Republic, and would impose taxes on their services, in turn generating tremendous revenue for the state.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance announced last week that they will be hiring 150 new gaming inspectors in 2011 in an effort to bring more control to local gambling operators, and to encourage financial transparency among Czech casinos. The Ministry currently only employs 16 such inspectors. Plans to bring stricter controls and higher taxes to the Czech gambling industry are in the works, but have been delayed and will not be implemented for several years.