Following several legal defeats at home and abroad it appears that the Czech gambling laws will change again, this time in the direction of greater liberalization.
For one, the Constitutional Court recently struck down a provision in a recent bill that gave gambling machine operators central licenses, thusly overruling local council decisions. Such limitation of local autonomy has been deemed unconstitutional.
The European Commission has also dismissed the latest Czech bill on grounds of it limiting foreign competition without demonstrating a clear case for doing so. The law stipulated that only locally registered entities could become licensed operators, which goes clearly against the EU principles.
Malta, being a member states with serious business interests in connection with licensing gambling operators, was among the main critics of the bill. Major international sportsbooks have also been observing the local market, eager to offer services to those customers who wish to bet on sports in the Czech Republic.
The defeat in the EU meant the Czech government had little choice but to scrap the whole bill, which it did on March 13th. The Ministry of Finance has bee instructed to develop a new proposal by the end of June, so the work is proceeding at full speed.
This time they are building the new law from scratch, with special attention to EU compliance and looking at international best practices for guidance.
When the bill goes before lawmakers, it will likely offer a chance for opening the market for international gambling providers to open Czech internet casinos.