New Czech Licensing Regime Forces William Hill from Market

On January 1st, the Czech Republic’s new draconian licensing regime was implemented, and around the very same time William Hill announced its exit from the country’s gambling market. As a result, Czech residents are no longer able to gain access to the operator’s assortment of online products, such as casino games, poker, and sports betting, and the UK bookmaker hasn’t indicated whether it would be applying for an official license in the future.

In the meantime, Czech affiliates have been instructed to “remove all marketing materials from their websites (including banners, text links, etc.) that relate to Czech Republic bettors.”

The country’s reforms were given an official stamp of approval by President Miloš Zeman (photo) last July, and are seen as essential in bringing its regulatory framework in tune with EU regulations. Furthermore, the Czech Republic is keen to reign in its online gambling black market which is estimated to be worth around $6 billion a year.

Whether many international operators will be willing to apply for a license is uncertain, however, especially considering the huge 35% tax levied on gross gaming revenues for casino games and poker; 23% tax on sports betting; on top of having to pay the country’s 19% corporation tax rate.

Helping to explain the Czech Republic’s punishing gambling tax framework is the country’s deputy prime minister, Andrej Babis, who also heads its finance ministry. A staunch opponent of online gambling, Babis eventually gave in to EU pressure to allow free cross border trade, but has implemented a system that will dissuade most international operators from ever applying for a license.

Last month the Ministry of Finance disclosed that a dozen companies have so far been licensed to offer online gambling in the country of 10.5 million people, all of which are from the Czech Republic. In the meantime, it would appear that no online poker operators are amongst those companies listed.

Poker News
west virginia online poker
14 Mar 2019
Online gambling could soon be legal in West Virginia as long as the state’s Governor doesn’t decide to throw a last-minute wrench into the process. House Bill 2934, which would legalize all forms on online gambling in the state, including online poker and casino gaming, passed a vote in the Senate earlier this week. The
Mississippi Casinos Post Record Revenue in April as Sports Betting Beckons
04 Jun 2018
Mississippi’s casinos generated gross gaming revenue of $184 million in April, or 5% more compared to the same month in 2017. Furthermore, that total represents an all-time high for the state, and is 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2007 when thousands of volunteers entered Mississippi to assist in cleanup efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.
Switzerland Prepares For June 10th Legalized iGambling Referendum
04 Jun 2018
On June 10th, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the ‘Money Gaming Act’ passed by the Swiss Parliament in September 2017 can be implemented next year in its present form. The piece of legislation paves the way for land-based casinos and local partners to offer legalized online gambling in Switzerland, although a
Spanish Online Poker Revenue Jumps 27% in Q1
03 Jun 2018
In January, Spain and France started pooling their online poker players in an attempt to revive an industry decimated by the ring-fenced policies adopted by their respective governments. If they were ever in any doubt as to the validity of their move, the results for the first three months of 2018 will certainly have allayed