The Czech Republic (or as it likes to call itself now, Czechia) is an ever-changing country when it comes to online gambling. Some forms of online betting are permitted, and others aren’t. That can put players in a bit of a pickle if they don’t know the ins and outs of Czech gambling law. Fortunately, there are no penalties for breaking those laws, which makes things rather rosy, really. Even so, if you are interested in knowing the truth about the online gambling situation in the Czech Republic, read on.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Czechia?
The Czech Republic is famed for its land-based, brick and mortar casinos, where gambling in the country thrives, particularly amongst tourists. All forms of land-based gambling are legal in the country. It is a slightly different story for online gaming. Online gambling is legal in Czechia, but only under certain conditions. Players will note that there is a wealth of online sportsbooks available to play at, while lotteries are undoubtedly legal. However, other forms of online betting are in many ways illegal. That might sound harsh, but there is a bit more to it than that.
Officially, the 2012 gambling act in the country only permits lottery and sportsbook games, but since the nation is a member of the European Union, they adhere to EU law regarding fair competition. This means that although they don’t approve of offshore (non-Czech) casinos catering to national players, they don’t do very much to stop them. One thing to keep a note of, though, is that relatively high tax rate for gambling. This tends to put off both operators and players alike.
Czech Online Casinos
This should be relatively simple to explain. Since the Czech Republic does not license online casinos – although there is legislation being forward which is likely to change that – there is no such thing as a true, Czech online casino.
What players might note, though, is that some Czech-licensed sportsbooks do offer the odd casino game, and for many, that is about as close as legal casino games can get right now. Instead of Czech casinos, there are plenty of offshore casinos which cater to Czech players, though. Given that information, and the fact that those are the only option open to Czechs, let’s look at those instead.
Offshore Casino Sites for Czech Players
An offshore casino may also be called a foreign casino, and this term can be used to describe any online casino which is not licensed in Czechia. Since the Czech Republic doesn’t license casinos at all, this term can be applied broadly to any online casino. Many of these casinos – despite being based outside the country – may choose to offer the Czech language as an option, as well as the koruna currency.
It is not an offence to play at international online casinos from inside the country. There is no punishment for doing so. The Czech authorities do not crack down on offshore operators, either. By and large, the Czech gambling authorities have not initiated a protocol which would require ISPs (internet service providers) to blacklist foreign sites. There have been one or two occasions where individual providers have tried this, but it has never lasted long.
Because of all of this, Czech players are invited to join seemingly any online casino on the internet, at least for now. If you believe the press, changes to the gambling laws in the country may be about to occur.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
Funnily enough, there is work afoot to legalise online casino gambling in the country. In the past, Czechia has been afraid to break EU law by blacklisted casinos or regulating their own market. However, moves by Sweden, Belgium and many other EU member states may have just convinced this country to do the same. A new gambling law was passed in January 2017 which will effectively open the gambling market legally to outsiders, but there are still a few tweaks which need to be ratified before it can really take effect.
Amongst the changes being proposed are the full licensing and regulation of casino sites, albeit with progressive jackpots and live dealer games banned, maximum wager limits inserted, and hefty taxes applied on games. More worryingly for Czech players, the new legislation also proposes the blocking of offshore casinos. None of this has come to pass at this moment in time, although given that the groundwork has been laid, it will surely only be a matter of time before the Czech gambling industry is fully regulated.
Top Czech Casino Sites
Until the new laws properly take effect, Czech players have no choice but to play at offshore casino sites. They are spoilt for choice when it comes to those domains. Given the surplus of playable domains (again, at the time of writing), it is recommended that Czechs choose the largest, most significant and renowned casinos to play at.
Some of the online casinos represented here which are well-known to be safe and secure, and which may be worth a look include Paradise Casino, Cleopatra, Jetbull Casino, Secret Slots.com, Play Grand Casino, Metal Casino, Rise Casino, Casino Big Apple, and the Hippodrome Casino site, to name but a few of your options.