Casino Kartáč loses €262m online roulette case

Casino Kartáč wanted compensation for the rejection of its request to offer online roulette in 2006.
Casino Kartáč wanted compensation for the rejection of its request to offer online roulette in 2006.

A Prague court has dismissed the casino’s claim for damages over the delayed legalisation of online roulette

The Czech Republic.- The Municipal Court of Appeal in Prague has dismissed land-based operator Casino Kartáč Group’s claim for CZK6.9bn (€262m) in damages over the country’s legalisation of online roulette.

Back in 2006, Casino Kartáč had lobbied the Czech Ministry of Finance for permission to offer online roulette in the country. 

Its request was rejected at the time, but the Czech Republic later legalised online gaming, including roulette, with iGaming finally going live in 2017. 

As a result, Casino Kartáč filed a claim for damages in 2015 arguing that it had lost out on revenue because of the original denial of its request and should be paid compensation.

The claim was rejected by the District Court on the grounds that the amount of compensation demanded was based on a hypothetical situation.

However, the Supreme Court annulled its decision and sent the case back to the District Court to decide on whether Casino Kartáč had a legal right to gain a permit to offer online roulette when it made its initial request in 2006.

In December last year, the District Court again found the Ministry of Finance had acted correctly according to the law at the time.

It declared that in 2006 the casino operator had no legal right to be granted permission to offer roulette online.

The Court of Appeal has now upheld the decision, finding that the Ministry of Finance handled the case correctly. 

The Czech Republic’s finance minister, Alena Schillerová, said: “I would like to thank the internal team of lawyers who, with their persistent work, averted this threat to public finances.”

Casino Kartáč has suffered a series of legal defeats in cases brought against the state.

It failed in attempts to challenge limits on video lottery terminals and the length of the approval process for gaming advertising. 

The Czech Ministry of Finance reported in July that revenue from regulated gambling revenue grew 16 per cent year-on-year to CZK36.27bn in 2019 due to a 20.9 per cent rise in online and land-based slots revenue.

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