Hope for reform of Czech gaming regulations

The Czech Republic may allow remote player verification by banks.
The Czech Republic may allow remote player verification by banks.

Operators hope regulatory changes in the Czech Republic will result in the relaxation of stringent face-to-face verification checks. 

The Czech Republic.- Hope has emerged for foreign betting and igaming operators that want to enter the Czech Republic as the government implements a new anti-money laundering directive.

Operators hope the new directive will lead to a relaxation of the current rules, which require face-to-face verification of gaming customers.

Since the country amended its anti-money laundering legislation in 2017, gaming operators are required to carry out face-to-face customer verifications at 7,500 authorised sites.

Exodus of foreign gaming operators

Combined with taxes on gross gambling revenue of 23 per cent on sports betting and 35 per cent on online casino, the move led all foreign operators to leave the country, including bet365, Entain Plc (then GVC Holdings) and William Hill.

The Czech sports betting market was left entirely in the hands of three local operators: Tipsport, Fortuna and Synot. Sazka continues to dominate the lottery sector.

The new 5th Anti-money laundering Directive now promises to modernise banking and compliance regulations to allow remote customer verification by individual banks.

Denisa Marcekova, head of the Czech & Slovak Internet Gambling Association, said such bank ID checks would be welcomed by operators. 

She said: “I strongly believe this is a significant step in the right direction. I hope that the recently launched governmental review of the Czech gambling regulation will result in even smoother access to the market in the near future.”

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