Over a year after partypoker withdrew its original license application, the poker operator has finally received a permit for online gambling in the Czech Republic. The country has a regulated online gambling market.
Partypoker received the license from the Czech Finance Ministry on November 10. There is currently no estimation about partypoker going live in the country with a local website with a .cz domain. The operator was included in the Ministry’s whitelist of licensed operators in the country.
The whitelist currently contains only a handful of online gambling operators, including the likes of PokerStars. Operated by the Canadian the Stars Group, the flagship brand became the first iGaming operation to receive a formal license from the Czech government, after the Central European Country re-regulated its gambling market in early 2017.
The re-regulation allows foreign gambling companies to lay the groundwork for a licensed presence in the Central European country. The regulators were expecting the local gambling space to light up with several international operators. However, the biggest names in the industry are not touching the Czech markets with a 10-feet pole. The complex bureaucracy of the country, coupled with bonus offer restrictions and a tendency for high taxation is keeping the players away from the markets.
PokerStars, which quickly capitalized on the opportunity to get into the Czech market, started with a .cz domain website in February 2017. It remained the only foreign operator in the region for quite some time.
For partypoker, things weren’t easy, to begin with. Soon after the market was re-regulated, the operator announced the temporary suspension of its local operations until it received the necessary author ration to operate in the country. After a few months, it noted that an application for receiving a local license had been withdrawn by the company. The local market still did not appeal much to the operators.
It is important to note that gambling companies still have to go through a lengthy and complex application process. The tax payable by the licensed companies is huge. First, they have to pay a 19% corporate tax. Then, they have to pay a 23% tax on online sports betting revenue, followed by a 35% tax on online casino revenue.
The country’s finance ministry believes that it has done its share in reorganizing the market and removing unlicensed operators from the fore. It suggests that the country has witnessed a 90% drop in a number of international brands servicing the locals.
The finance ministry data also reveals that the local market grew by 1.1 percent in 2017, valued at $1.7 billion while online gambling rose by 56% to 360,6 million. However, their failure to attract a larger number of major industry names is still a problem.