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New Online Gambling Bill Gets Senate Vote in the Czech Republic
- May 30, 2016 By Oliver Young -
According to recent developments, the Czech Republic might be the next country to open its online gambling market to international casino, sports betting and lottery operators. The proposed bill about the new Internet gambling regulation in the country was approved by the Senate last week.
The senate voted 42 to zero in favor of the bill with 23 abstentions. This means that the bill got zero negative votes and it’s up to President Miloš Zeman to give his signature so that the bill is formally approved. For this he has 30 days and if the bill is signed into law it might come into effect at the beginning of next year.
New Tax Measure Tough to Swallow
According to the provisions of the new online gambling legislation bill, international operators from the European Economic Area and the European Union will be allowed to apply for a gambling license to offer their services and products in the Czech Republic. As of this writing, there are only five licensed operators that provide online gambling services within the borders of the country.
Despite the fact that the lawmakers in the Czech Republic have decided that now is the time to open its online gambling market, they have also introduced tax measures that some operators might find it hard to swallow. Namely, under the bill, casino games would entail a 35 percent tax of gross gaming revenue on a yearly basis. Online sports betting and lotteries, would be taxed at 23 percent of GGR annually. Moreover, it is also important to mention the standard 19 percent corporate tax rate they must pay.
To protect the newly licensed operators from unwanted competition, the Ministry of Finance will be responsible for blocking unauthorized gambling sites. The body will also block payments to unlicensed sites using standard tools which have proven to be somewhat ineffective. This also refers to unlawful advertising and marketing of gambling services on the web.
Provision on Protection of Venerable Players Included
Just like most of the recently introduced online gambling bills in various countries, the Czech bill also includes measures on protecting venerable players and under-aged as part of the population. Under the iGaming bill, there will be introduced a national exclusion database which will allow players to block themselves from visiting Internet gambling sites. This database will also block bankrupt people including residents that get financial aid from the Czech Republic from online gambling.