Games of chance in the Czech Republic are a traditional segment of the entertainment business. The most popular and traditional are winning numbers lotteries and instant lotteries (scratch-off game cards). A sizable crowd fancies odds betting, card tournaments and slot machines on technical devices. A smaller number of locals and tourists as well take advantage of live hazard games such as roulette or cards in the casinos located in most large cities and border regions with other countries.
On one hand the Czech market tends to be very traditional as far as the types of gaming and brands, which is apparent especially with the winning numbers lottery, whose symbol is the half century old game of Sazka a.s. On the other hand, Czech players are open to new technologies and trends in gaming which are introduced abroad.
After 1990, games played on technical devices started to gain popularity. On these devices, winning is measured by a combination of symbols on revolving cylinders. This type of technical device game was introduced in the USA in mid 19. century and was commonly used in Czechoslovakia during the 1.st Republic, when the country was an important producer mechanical automated devices ( a number of luxury models were even supplied for the Ethiopian Imperial Court).
The tradition of the manufacturing industry was followed up in the 90’s of the past century by a company called European Data Project, a constituent of a global Austrian group called Novomatic. The firm’s local manufactures in Rousínov and neighboring localities employ around a thousand workers and most of its production is being exported.
Figures and trends
The current trend shows us growing numbers in using internet games of chance. This number is growing by tenth of percent per year. Beside internet odd betting, which was introduced for local gamesmen in 2008, internet versions of slot machine and casino games will be allowed from January 2017 with the effect of the new law about hazard. This was previously allowed only in licensed establishments, arcades and casinos.
Yearly contribution of Czech players in all fields of games of chance oscillates somewhere in the vicinity of 120 and 150 billion CZK. Approximately 4/5 of these contributions end up back in the pockets of the players as winning money. 1/5th, in long term about 30 billion CZK of these stakes stays with Czech operators of games of chance in form of gross revenue. Approximately 2/3 of these moneys in form of various taxes and levies end up in government budgets.
|Deposits and betts||Winnings paid to the players||Revenues before taxes||Final profit|
|150 billions CZK||120 billions CZK||30 billions CZK||10 billions CZK|
The VAT share of games of chance in the Czech Republic is around 0,7%. The field of games of chance creates about 20.000 jobs ranging from IT professionals who maintain central lottery systems to employees in service establishments. Most taxes from venue casinos, arcades or gaming places in general go towards income of cities and municipalities. Especially in border-regions with casinos the income from tourism-gaming is irreplaceable.
The regulation paradox in the Czech Republic
The state eases conditions for business on internet gambling and worsens the conditions for the market environment of establishments. This is a paradox, thus these business establishments operate under total unpredictability of its business environment, which is generated by the absence of rules for adopting legally binding decrees. These ordinances are no immediate threat for the internet business of games of chance, but can, effective immediately and without adequate reasoning ban gaming activities in casinos and other gaming establishments. An unintentional outcome of actions such as these is a rise of various substitute forms of money games on technical devices. The revenue authorities and the police are treating such practices as illegal gambling offenses. More than five years of pending legal action against such practices did not so far result in any final judicial decision, which would acknowledge the fact that these are illegitimate gambling activities.
The ambition of the Czech Chamber of Lottery Industries is to focus on a well regulated and properly taxed market of games of chance. Solely for this cause the CCLI creates an official and transparent forum for the communication of state and or communal regulator with regulated entrepreneurs. Represent legitimate interests of all fields of the gaming industry in the Czech Republic. The Chamber does not represent and excludes from representing legitimate interests of subjects operating knowledge games on technical devices, because they are not, in concerted practice with the regulator, games of chance as defined by the Gambling Act
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