If there is any country to be used as an example of the disparity between land-based and online gambling, it may very well be the Czech Republic. Land-based gambling is rampant and legal across the country, but the government has a very confusing stance on the online versions of the games. We’ll try to sort some of that out for you on this page, along with explaining what we look for in an online casino we would recommend to our Czech readers and some of our highest rated operators.
Gambling Regulations in the Czech Republic
There is no question that the Czech population loves casino gambling, especially slot machines. There are over 100 casinos in the country, along with hundreds of halls and parlors that offer only slot machines to patrons. For a country as small as this one, the amount of gambling facilities per capita is staggering. All of this gambling fell under archaic gaming legislation, so when online casinos came to prominence in the late 1990s, the country wasn’t sure what to do about them.
Let’s be clear: the government clearly wasn’t thinking too hard about how to regulate the online gambling industry, as it chose not to make any amendments to the current laws until 2012 when the government introduced 3 laws that would pertain to online gambling. These laws would see online sports betting and lottery become legal, but not online poker or casino sites. 5 licenses were given out at this time, including one to a state-run gambling company.
While these laws were designed to protect players from problem gambling and rogue sites, all they did were cause even more confusion. Players could still go to an offshore site to find their favorite casino and poker games without penalty, and the sites were not paying any taxes into the Czech government. IN an attempt to update these laws and make them more Czech-friendly, a series of amendments were voted into law in 2016. These new laws put a stronger clamp on offshore sites, while also paving the way for legal online casino and poker sites.
There were still issues with these laws after the changes in 2016. One issue was that players faced a very small maximum bet allowed in a poker game, effectively closing any medium to high stakes tables and all No Limit Hold’em games. Also, the taxation rates proposed and then approved were outlandish, with a 35% tax on GGR from casino games and 23% on sports betting and lottery GGR added to the 19% corporate tax already levied. This made it almost impossible for sites to be profitable so wasting the time needed to apply for a license seemed unnecessary.
To compound matters, the government did make it possible to force ISPs to block a list of gaming sites, but to this day it appears that only a handful are indeed inaccessible. In 2017, the government took another step to protect its players by enacting a ban on all forms of casino bonuses. Today, Czech players are not allowed to receive free chip or deposit bonuses or else the offending site can be charged.
As you can see, this regulation is all over the map and shows no signs of being any less confusing shortly. As the climate changes, we will continue to update this page with the most current information.
Online Casino Software Available in the Czech Republic
Fans of slot machines and Table games in the Czech Republic don’t need to worry too much, as there are still plenty of options when it comes to places to play online. This also means that many software companies have shrugged off the idea of pulling out of the market. You will find games from the following top suppliers among the many options:
- Evolution Gaming
Those sites alone represent over a thousand excellent slot machine titles and dozens of live dealer and RNG Table games so Czech players will have no shortage of choices when it comes time to selecting a casino brand.
Best Online Casinos for Czech players
With the recent changes to the laws affecting the bonuses offered to Czech players, one of our favorite items to review is no longer relevant. Most casinos, if not all of them, have restricted Czech players from being able to earn bonus dollars or use free chips, but they can still earn loyalty points which can be redeemed for cash in most cases. When we review sites, we are looking for the ones with the best reputation, and the good news for our readers in the Czech Republic is that the confusing regulations have not stopped some of the largest operators in the business from accepting players from that country.
While the payment methods may be limited at some of these sites, we think you will be treated very well by the following list of recommended casinos. We have compiled this list from the hundreds of site reviews that we have performed, and if you click on any of the links, you can read the full review of each site before you make a final decision of where to play.