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Casinos and gambling in Czech Republic
Gambling is a popular form of entertainment in Czech Republic. Although as of now law regarding gambling is insufficient to regulate the market and needs changes especially in the zone of online gambling. On the other hand there are over 180 land based casinos in the Czech Republic. It is estimated that Czech Republic is second in the world country which has the largest number of slot machines per one resident.
LAND BASED CASINOS
History of Casinos in Czech Republic
Gambling started to develop very quickly after fall of Czechoslovakia and formation of two independent countries. However before it happend new companies offering games and sport betting had started to appear. The oldest of them is Sazka S.A. which came into being in 1956. In 1991 Tipsport started its activity. At the beginning of 90’s land based casinos started to appear en masse, especially in Czech Republic’s capital - Prague. Currently on the territory of Czech Republic there are over 180 casinos. Most of them are rather small. They are located in each of the bigger cities in the country. In Czech Republic there is no monopoly on land based casinos, they are the property of the operators among others: Merkur Casino, Czech Casinos, Casino Admiral oraz American Chance Casinos.
Gambling in Czech Republic is regulated by The Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, which gives licences to casinos and lotteries. The control over casinos is as well among the duties of municipalities. Currently the law from 1990 applies, however it is old and does not resemble the reality. In 2012 gambling law was a little bit updated and these changes regarded mainly gambling online. In 2012 and 2013 again actions were taken to establish new gambling law, however they didn’t work out because the European Union criticised them. Also, because of political full was happening in Czech Republic (fall of the government, new election), works on a new law gambling are still in progress. It is supposed that the project of a new law will be submitted until the end of 2014 and it will be implemented in 2015. Up till now Czech Republic had rather liberal approach to gambling and its regulations, moreover it supported small casinos which are in majority in Czech Republic. In accordance with effective law, people over 18 may enter a casino. The law does not protect players against negative effects of gambling in any way.
When, where and what to play in Czech Republic’s casinos?
In Czech Republic there are currently around 180 land based casinos located in each city on the territory of the whole country. The largest number of casinos is located in the capital of the country - Prague. Casinos in Czech Republic are opened 7 days a week until morning hours, some of them even 24/7. Players may find in the casinos’ offer american roulette, blackjack, poker, electronic roulette, slot machines. There are also poker tournaments organised.
Cities in which land based casinos are found:
- Česká Kubice
- České Budějovice
- Dolní Dvořiště
- Františkovy Lázně
- Hradec Králové
- Jindřichův Hradec
- Karlovy Vary
- Mariánské Lázně
- Mladá Boleslav
- Špindlerův Mlýn
- Železná Ruda
Internet casinos in Czech Republic
In Czech Republic Internet casinos do not exist, however players may use all of the overseas operators which offer casinos and sport betting online. The Czechs may use websites which are in english and czech languages. Bets are accepted in Czech crowns, euro and american dollars.
Gambling online besides sports betting and poker is not regulated. In 2008 Czech Republic’s government gave licences to five home operators: SAZKA, Synot Tip, Chance, Tipsport i Fortuna. Although the government tried to introduce new gambling law but in August 2012 it was rejected by European Union.
AS A CURIOSITY
European Poker Tour in Prague
In 2012 in Prague European Poker Tour took place. 864 players took part in it. The winner was a Swede, Ramzi Jelassi, which obtained a prize 835 000 €. The Swede has more successes on his account, win on IPT San Remo in 2009 (170 000 €), the win in side event on European Poker Tour in 2008 (129 300 €) and 3rd place on WSOP Europe 2011 (5 300 €).