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Gambling games in Czech Republic

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Casino Gaming

There are approximately 40 small privately run casinos in the Czech Republic. These are regulated by the Ministry of Finance’s Gaming Department. Casinos are only permitted to operate in cities and towns approved by the Ministry of Finance. Currently there are approximately twenty-five active casino operators in the Czech Republic, with restrictions on foreign ownership remaining in force. (p.294, GBGC) According to SAZKA, during 2002 the total sales generated by the Czech casino industry was CZK 10.07 billion (€327 million) and the GGR was CZK 2.26 billion (€73 million). The casino industry also generated sales in the slots segment of the market amounting to CZK 3.32 billion (€107 million) and GGR amounting to CZK 0.7 billion (€22.7 million). Therefore, total casino turnover was CZK 13.40 billion (€431.4 million) and total casino GGR was CZK 2.96 billion (€95.7 million) in 2002.

Table games have a tax rate ranging from 6% to 20%. In addition a further 10% is levied for administration fees and 1% for supervision. For slot machines there is a CZK 30k (€991) annual license fee per device and an annual local fee of between CZK 5k (€165) and CZK 20k (€661). Also, between 6% and 20% of slot machine GGR goes to the municipality.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

Slot machines are operated by approximately 450 companies. However, there are as many as 600 small enterprises that are involved with the machines, mostly subsidiaries of the large companies. Outside of casinos, gaming machine stakes are limited to CZK 5 (€0.165).

There is a network of Herna bars (gaming bars), open 24 hours a day, which are very inexpensive and have a monopoly on the gaming machine market. SAZKA estimates that there are nearly 52,000 legal gaming machines in operation across the Czech Republic including a number of video slots.

In 2003 the Ministry of Finance authorised SAZKA to offer betting games through VLTs by way of a Central Lottery System. SAZKA launched the system by the end of 2004.

The roll out rate will be between 200 and 300 terminals per month. The VLTs will be sited primarily in the traditional casinos, sports bars and other gambling centres, as well as selected SAZKA retailer sites such as tobacconists and supermarkets. Both the central system and the terminals are being supplied by Cyberview Technology under a 10 year contract. (Source: GBGC)

Betting

The Czech Republic has limited horseracing with on-course waging mainly at Paradubice Racecourse. Betting on the industry is moderately popularas an off-course market.

Betting opportunities are provided from 5am until midnight every day, including weekends, and are permitted at such locations as service stations, hypermarkets and supermarkets, in addition to specific betting outlets.

Sports betting’s main players are Tipsport, Fortuna, Chance, SynotTip, SAZKA, Maxi-Tip and VICTORIA-Tip. Since 2004, betting over the internet is provided by Betandwin, Sportingbet, Expect, Worldbet, Bettsson, Eurobet and Betfair.

The bets are safeguarded by statutory security deposits under the Lotteries Act. Large sums of money are annually provided to not-for-profit organisations to be used to the benefit of society.

Bingo

Three licenses have been issued for this type of game. They are used only in Bingo Halls (the number of players can be from 20 to 200 people), where the game is played continuously. Refreshment can be sold in these establishments. The companies who have issued this license are: Bingo Radiopalác in Prague (nonstop – 500 seats, in addition to bingo there is billiards and slots available), Bingo Rozmarýn in Brno (billiard, (snooker and pool) and Chance betting office), Bingo Morava in Ostrava. Sales in bingo halls have sluggish tendencies.

Media Gambling Services

Media gambling is only offered by Audiotex in the Czech Republic. It offers a form of betting contest or answering simple questions, where the player calls a special telephone number.

The right answers are drawn. For these games specialized Audiotex telephone numbers are used.

Sales Promotional Gambling

Promotional games are not considered to be “hazardous games” (gambling), but they are described in Czech hazardous gaming law, which says that they have to be contests with random selection of winners. In order to participate, the player has to buy a product. Under this law there are specified limits for prize values. According to research done in 2004 by SAZKA, more than half of the Czech population willingly participates in these promotional games. An estimate of sales in this segment for 2004 was about CZK 0,7 billion (€22,7 million). There are approximately 1000 companies in the market using this form of promotional sales support.

Charity Gambling

For Charity Gaming the same laws are applied as for other types of gambling in the Czech Republic. For charity purposes, some gambling games and lotteries profits are used according to the license issued by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic. Most of the providers of gambling donate some of their profits for charity purposes.

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