Move to shut down international competition to locally licensed operators
According to The Prague Post, international online gambling operators with an eye on the Czech market could soon find themselves facing local advertising obstacles.
The government is apparently considering a legislative amendment that bans unlicensed foreign online betting companies from advertising in the Czech Republic, in a move that is perceived as an attempt to ease competitive pressures on local, and licensed, operators.
Online betting is an industry worth 29 billion Kč a year in the Czech Republic, the newspaper reports, with foreign online gambling companies - many of which are based in tax havens like Gibraltar and Malta - accounting for 4 billion Kč last year, according to the Association of Betting Service Providers.
Czech tax laws require gambling companies operating in the country to make charitable contributions of up to 20 percent of revenues on top of normal taxes, giving companies operating with European licenses, but catering to Czech clients, a distinct advantage.
"These foreign online betting companies have no license from the Finance Ministry, and they pay no taxes in the Czech Republic, so we therefore support banning advertisement of foreign companies here," said Radek Ležatka, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry.
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