GVC exits ‘unworkable’ Czech Republic market

FTSE-listed online gambling group GVC Holdings will not pursue operator licensing for the regulated Czech Republic online gambling market.

Sending a communication to Czech affiliates and media partners, the operator has stated that following a review of market conditions it has concluded that current gaming laws are ‘incompatible with the principles of the European Union’.

The operator had previously withdrawn its brand inventory from the market in accordance with the Czech Republic licensing application procedures. Czech GVC customers have been requested to withdraw all funds from existing accounts.

Czech gambling authorities have added a burdensome tax charge on online gambling services, which include a 23% on sports betting revenues combined with a 35% tax on casino slots play.

Furthermore, the laws require all Czech online gambling consumers to register personal details via an administration center referred to as the ‘Czech Point’ program.

During 2016, a number of international operators have complained about the business conditions imposed by the Czech government, stating that they are in direct breach of EU standards and have favored local betting operators.

In addition, even national enterprises such as Fortuna Entertainment and Synot Group have complained about predatory tax levels, which have been deemed unworkable and damaging to wider sports stakeholders.

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