Prague, Czech Republic – Recent and upcoming changes to European gambling laws have promised significant growth in the coming decade, following years of delays and slow progress. In the Czech Republic, changes had already begun last year to see a positive effect, whereas a shift in direction in both Poland and Slovakia still leaves room for development in the casino sector, with coming expansion appearing all but guaranteed.
Strong growth in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has traditionally operated a cloistered and monopolistic approach to online casinos, following the publication of the Czech Gambling Act in 1990. While this act did not originally take the growing internet into account for gambling, further amendments in later years would attempt to address certain gaps.
Limitations of these regulations came from the closed nature of the industry. The Czech Republic would originally not allow outside operators to be accessible from within its borders, vastly restricting players’ choice and potential tax revenue. Three new bills have addressed these limitations which, combined with new laws governing greater taxation on gambling, are expected to bring in non-insignificant contributions into the Czech economy.
For the average player, this means access to most international websites, as well as specials such as online bingo promotions. This is especially important as introductory offers like free spins have proven great drivers of introductory interest, which might otherwise be slow considering the lesser availability of online casinos in Czechia until this point.
State of the casino sector in Poland and Slovakia
Slovakia and Poland are similar in that while international online casino gambling has been available within their borders for some time, current regulations appear vague and outdated. This has proven an exceptionally large problem in Slovakia, where some major and well-regarded casino operators were blacklisted for nebulous and legally inconsistent reasons.
Uncertainty born from these issues has had a major inhibiting effect on newer casino involvement, due to a lack of industry confidence. This continuous reluctance has been observed in both international casinos not becoming involved within the Polish/Slovak markets, and a lack of casinos being developed within Polish and Slovak borders.
Newer regulations, now gathering support and gaining momentum, aim to codify more coherent online casino legal frameworks. In theory, this should create both national and international attention within the two nations, resulting in more tax revenue and greater international investment.
Among the immense landscape of online casinos, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have so far found themselves lagging. These new and coming regulations, should they live up to the ideals, promise to both modernise the existing environment and futureproof whatever comes next. As the online casino industry is valued at billions of dollars annually, these developments should make a measurable difference in the economies of the involved countries.
It is also important to note that, unlike many other industries, the EU has a largely hands-off approach, allowing individual countries to manage their policy as they see fit. In terms of quickly enacting new regulations, this gives new developments one less hurdle to jump, which should allow must faster development than would be possible otherwise.