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Czech Republic to Legalize Online Casinos

A decision by the Czech Republic’s government to legalize sports betting has prompted rumors that online casinos could be next. Many gamblers now believe that if sports betting is permitted, legalized gambling at online casinos can’t be too far behind. Currently online casinos are considered illegal in the Czech Republic. However analysts point out that the taxation revenue the government is about to reap from sports betting firms is bound to whet its appetite.

High taxation revenues are undoubtedly behind the government’s decision to legalize sports betting. The Republic’s Finance Ministry was the major proponent of the move, stating that legislation amendments “…should be worked out by mid-2006 at the latest.” While this means that Czech football fans will be able to bet online during the next World Cup, a strict ban will remain on gambling at online casinos. Several operators of online casinos have sought clarification on the new legislation, but to date the ministry has only stated its intention that the ban on online casinos remains.

Local online casinos were originally outlawed due to fears of underage gambling. In recent years however, international online casinos have provided gambling services to Czech casino players. Some has even created web sites in Czech to appeal to local fans, and have gone so far as to advertise their services within the country despite the ban on advertising.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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