In 2021, a historic change took place in the gambling industry in the Czech Republic.
For the first time ever, operator revenue from Internet gaming exceeded revenue from land-based operations. Based on Ministry of Finance data collected from tax declarations, Internet gambling revenues amounted to €886 million; income from land-based activities amounted to 706 million euros.
To illustrate the growing popularity of online games, in 2017 Internet gaming revenue was only €351 million, while land-based operations reached an income of €1.26 billion, which reveals that over the past five years, Internet gaming revenue has doubled while revenue from land-based operations has shrunk by nearly half.
Player preferences have changed for a variety of reasons. Technological development in recent years has enabled new modes of operation, including mobile applications, electronic banking and electronic identity, which facilitate access to online gambling. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this development. The catalyst, however, appears to be the passage of the new gambling law which came into force on January 1, 2017, which provided stricter rules specifically for land-based operations and a general framework for internet gambling.
Statistically, at the end of 2016, there were 70 licensed operators of land operations operating over 4,000 establishments. As of June 2022, there were only 47 licensed operators of land operations operating less than 1,000 establishments. With regard to online gambling, there were 11 licensed internet gambling operators at the end of 2016, but 20 licensed internet gambling operators in June 2022.
The trend within the Czech market seems to be clear. However, the question remains whether the end of the COVID-19 pandemic will see gamblers return to gambling establishments or whether the current trend of online gambling growth will continue as additional technological developments bolster the position of Internet games in the Czech market.
More information on gambling regulations in the Czech Republic can be found in the CMS guides below:
Gambling Law and Regulations in the Czech Republic | CMS Expert Guides
Gambling laws in the Czech Republic | CMS Expert’s Guide