BetStars enters tricky Czech market

Zeno Ossko

Toronto TSX listed, The Stars Group has confirmed that it has launched its new Czech Republic betting property BetStars.cz.

Last November, Czech news sources reported that the national regulator had approved Stars Group to extend its online gambling services, allowing the operator to add sports betting provisions to its existing casino and poker services.

At the time, Stars Group management chose not to confirm whether it would launch a BetStars property for the Czech market, stating that it was reviewing its options.

Last week, BetStars Managing Director Zeno Ossko presented the launch of BetStars.cz, becoming the first international sports betting operator to launch in the Czech Republic.

“It is a great honour to be the first international sports betting operator to launch in the Czech Republic,” stated Zeno Ossko.

“The BetStars team have worked very hard to make this a successful launch, and we hope customers in the Czech Republic will enjoy the range of betting options available.”

In 2017, Czech operators have had to adjust to higher taxes and new regulations imposed on gambling services. At present, the Czech government has added a burdensome tax charge on online gambling, which includes a 23% tax charge on sports betting revenues combined with a 35% tax on casino slots play.

Last May, FTSE bookmaker GVC Holdings stated that it would not pursue licensing for the Czech market, stating that the government had made its online gambling framework ‘incompatible with the business principles of the European Union’.

It now remains to be seen whether BetStars can prove the Czech doubters wrong?

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