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Online betting in the Czech Republic has recently been approved, following the Finance Ministry’s decision to support the industry. Local betting companies within the country have welcomed the decision, despite that it could lead to a decrease in their land-based business.

The decision to give online betting in the Czech Republic the go-ahead will no doubt provide local betting companies with the opportunity to better compete against their international online rivals. Tipsport is one of these companies; initially it owned 1020 local shops, whilst 30 percent of its income was derived from its online gambling services. The Tipsort spokesperson, Lubomír Ježek, has stated that even though the legalization of online betting may negatively affect the company’s local land-based business, he expects that the online revenues will surge. As such, Ježek also believes that the internet offers a new opportunity as opposed to a replacement for land-based betting services.

Another local betting company is Fortuna, who owns 650 shops in the Czech Republic. Spokesperson for Fortuna, Tomáš Bahník, has said that since online betting was officially approved, online revenues have increased 25 percent, whilst profits from their shops have decreased only 5 percent. He explained that the business plans on reducing their shop numbers in order to improve online betting efficiency.

These cases are quite similar to that of William Hill Casino, which also began as a land-based betting business and later developed into an online giant. The new law requires players to verify their age in a land-based outlet prior to partaking in online betting, such that it is a responsible environment. Ježek has also explicated that the availability of online services will better accommodate women and further make gambling more convenient for people in general.