Following a short hiatus, PartyPoker is back in the Czech Republic. With a new license ready, the new domain is good to accept customers. Well, almost.
It was back in 2017 when the Czech Republic toyed around with its gambling laws, applying changes to how foreign operators could run their business in a newly regulated market. As per the legislation, the only way to do so was through licenses. And licenses took some time to issue, too. The result was an exodus of offshore operators.
Like poker, the newly-applied law wasn’t a game of chance, as the Czech government had to act following reprimands from the European Commission (EC) that the country had failed to comply with certain Directives and laws directly related to the conduct of gambling business on the territory of the European Union (EU).
For better or for worse that led to January 28, 2017, when the country saw its first licensed operator and incidentally PartyPoker bid the Czech Republic a temporary goodbye, promising to return before 2018 was out.
Initially, the company applied for a permit, but then reconsidered, as nothing indicated that the newly-regulated Czech market is turning a profit. In fact, 2017 was rather poor for all operators having entered the country, with most of them barely breaking the threshold that would make them lucrative.
And PartyPoker was far from the only operator to actually decide and call it quits on the Czech Republic. William Hill and GVC Holdings, two companies holding licenses from respected internationally-recognized jurisdictions, decided not to jump additional legal hoops to stay.
Another demotivating factor was the imposed taxation which soared to 35% for all operators running casinos, and making it one of the largest in Europe, although definitely not uncommon. It was in that context that PartyPoker had to reconsider its bid for a license.
Delayed, the poker company has announced that it has owned a license since November 10, and is now coming back to the Czech Republic. With a number of noteworthy events, such as the MILLIONS and LIVE series, PartyPoker is no stranger to collaborating with the local scene and transforming the Czech Republic into a hot spot for poker enthusiasts from the region and well beyond.
All (online) casinos that want to re-start or enter in the country will need to go under the Czech Ministry of Finance screening process, which, upon successful completion, will result in a right to cater to the local poker crowd.
PartyPoker already owns a “.cz” domain, although if you try opening the website presently, you will be redirected to the main page instead. There has been no news as to when the website will become active. Some expect a pre-Christmas launch while others believe that a more reliable time frame remains after New Year’s, as the company still has a few legal bugbears to solve.
The online efforts of the company in the Czech Republic will be spearheaded by Leo Tsoukernik, a known local poker player and entrepreneur. He owns the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, the famous venue of many of PartyPoker’s previous competitions.