SPORTS

Sports betting goes public in Czech Republic

TAGs: Czech Republic gambling

With Betfair’s recent IPO valuing the company in the billions of dollars, a number of online gambling companies are rushing to go public and cash in on the rapidly growing industry. One of the first to head to market is Czech-based sports betting giant Fortuna Entertainment Group, which recently announced plans to list itself on the major exchanges of Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava.

Fortuna, who is big shit in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, has yet to reveal exactly how many shares will be up for sale. However, it was announced that current owner Penta is expected to maintain majority stock ownership.

The company is still relatively young, as sports betting in the Czech Republic was only legalized in 2009. Even so, the laws are quite strict, with gamers forced to enter one of Fortuna’s betting shops to provide identification before they can sign up for the online gambling service.

Despite heavy competition from larger international providers, Fortuna has carved out a strong niche in central Europe, growing 12 percent in the last year and looking to repeat those number in the next.

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