After an absence of almost two years, partypoker is back in the Czech Republic. The online poker portal has received a license by the country’s Finance Ministry, having exited the market in February of 2017. Leo Tsoukernik of King’s Casino in Rozvadov will reportedly run the online poker room.
The license was issued on November 10 and is already included in a Ministry list of licensed operators in the country. The domain name for the new portal, partypoker.cz, is valid, but redirects to a partypoker.com site, indicating that the Czech platform is still not live. No word has yet been provided on win the site might be operational. Partypoker is going to have to spend a lot of time developing the platform to be in compliance of local laws, which could potentially delay the site’s launch.
Following regulation changes in the country last year, partypoker left the Czech Republic. Amendments to how operators were regulated and able to operate in the country forced partypoker to leave the country and it subsequently withdrew an application for a local license.
King’s Casino has previously hosted the PartyPoker LIVE and MILLIONS tournament series. It has also organized a number of online satellite opportunities for the events, so the marriage between the two with Tsoukernik operating the online portal isn’t too much of a shocker for anyone.
The licensing process in the Czech Republic is tedious and the endeavor is costly. There is a mountain of paperwork that has to painstakingly be filled out and license solicitors have to be prepared to fork over a significant amount of cash. There is a 19% corporate tax, a 23% online sports betting revenue tax and a 35% online casino revenue tax. It’s no surprise that 90% of the international brands that once services Czech players removed themselves from the market.
Currently, the Ministry’s list only includes a short list of names. PokerStars is the most notable and was the first to receive a license in the country. Since then, the local gambling market has grown to be worth around $1.7 billion and online gambling increased to $360.6 million. However, the local market is still not able to attract big names in the business. With the amount of money that has to be paid in taxes, it’s no surprise.