GVC subsidiary PartyPoker has confirmed that it received a licence to operate from the Czech Republic Ministry of Finance this month and is now cleared for operations in the Czech gambling market, where it competes with PokerStars but not many others..
The Czech regulated online gambling market has been open since early January 2017. but lawmakers have created an unappealing operating environment heavy on bureaucracy, restrictive bonus regulations and a punitive tax regime which has discouraged many operators from applying for licensing.
Official Ministry figures show that the market grew 1.1 percent in 2017 to CZK39.8 billion (approx. $1.7 billion). Online gambling was the star with 56 percent growth at CZK8.3 billion (approx. $360.6 million), a fifth of the overall action.
PartyPoker appears to have reconsidered its position on Czech licensing; initially the company withdrew its services as the new gambling laws were implemented in 2017, pending an application for a licence. However, the company revealed later that it had withdrawn its application due to reservations regarding the regulatory requirements.
It appears that the application was re-submitted, this time with success.