With its medieval castles and breathtaking views, the Czech Republic is an attractive destination for tourists from all four corners of the world. Although the Czech Republic is not the most affluent country in the European Union, it boasts a stable economy. The Czechs are known for their passion for sports. Football and ice hockey are the most well-liked sports in the Czech Republic.
Many locals bet on sports, which explains why the industry is thriving in this country. Both online and land-based sports betting activities are legal in the Czech Republic, with the Ministry of Finance being responsible for overseeing the industry and awarding licenses to domestic and international operators.
Best Sports Betting Sites in the Czech Republic
For years, international sportsbooks were not allowed to operate on Czech soil. But in 2017, Act No. 186/2016 On Games of Chance, also known as the Gambling Act, was enacted to establish licensing conditions for international operators. But the choice of licensed betting sites is quite limited because of the strict requirements imposed on operators.
However, the country does not prosecute or penalize sports fans who bet through offshore betting sites. As a result, many Czechs prefer to use the services of such sportsbooks because they offer generous promotions, competitive odds, and multiple betting markets. Most of them even support the Czech koruna (CZK), allowing bettors to avoid currency conversion fees. If you are interested in the best online sportsbooks accepting punters from the Czech Republic, check the list below.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in the Czech Republic
The number of online sportsbooks licensed to operate in the Czech Republic is thin on the ground. Betting sites authorized to provide their services on Czech soil offer some bonuses, but the promotions offered at international sportsbooks are more generous. In the lines below, we will discuss some of the most common sports betting bonuses available to Czech punters.
Match Deposit Bonus
To provide you with a flying start to your betting session, some Czech-friendly sportsbooks will match your first deposit by a certain percentage up to a given amount. Sports fans must make a minimum deposit to qualify for the promotion. Besides, match deposit bonuses are usually associated with wagering requirements, which must be satisfied within a designated timeframe. While playing with an active bonus, sports fans must also comply with a minimum odds requirement.
Another lucrative sports betting bonus comes in the form of free bets. While you cannot withdraw the money from your free bet, you can use it to place a wager on various sporting events and win some cash. Given that your bet loses, your bankroll will remain unchanged. Punters may need to deposit or wager a specific amount before being able to claim a free bet bonus.
Risk-free bet promotions are offered at many sports betting sites that cater to the needs of Czech punters. Thanks to this bonus type, you can get your stake back if your bet loses. The refund is usually credited to your account in the form of free bets or cashback.
Sportsbooks often increase the odds on popular betting markets to attract the attention of newcomers and incentivize existing punters to place a wager. Enhanced odds provide bettors with the opportunity to make more money without increasing the amount of risk involved.
Betting Regulation in the Czech Republic
Czechoslovakia was a satellite state of the USSR until 1989. Even though all forms of gambling activities were illegal in former Czechoslovakia, horse racing betting was a popular form of entertainment. At the beginning of 1990, the sports betting industry started growing faster than ever before, paving the way for the development of a properly regulated sports betting market.
In May 1990, the Law on Lotteries and Other Like Games (Lotteries Act) was passed to legalize sports betting. Soon after the legislation came into force, the first betting office, Fortuna, was opened in Prague. Only a year later, Tipsport was founded in Beroun. These two brands are still the most popular bookmakers in the country. For a short period of time, a lot more betting shops were established in the Czech Republic. Foreign bookmakers also did not hesitate to enter the Czech market. They were allowed to operate without paying taxes.
The Legal Status of Online Sports Betting in the Czech Republic
In 2012, the Czech Republic introduced massive changes to the law. Under the new rules, foreign operators must have a physical address in the Czech Republic to be eligible for a license. However, the new gambling legislation was in stark violation of EU laws, and legislators were forced to amend it.
In January 2017, Act No. 186/2016 Coll was signed into law. Under the new legislation, online sportsbooks must obtain a basic license from the Ministry of Finance to operate in the Czech Republic. There is no cap on the number of licenses that can be issued. The licensing procedure may take 30 to 60 days, and operators must renew their licenses every six years.
Although the fee for a basic license is just CZK5,000, the licensing conditions are hard to fulfill. Betting companies must be based in an EU or EEA member state. Furthermore, licensed sports betting platforms must be available in the Czech language.
The Czech Republic Raises Gambling Tax
In 2019, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Finance announced that the taxes imposed on some forms of gambling, including sports betting, will be increased. From January 2020, the tax imposed on operators that provide fixed odds betting is 25%. Moreover, gambling winnings are subject to a 15% tax on an annual basis. However, you have to pay this tax only if your winnings from a given type of gambling and the amount wagered on the respective type of gambling exceed CZK1,000,000.
The strict licensing conditions and burdensome fees made the Czech Republic’s sports betting market less appealing to foreign operators. That is the reason why licensed betting sites are quite limited in the Czech Republic. However, the Czech gambling law does not prosecute sports fans for accessing foreign sportsbooks. Many bettors from the Czech Republic prefer to use the services of international operators as they usually offer more generous promotions, plenty of betting markets, and competitive odds.
Responsible Gambling Measures in the Czech Republic
At the moment of writing, only five Czech-based online betting sites are authorized to operate in the country. Czech punters who want to open an account at a licensed online sportsbook are required to visit a physical betting shop. The measure was introduced in an attempt to prevent underage gambling. While on the subject, we must mention that the minimum age for all forms of gambling in the Czech Republic is 18 years old.
Czech punters who decide to bet through a licensed sportsbook must verify the payment method through which they deposit and withdraw money. According to the Czech Gambling Act, the maximum amount sports fans can deposit and withdraw at land-based betting shops is CZK5,000. On the other hand, there is no limit on cashless transactions. Czech sports fans are also required to set deposit limits to reduce the risk of gambling problems.
Gambling commercials are regulated by Act No. 40/1995 Coll, according to which advertisements must not give the impression that gambling is a source of income, must not target underage individuals, and must carry the following warning text: “Ministry of Finance cautions: Participation in gambling activities may lead to addiction!”
What currencies Czech-friendly sportsbooks support?
Most online betting sites that accept Czech sports fans often support the Czech koruna (CZK). This works to the advantage of Czech punters since they can easily avoid currency conversion fees. A crucial thing to mention is that every betting site has a minimum deposit limit that may vary between the different payment service providers.
Is it safe for Czech sports fans to bet online?
There are plenty of legitimate betting sites that accept sports fans from the Czech Republic. Reliable sportsbooks usually employ advanced encryption systems to protect their registrants’ sensitive information. Moreover, trustworthy betting sites employ convenient and safe payment methods.
Do Czech betting sites offer welcome bonuses?
Yes, betting sites that accept punters from the Czech Republic offer different types of welcome bonuses. As a newcomer, you can benefit from a match deposit bonus, free bet, or risk-free bet, depending on the betting site you join. But keep in mind that you must meet specific requirements to qualify for a bonus and cash out your profits.
What payment methods do Czech betting sites support?
Czech punters can use various payment methods to execute gambling-related transactions. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely used payment solutions in the Czech Republic. However, sports fans can use other reliable payment options such as Skrill, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Bank Transfer. Deposits are usually processed instantly. As far as withdrawals are concerned, you may need to wait 3 to 5 business days to receive your profits.
How to register with an online sportsbook that accepts sports fans from the Czech Republic?
Czech punters who are 18 years old or above can easily set up an account at a foreign betting site. First, find a legitimate sportsbook and make sure it accepts punters from the Czech Republic. You can find a list of the excluded countries in the terms and conditions section. Then, click on the registration button and provide the required details. Usually, punters must enter their name, date of birth, address, and preferred currency.