The Czech Republic has given its first international sports betting licence to Star’s Group’s betting subsidiary BetStars, after a legislative overhaul at the beginning of the year allowed foreign gambling providers into the market.
Stars already has online poker and casino services accessible from the Czech Republic, after becoming the first company to be licensed for that service in January 2017.
Since the beginning of 2017, operators based in another EU member state or in an EEA country have been allowed to apply for licences to provide betting services to Czechs.
However, it was not until 9 November that the Czech State Supervision of Gambling and Lotteries gave its inaugural approval to a foreign sports betting company.
Zeno Ossko (pictured), managing director of BetStars, said: “We’re proud to be the first international sports betting operator to be awarded a licence under the Czech Republic’s new licensing regime.
“After extensive development, I am also very pleased that we are now able to begin offering players our exciting next generation mobile betting app, an integral part of our ongoing efforts to improve our product and overall offering for both existing and new customers.”
The Stars Group aims to have its sports betting service up and running before 2018, with a tax rate of 23 percent is levied on gross gaming revenue raised by foreign operators.
In addition, under the Czech licensing regime, The Stars Group and any future operators are required to offer self-restricting measures to customers to promote “responsible gaming”.
A register of “bared players” is kept by the Ministry of Finance, and foreign operators are expected to prevent people on that list from accessing gambling services.
The BetStars.cz platform will be accessible via desktop, web and mobile devices across iOS and Android, with players able to place bets on more than 20 sports.
However, under the provisions of its licence, BetStars will not offer free bets or the “Spin & Bet” product.