The Rising Trend of Online Gambling in the Czech Republic: Market Insights and Forecasts

In the past few years, the online gambling market in Central Europe, particularly the Czech Republic, has steadily grown. Recent predictions show that by 2028 the industry’s size will shoot up to $1,657 million – an almost quadruple rise from 2017. A key contributor to it is the rise of technology. 

As mobile gambling spread, more players became interested in the gambling trends and how they would influence their gameplay. Technology has become the driving force behind the Czech casino industry growth, from AI chatbots that streamline the problem-solving process to cryptocurrencies that allow entrance into blockchain networks. All of it, coupled with the ever-changing customer preferences and some external factors such as ad marketing, has opened the doors to a vast field of online betting for Czech players. The following article will investigate the country’s rising trend and provide better market insights.

Overview of Online Gambling Growth in the Czech Republic

Any online gambling in the Czech Republic is allowed as long as the operator holds an online casino license from the required authority, a.k.a. the Ministry of Finance. The license in question is called a “basic license” and is issued only for casinos working in the digital sphere. Land-based operators apply for a “gambling premises location” license. However, the latter has seen a significant decrease in applications.

Namely, within the digital age of today, many gambling companies have shifted their focus toward the online world. So, new Czech online casinos are popping up everywhere. It began with the implementation of high-speed Internet and the constant improvement of mobile phones. 

Gradually, it led to the rise of mobile casinos. In fact, the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) presented a report on the 2022 gambling industry in Europe, signaling a change in device usage when gaming. What used to be 54% of bets placed via desktop in 2019 has now fallen to 45%, with expectations to go as low as 36% by 2026. Of course, it is exchanged with a higher percentage of mobile gamblers.

However, it wasn’t the only factor. Gambling trends, such as regulatory changes, allowed many countries worldwide to let their citizens enjoy this pastime. It created the need for more governing organizations, thus urging countries to establish a separate gambling body to control the legality of the operator. In turn, many customers gained confidence and trust in the casinos, inadvertently boosting the market growth.

From this step onward, everything revolved around incorporating new technology. AI became a staple in top online casinos, while many pushed for the mix of AR and VR into their live casino sections. 

But the inclusion of gambling trends didn’t stop here! The blockchain network represented by cryptocurrencies and NFTs also found its way into online gambling. It allows many Czech players to bet using digital currencies and even own in-game features via NFTs.

Finally, marketing is the last key factor to bring in more players. Online casinos have now developed effective marketing strategies that present gamblers with the operator’s best features, such as state-of-the-art payment methods, AR and VR usage, bonuses, etc.

Comparative Analysis: Online vs. Traditional Gambling Markets

As we mentioned, the rise of the online gambling business is vast. However, it is done at the expense of land-based casinos. In 2021, the Czech Republic surged in online gambling, while brick-and-mortar casinos were left behind. It’s believed the taxed income from internet games presented by the Ministry of Finance for 2021 was €886 million, while the taxed income from land-based ones was €706 million.

Having in mind the world events at the time, it is understandable. Many land-based casinos were closed, thus pushing players toward their online counterparts. But, what was believed to be a temporary solution grew to a permanent state, increasing the overall gambling revenue in the country (and in general world ranks). 

More players found comfort in gambling either from their homes or from their devices wherever they pleased. So, online gambling sites became more popular. Plus, one of the more significant gambling trends caught up in the country – the implementation of the new Gambling Act, which set stricter rules for land-based operators.

Additional trends in the casino industry, such as tailored bonuses or loyalty programs with extra rewards, pushed more for this shift. In the end, all of it increased in online casinos applying for a license in the Czech Republic. Namely, from 11 operators in 2016, by 2022, there were 20 licensed online casinos. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar casinos saw a decrease, and from 70 licensed operators in 2014, the numbers went down to around 50 in 2022.

Technological Innovations Shaping Online Gambling Business

The initial step that shaped the iGaming industry was the rise of mobile gambling, followed by the creation of an increased number of mobile apps. Today, all prominent providers offering their services to Czech players are bound to have a mobile app compatible with Android and iOS devices.

Payment methods that transcended traditional banking offers also contributed to shaping the world of online casinos. Players got the chance to top up their accounts with different e-wallets (usually Skrill and Neteller), credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, and even cryptocurrencies. 

This technological wave also brought other gambling trends, such as improved video quality of live table games, better game graphics, immersive themes, and prizes to those who kept coming back and playing with a preset qualifying deposit. Of course, AR, VR, and AI play a crucial role in future developments.

But, these technological innovations are not just subject to the Czech Republic. These gambling trends have overtaken the whole iGaming world, interlacing themselves within all casinos. It, in turn, has pushed the global gambling market to rise to a staggering $95.05 billion in 2023, with predictions showing this incline doesn’t stop here. For a better insight into the statistics of the global gambling market, see the following table: 

Metric 2017 Data  2021 Data Global Market 2022 Projected Global Market 2023 Projected Global Market 2028
Market Size (EUR) Online: 351 million

Land-based: 1.26 billion

Online: 886 million

Land-based: 706 million

Online: 57,98 billion

Land-based: 182,5 billion

Online: 86,75 billion

Land-based: 43,95 billion  

Online: 126 billion

Land-based: 40,37 billion

Growth Trend Doubling of online income

Decrease in land-based income

Online income surpassed land-based Steady increase Significant increase of online gambling

Increase in land-based casino gambling after the pandemic

Online gambling is expected to surpass land-based gambling
Technological Influence Beginning of the technological shift Advanced influence of mobile apps, electronic banking, etc. Beginning of blockchain network, VR, and AR

Increased usage of AI

Advanced usage of the blockchain network Complete VR casino experience
Market Value (USD) Online: 384.5 million

Land-based: 1.31 billion

Online: 970.7 million

Land-based: 773.5 million

Online: 63.53 billion

Land-based: 200 billion 

Online: 95.05 billion

Land-based: 48.15 billion

Online: 138.10 billion

Land-based: 44.23 billion

CAGR 12% 12% -0.9% 9.1% 9.1%

Market Insights: Consumer Trends and Demographics

Gambling in the Czech Republic has always been present in some form. During the 20th century, there used to be strict control from the state over different gambling activities, which broke apart when the boom created by electronic gaming machines (EGMs), today known as slots, appeared.

In 1989, state officials believed it was creating addiction problems, which is why many municipalities banned slot machines. However, with the new gambling laws and the strict restrictions imposed on operators who want to incorporate all gambling trends in their online and offline sites, this pastime has spread among the citizens.

In 2015, the percentage of problem gamblers was perceived to be low, at around 2%. The people who suffered most were aged 15–64 years. What’s interesting is that younger generations tend to look at gambling as more of a fun activity rather than a potential addiction. 

However, as the demographic in the Czech Republic is mostly older people, it’s understandable why studies point to the fact that gambling is perceived negatively by the population in the country. One such study on 1092 respondents indicated that people in the Czech Republic didn’t like the rising gambling trends. However, 68% of them had taken part in some gambling activity at least once in their lives.

Many statistics also show Czech players shifted toward casinos offering sportsbook sections. The current trends indicate that since 2017, online casinos and sportsbooks have received more members at the expense of online lottery.

Regarding gender, men gamble more than women in the Czech Republic. In 2018, it was concluded that 51.2% of men gambled, opposite the 35.8% of women. To paint a better picture of the Czech consumer trends present in billions of casino operators online, see the table below:

Aspect Details
Problem Gamblers 2% (as of 2018) aged 15–64 years
Perception of Online Gambling A fun activity for younger generations;

Potential addiction for older generations

Form of Online Gambling Online casinos and sportsbooks
Gender Demographics Men gamble more than women

Future Projections: Trends and Market Forecasts

With a revenue of $1,173 million by the end of 2023, the Czech casino industry growth is sure to continue. Proof of it is the new amendments, which may take effect in January 2024 if the Parliament approves them. These gambling trends want to tackle the current problems and enable gambling safety. Some proposed changes include:

  • The scope of the Gambling Act will expand and contain all gambling games available to Czech players. As such, the operators must hold a valid Czech gambling license;
  • More player protection mechanisms to counter the gambling trends, such as the increased need for mobile gambling;
  • The Ministry will be able to add not only unlicensed casinos to its blacklist, but also sites aiming to violate in any way the ban on unlicensed casinos;
  • Live dealer sections in online casinos will be obligated to work with a studio in a land-based casino open in the Czech Republic;
  • Tax changes which go up to 15% on gambling income.

Aside from these forecasts, general gambling trends, such as adopting cryptos and NFTs, are counted toward future growth. As a matter of fact, some crypto casinos already entirely work by utilizing the blockchain network, with on-site currency exchanges (from fiat to crypto). Finally, we can’t forget the AR and VR, which are set to create a more immersive and entertaining experience for Czech players.

Aspect Details
Market Growth (2023-2028) USD 1,657 million increase
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) Accelerate at a CAGR of 7.15%
Key Technologies Adoption of Bitcoin, AI, VR
Influencing Trends Growing demand for mobile gambling, improved government regulations
Geographical Focus APAC region contributing significantly, along with North America, Europe, South America, and the Middle East and Africa
Product Segmentation Lottery, Betting, Casino
Platform Segmentation Desktop, Mobile
Challenges and Restraints Online data security issues, stringent regulations across regions
Competitive Landscape Fragmented market with key vendors and players

Final Thoughts

The gambling business all over the world is on the rise. Many governments have seen staggering growth in their annual revenues coming from online gambling. Hence, the shift toward such a mode of entertainment comes as no surprise. 

The Czech Republic is set on accepting all possible gambling trends, weaving them into licensed operators, and providing a constructive legal framework to secure its citizens. So, with the rapid development of technology, it’s not a question of if  but of when these new methods will become part of the Czech iGaming realm.