TOTO CZ press release: the issue of a licence to conduct betting at the Czech racecourses has been delayed
TOTO CZ, a.s., the association that runs the betting offices in the Czech horseracing environment under the trading name BETINO, is still waiting for a new licence to accept bets, despite submitting an application in due time. However, intensive negotiations are still in progress with the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, aimed at obtaining a renewal of betting office activities as soon as possible at each of the racecourses that are served. Unfortunately, however, the beginning of this year’s horseracing season will be without betting [The Czech horseracing season began on April 7th, without BETINO]
The validity of the original licence expired on 31 March 2019. In accordance with new law No. 186/2016 Coll. on gambling, an application not only for approval of BETINO’s game plan but also for the issue of a new licence for the upcoming time period was duly submitted sufficiently in advance. The application for a new licence includes certification of the game plan by Elektrotechnický zkušebný ústav, s.p., [the Electrotechnical Experimental Institute state enterprise], which has been completed successfully.
Since the activities of the BETINO betting office are a rather isolated case in the environment of gambling and lotteries, and the issue of the licence comes under new legislation, the process is more complicated than had originally been anticipated. Despite intensive negotiations with the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, unfortunately, the beginning of this year’s horseracing season, which features the 61st running of the April Grand Prix, will be held without betting.
TOTO CZ a.s. is well aware of the social significance of providing betting in the horseracing environment, and all steps in the process of obtaining the new licence were carried out with due care and speed. The sole aim of the association is to renew the betting office activities at all racecourses that we serve, in the way that has been usual until now. We apologize to racegoers for the inconvenience that has been caused.
However, Velká Chuchle racecourse has set up collaboration with the Tipsport betting office, which will send its team to accept bets in the racecourse area on Sunday [i.e. April 7th].
A range of problems with betting at the Czech racecourses have been raised on the Dostihový svět web pages over the years. A major problem has been that betting is generally considered as a social problem here, by the authorities and by the majority of the public. Betting on horseracing is categorized alongside menaces like fruit machines and offshore online betting. The situation here is in stark contrast with those countries like France, where the authorities enable horseracing to grow rich, and to pay a reasonable proportion of their turnover to the exchequer, on the basis of a monopoly of betting on horseracing. In the Czech Republic, the attitude of the authorities is that they want to keep a lid on gambling. And if attempts to limit fruit machines and offshore betting happen to cripple on-course betting on horseracing, too – so what!