Partypoker is set to go live in the Czech Republic a year after withdrawing its license application due to unclear and unfavorable operating conditions.
Initially reported by Poker Industry PRO on November 15, the new license is the result of Partypoker’s relationship with King’s Casino Rozvadov.
The recent home of the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) as well as various Partypoker and WPT events, the casino is now the online operator’s official live partner.
Royal Connections Gets It Done
In joining forces with King’s Casino, Partypoker has become the second international poker site to go live in the Czech Republic since its laws changed in 2017. Prior to the regulatory changes, the country had relied on the 1990 Lotteries Act to manage the online poker sector.
However, when Andrej Babiš took up the position of Czech Finance Minister in 2014, his anti-online gaming stance ushered in a new wave of regulation. In a bid to deter operators from serving locals, Babiš introduced high tax rates designed to make certain games a costly investment for operators.
With costs spiraling, Partypoker left the market. But within two years, Czech President Miloš Zeman changed the laws once again, making it easier for foreign companies to reenter the market.
PokerStars became the first operator to receive a Czech license in 2017, but Partypoker wasn’t so quick to join the newly regulated market. Despite applying for a license the same year, restrictions on freerolls and bonuses forced it to reconsider its position.
New License Opens New Doors for All
Fast-forward to 2018 and it appears as though any previous objections have been addressed, leaving Partypoker free to go live in another international market.
The news that Partypoker will now be available inside the Czech Republic comes three weeks after the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced it’s 2019 schedule. Extending its partnership with Partypoker Live, the WPT plans to visit a host of European countries next year, including the Czech Republic.
Having an online presence in the region ahead of the festival will not only boost the number of participants but open up new opportunities for locals. As well as online satellites, players will be able to take advantage of the operator’s new tournament currency.
Known as Partypoker Live $$$, the credits will allow Czech players to win coins online and use them for tournament buy-ins and accommodation at WPT Czech Republic and other associated events.