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Interview SYNOT - CZECH REPUBLIC


Opposite sides, building bridges


G3 interviews Synot founder and owner, Ivo Valenta, regarding the recent destructive changes to the gaming industry in the Czech Republic and what the future has in store for the gaming sector as a new law looms on the horizon.


Ivo Valenta, founder and owner Synot Holdings.


The government of the Czech Republic is expected to introduce a new Gaming Law in 2014, with the major changes thought to include the connection of land-based gaming machines to a singular gov- ernment-controlled network, extensive responsi- ble gaming measures and the removal of the cur- rent online gaming ban, to allow Czech operators to offer igaming products and service to Czech cit- izens for the first time.


Speaking to Synot founder and owner, Ivo Valenta, at the ICE show in London, he explained that the shift to allow operators to partake in the Czech online market will enable the Gaming Commission to collect taxes from a domestic mar- ket in which players are currently playing online with foreign registered sites. "Operators want to be able to offer online gaming not just to the domestic market, but across the EU," stated Mr. Valenta. "VLTs will also be affected as part of the new law, as the country's regulations are brought into line with neighbouring states in which the nature of operation in the Czech Republic is fully classified."


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"The introduction of the new legislation will


not be a negative one for Synot. We need clear rules and regulations in which we can operate our business. We have been deeply unhappy with the regional city halls regulating autonomously within their jurisdictions. We welcome clarification of the rules so that every party understands exactly the parameters in which we can work in the gaming industry in the Czech Republic. Politicians like to take a tough stance on gambling, but the fact is that the cities will feel the loss of tax from legal gaming, while illegal gambling takes its place. We believe that the mayors that asked to ban VLTs will realise their mistake and we will be successful in the court cases. The EU courts will take a very long time to reach a verdict, but the national courts should make their rulings in the near future.”


The Czech Gaming Association


has agreed draft proposals for the new legislation with the Czech Ministry of Finance. It's an


encouraging sign for the industry ahead of the introduction of the new law.


The changes could bring about a major shift in the Czech gaming sector, but it is one that Synot and Mr. Valetta welcome wholeheartedly. "The intro- duction of the new legislation will not be a nega- tive one for Synot," said Mr. Valenta. "We need clear rules and regulations in which we can oper- ate our business. We have been deeply unhappy with the regional city halls regulating autonomously within their jurisdictions. We wel- come clarification of the rules written into law so that every party understands exactly the parame-


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