One of the most vexing dilemmas in the online gambling era has been this, how do local governments regulate offshore gaming operations? And how do they actually punish operators who run afoul of their laws when those operators could be based in another country?

These are questions that have proven to be nearly impossible to answer and the latest government to be unable to answer them is the government of the Czech Republic. According to Czech news site E15, the country’s Finance Ministry has only collected a tiny fraction of the outstanding fines racked up in their market by offshore operators.

In the blockbuster report E15 suggests that the Czechs are owed somewhere around $20 million in fines and fees from gambling operators serving the Czech people. Unfortunately, they’ve only been able to collect $10,000 worth of the outstanding fines. That comes out to be about 0.00005 percent of the total owed.

Officials at the Finance Ministry acknowledge they’ve had some trouble collecting fines from offshore operators, especially those in the Caribbean, but they add that’s not really the point. In a rebuttal to the E15 article, the Ministry suggested that fines aren’t imposed to line the state’s pockets, but are there to serve a “preventative effect.” Unfortunately, the current situation doesn’t seem to be preventing offshore operators from flouting Czech law.

The Czechs are hardly the only government struggling with this and the Caribbean isn’t the only place where offshore scofflaws exists. Remember, the United States has owed Antigua tens of millions of dollars in restitution for blocking access to their markets for more than a decade. That fine remains unpaid, too.


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