Casino, Poker Could Be Coming to Prague, Czech Republic Through New Gaming Venues

Posted on: May 15, 2023, 08:02h. 

Last updated on: May 15, 2023, 11:40h.

King’s Casino in Rozvadov is the unofficial but long-standing home of major poker events in the Czech Republic that attract players from around the world. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) and European Poker Tour (EPT) regularly visit the property. But it might soon have some competition closer to the capital city of Prague.

The exterior of the Václav Havel Airport in Prague, Czech Republic
The exterior of the Václav Havel Airport in Prague, Czech Republic. Two projects are seeking approval for casino and poker hall developments close to the airport. (Image: Pinterest)

Two new projects for gambling fans were presented at a public hearing last week in the tiny village of Tuchoměřice. The town is on the northwest border of Prague and the Central Bohemian Region, in close proximity to Václav Havel Airport. The projects hope to bring a new casino and convention center that could host poker tournaments.

Despite the town’s relationship with the capital, about 30 minutes away, it has very little infrastructure and even less economic stability. The companies behind the projects promise to change that through direct and indirect capital investments.

Big Plans for a Hot Town

Czech gaming operator GPC Win a.s. would like to build its Grand Arena hospitality complex just outside the sleepy town. In last week’s meeting, it presented a hotel and a multifunctional casino designed primarily for holding international poker tournaments.

The venue would offer 140 gaming tables, 25 roulette and blackjack tables, with a targeted marketing strategy to attract high rollers. The company proposes 400 gaming machines, if approved, and a luxury hotel with 72 rooms and restaurants and bars.

Kaprain, a Czech investment and property development firm, is behind the second casino project, which will also have live gaming and slot machines. It owns, among other large projects, POP Airport, the largest outlet and entertainment center in Central Europe.

The planned casino would be part of the airport, separated from the shopping center. The investor’s representative stated that, along with the casino, the company is also considering the future construction of an outdoor part of Majaland, the country’s largest indoor amusement park, and a waterpark.

The companies stated that they expect significant infrastructure growth as a result of the projects. There will be new housing requirements, taxi services, roads, and water treatment facilities provided in the area.

They didn’t offer to cover all of the expenses of the improvements. There will be “tens of millions of euros” that emerge from the developments, and this revenue could be used to pay part of the cost of the improved infrastructure.

Uphill Battle

As with every casino project ever announced, some of those in Tuchoměřice oppose the two developments. They argue that they don’t need gambling revenue and that casinos are harbingers of criminal activity.

In every instance that a casino development has come up for discussion, opponents argue that the properties lead to more crime.

Only a small handful of locals – approximately 50 of the town’s 1,500 inhabitants – participated in the meeting. The town council wanted to gauge the local sentiment before voting on the projects, and it could still be several months before they make a decision.

Three Major Projects on the Radar

The presentation of these two projects comes a couple of weeks after another proposal appeared in the city of Rudná u Prahy. A group of businessmen promises to build the largest casino in Central Europe, 30 minutes to the southwest of Prague, following a plan that started over four years ago.

That property has been trying to fly under the radar, probably because it has alleged ties to a Russian mafia. Not even Rudná Mayor Lubomír Kocman has been willing to talk about it publicly, according to local media outlet Radiožurnál.

There also appears to be a link to a well-known figure in the US casino industry. Radiožurnál stated that one of the investors of All Inn Invest and All Inn Group, which are behind the project, is Czech lawyer Jan Lašmanský. All Inn Group is owned by the family of gaming entrepreneur Haig Kelegian.

Rudná currently prohibits gambling, which calls into question how the project has been able to advance. Since Kocman hasn’t offered any insight, that remains a mystery for now.