William Hill withdraws from Polish market

Monday, Mar 27, 2017 13:17

William Hill (also known as Will Hill) has become the latest gambling operator to withdraw from the newly regulated Polish online betting market.

The bookmaker will shut down all of its Polish betting services on April 1st. The bookmaker has formally confirmed this to its customers. All marketing partners of William Hill have been asked to stop all campaigns within Poland and all Polish customer funds will be cleared and settled in the coming weeks.

Reasons


William Hill published its yearly financial results in February 2017 which indicated a 3% drop in its year-on-year revenue. Following the decline in revenue for what William Hill cited as a challenging year as well as the turn recent regulatory developments in Poland took, the operator contacted its customers and affiliates to inform them its services will no longer be available on the territory of the country as of April 1, 2017.

Both affiliates and customers of the UK-based operator were informed of this decision via emails, which stated that none of William Hill’s product offerings will be available to Polish players after this month ends. The email also stated that all registered players, residing in Poland, are required to withdraw their existing balance from their William Hill accounts prior to April 1. After this date, the accounts of Polish customers will be suspended. Players, who fail to cash out within the specified period, should get in touch with the operator’s customer support agents in order to request the withdrawal of their existing balance.

Possible Return in the Future


In the email, William Hill’s governance stated it values the cooperation and contributions of both its Polish players and affiliates and went on to express confidence that it will be able to offer its range of products in the country in the future if there are any favourable changes in gambling regulations. The online betting operator finished by offering its apologies for the inconvenience its decision may have caused to Polish customers and affiliates.

The Legislative Change


In December 2016, a 12% online gambling turnover tax was passed by the Polish legislative chamber. It is coming into effect on April 1st, 2017. The Polish market has seen a mass exodus of betting firms leaving its jurisdiction. Many betting operators are unhappy with the new law, arguing that the tax on services is unworkable for industry operations.

There have been suggestions that the Polish government is actually purposely devising favourable conditions for the state-owned operator, Totalizator Sportowy.

Just this week, an actual Polish-founded online betting operator, EnergyBets, also confirmed that the company had withdrawn from its home market, and stated that Poland had become a “highly restrictive and hostile regulatory environment”.

William Hill is not the only bookmaker to leave the Polish market due to this legislative change. Pinnacle and Olympic Entertainment Group have also decided to leave.

William Hill management has not made any comment on the firm’s decision to leave the Polish market.