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William Hill Pulls Out of Portugal, Estonia
- June 26, 2015 By Nemanja L. -
William Hill, one of world’s longest-running sports betting operators has informed their customers that they will no longer be accepting players from Portugal and Estonia due to recent regulatory changes.
The operator’s affiliate partners as well as their customers have been notified via email on Wednesday that the company would no longer accept players from the two countries, starting from Sunday, 28th June.
The customers will still be able to withdraw cash from their betting accounts, but William Hill products will no longer be available in Portugal and Estonia.
And while the well-known operator had no choice but to take this action at the moment, they have expressed hope to return to the two markets in the future.
Portugal to Introduce Controversial Gambling Law
Portugal’s impending new gambling regulation was probably the main reason why William Hill opted to withdraw from the country, with the new framework effective as of Monday, 29th June.
On Tuesday, Turismo de Portugal will allow operators to apply for licenses to offer their services to the country’s residents, after which the public will have ten days to discuss the law.
The final documentation will be published on 8th July, allowing interested gaming companies to start submitting their games for certification.
Operators will have the opportunity to apply for four types of licenses, which include casino games, fixed odds sports betting, bingo and fixed odds and pari-mutuel horse betting.
There is no cap on the number of licenses that can be issued, while another good news for the operators is that they can be granted multiple licenses.
High Taxes in Place for Operators
Nevertheless, not too many leading gaming operators are expected to enter the Portugal market due to the high tax rates, while those existing ones could follow William Hill’s example and leave the country altogether.
Namely, depending on the operator’s revenue, poker and casino earnings will be taxed between 15% and 30%. And while fixed odds sports betting revenue will incur an 8% tax on turnover of less than €30 million, the tax will double to 16% if the earnings exceed said amount.
Rather than publishing the list of blacklisted companies, Portugal has decided to reveal the list of those operators holding valid licenses after the issuing process comes to an end.