Siobhan Aslett03.01.2017

UK-based gambling operator, William Hill, has pulled out of The Czech Republic in response to new online gambling laws in the country that came into effect from January 1, 2017. The company has closed the accounts of its Czech players and will no longer offer any services in the Czech market.

“We would like to inform you, that following recent regulatory developments in The Czech Republic, William Hill will cease to accept business from customers in The Czech Republic,” read an email sent by William Hill to its affiliates.

“This means that none of William Hill’s products will be available in The Czech Republic, though players will be able to withdraw from their existing account balances.”

The new gambling laws which prompted this move were signed in July 2016 by Czech President, Miloš Zeman. Under the new laws, all operators based in the European Union will be required to obtain an online gambling license from The Czech Republic in order to be able to offer its services within the Czech market.

There are only a dozen operators that currently hold a Czech gaming license and William Hill is not one of them. It appears that William Hill, along with many other major operators, will not be seeking to acquire this license, partly due to the fact that the tax structure under the new gambling law is punitive with 35 percent of gross gaming revenue required to be paid in taxes. In addition, operators would be required to pay a 19 percent corporate income tax rate.

“We value your cooperation and contribution and though William Hill is obliged to cease to accept business from customers in The Czech Republic, for the time being, we are confident that we will have the opportunity to work together in the future,” the email concluded.