illiam Hill has informed local players and affiliates that its products will no longer be available in the Czech Republic from 1 January 2017 when the new law is set to become effective. The operator has assured its Czech customers that they will be able to withdraw their money from their accounts. William Hill has also requested that local affiliates stop promoting the brand to Czech players.
In emails to both customers and affiliates the British bookmaker has expressed hopes that they will be able to work together in near future, which clearly shows that it is interested in returning to the local market. William Hill cited the recent regulatory developments in the country as the reason for its exit.
Under the newly adopted Czech Gambling Act, William Hill or any other interested gambling company must obtain a license by local authorities in order to be able to offer online gambling products within the country’s borders.
It could be said that certain fuzziness surrounds the Czech Republic’s new iGaming regulatory regime as it has not been announced yet what kind of products will be allowed in the local market. However, it appears that operators will not be able to offer live casino options as Czech authorities have expressed preference for software-run games to ones operated by a live dealer.
Although the local market has drawn big industry names like William Hill, it is rather unclear whether the jurisdiction will remain as attractive as before. The general overhaul of the country’s gambling laws was accompanied by the introduction of new taxes on the provision of gaming and sports betting services; taxes that have been considered a bit too high by industry representatives.
A look at the Czech Ministry of Finance’s website shows that there are just twelve companies to have received licenses to operate sports betting options and card games in the local market. It can also be seen that most of the licensees are local companies, including Fortuna Entertainment Group.