Betfair has announced that it will be exiting the Polish online gambling market. The move comes in the wake of a new regulatory scheme for operators that’s designed to crush the country’s thriving grey market gambling scene.
The company’s exit comes just days before the Polish government enacts a new set of regulations collectively known as the Polish Gambling Act. Under the new laws, sports betting operators must pay a gigantic 12 percent tax on sports betting turnover.
Polish lawmakers are hoping that the new laws will squash the country’s thriving grey market gambling activity while giving officially licensed operators an opportunity to thrive in the regulated market.
In a statement to to the press Poland’s Association of Employers and Employees of Bookmakers expressed support for the Act saying:
“Until now, (there have been) extremely unfavorable conditions for bookmakers who are honestly doing business. As a result, about 90 percent of the online market is one of the entities operating in Poland that do not respect national law and do not pay taxes. They represent unfair competition for companies operating legally who pay taxes and employ thousands
The UK-based operator is not the first international operator to head for the exits in Poland. Bet365, William Hill and a host of other operators have already left Poland, though most have left open the thought of returning one day.
In Poland, local operators are hoping that the exit of grey market internationals will convince the government that further tax increases and regulations are not necessary for the homegrown online gambling market.