UK bookmaker William Hill announced last week that they will no longer offer their sports-book platform in Australia in order to comply with a licensing regulation process in Nevada.
Up Rooting from Down Under
In an email to its Australian customers, the 78 year old company said:
Following previous communications, please be advised that we have taken the decision to withdraw our Sports betting service for any customer registered in Australia. Any real cash funds held in your account will now appear in your main William Hill account and you can arrange withdrawal of these funds through the ‘My Account’ section of our site.
Will Hill explained to Sportsbook Review the reasoning behind deciding to withdraw their services to Australians.
The Interactive Gambling Act passed in 2001 makes it illegal for operators to offer online gambling in Australia. Only poker and casino games are targeted under the law and no iGaming operators have ever been successfully penalized under the law which can fine operators $1.1 million per day for servicing Australians.
Despite sports-book services not being mentioned in the Australian law which has never been used to penalize an iGaming operator, Will Hill concluded their catering to the Australian market could be seen as a potential hindrance to the company’s efforts to pass a stringent iGaming licensing process in Nevada.
Will Hill is among several sites seeking a coveted online poker license in Nevada. It is hypothesized that licenses will be issued sometime this year to operators who will begin servicing Americans by winter.
Will Hill’s decision to withdraw its sports-betting services from Australia is a testament to both the level of scrutiny iGaming companies will face from U.S. regulators as well as to how much the company values having access to the future online poker market in Nevada.
What do you think? Was Will Hill’s decision to withdraw entirely from the Australian market worth it for a chance at a Nevada online poker license? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!