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Casino vendors pull out of European markets

12 June 2015

More and more large international casino providers pull out of European markets due to high tax rates. Apparently the recent monopolised market in Portugal has not sufficiently been freed for 888 Casino, which made the iGaming giant pull out of the country. This comes as a final answer to the new law, the Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Antonio had signed the end of April. He was hoping to use the reforms of the opening of the market for licensees to fill up the cash-strapped government tills with € 25 million. The government had approved the gambling monopoly Santa Casa da Misericordia. This ends in a constriction for I player in Portugal. Bwin also had to feel the strictness of the law in Portugal when they were trying to support and sponsor the Portuguese soccer league.

This was blocked by the government. Further trials of Bwin offering a Portuguese version of its website were prevented by the government. Portugal was one of the EU problem child. In 2011 the economy was on the brink of bankruptcy and was revived with a € 78bn cash injection by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The tax rates start at 15% for the licensee for the new iGaming portals in Portugal and increase regarding the sales-related turnover. However, some of the operators consider the tax too be too high which also shows the withdrawal of 888Casino from the country. William Hill had undergone a similar withdrawal from Romania. It shows a trend that online casinos pull out of unfavourable regulated national markets. The expectations, hopes or strategies from the government, based on increased revenue by iGaming reforms must be based on the fairness of the ax system.

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