Despite the World Cup in Russia, the bookmaker operator Bet-at-home.com registered in Frankfurt recorded almost 15 percent lower income in the first half of 2018. Experts blame Polish law for this state of affairs.
In the first half of 2018, Bet-at-home recorded EUR 66.6 million in revenue. In total, customers made bets for EUR 1.5 billion – compared with nearly EUR 1.7 billion in the first half of last year.
Market experts have no doubts. Bet-at-home.com suffered these declines because of the policy of Polish government. In July 2017, foreign bookmaking sites had been blocked. This happened after the amendment of the Gambling Act. It assumed blocking websites that were not compliant with the new law. The list includes, among others, bookmakers’ domains without a Polish license.
According to some bookmakers, including bet-at-home.com, the new gambling law is not in line with EU law. It’s all about art. 7a of the new Polish law, which states that the activity consisting in organizing gambling games can be carried out only in the form of a joint-stock company or limited liability company or in the form of companies operating on the principles applicable to them, located in an EU Member State or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
In addition, the nature of the business must be approved in the concession, permit or regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance. It is also necessary to establish a representative or branch and to have a share capital at a fixed value.
Bet-at-home.com claims that Polish regulations discriminate against companies from other member states. In the autumn of 2017, the company registered in Frankfurt complained about Polish regulations.
Before closing their domain Bet-at-home.com had 38% of Polish market. It made the company the largest player of a segment worth PLN 5 billion.
Polish competition is taking advantage of the problems of the former leader. For example, STS revenue increased from approx. PLN 800 million to PLN 1.604 billion.