William Hill has chosen to withdraw its sports betting product from the Germany market, according to a report on Sportsbook Review. It will continue accept action on its casino and poker products, and German customers can process withdrawals unhindered.
The move comes after the recent ratification of Germany’s new Online Gambling Act, which permits a restricted number of sportsbooks but no licenses for online poker.
Paddy Power is thought to be the only other site to have reacted since the new Gambling Act came into effect on July 1, blocking all action from players in Germany.
Both companies are applying for licenses in Nevada—William Hill’s application has been approved and Paddy Power has cleared suitability hearings—which may explain their withdrawals.
Both are also expected to be on the applicant list in Schleswig-Holstein, the “rogue” German state with its own liberal online gaming regulation. However, the application process is in jeopardy given the opposition of the newly elected coalition government.
As expected, no major poker rooms have withdrawn from the market, meaning the status quo of gray-market online poker in Germany remains.