William Hill has joined some of its competitors by moving out of the Polish iGaming market after the country brought in a new gambling law.

The company shot a letter to all stakeholders in Poland, informing them that it intends to stop offering its products in Poland prior to April 1.

Customers can withdraw their funds from the site until April 1. Post this date, they will have to contact customer support to do the same.

Apart from this, William Hill has informed all affiliates to take off any marketing material directed at Polish customers from their websites.

Despite withdrawing from the market, William Hill intends to return to the market in the future.

In December, the Polish government approved a new Gambling Act that will add a 12% tax on wagering turnover.

With such a high rate of tax, operators feel the Polish market is not profitable.

In retaliation, several operators have decided to cease operations in the country on April 1. EnergyBet announced its withdrawal earlier in the week.

Totalizator Sportowy will remain the monopoly in Poland, with total control over the online gaming market.

Italian football giants Juventus and Betsson Group-owned StarCasinò have now joined hands for a new commercial deal.

While the terms of the agreement were not made public, one thing is clear that StarCasinò will be the official gaming partner of the Serie A champions.

StarCasinò will work in tandem with the football club for a series of initiatives, contests and promotions for the fans and supporters.

The deal was announced after Juventus signed up with Asia-facing online bookmaker Vwin earlier this month.

Juventus are on fire in the Serie A and look set to retain their title.

In a significant new development in the world of online sports betting, 888sport has become the latest operator to join the integrity body ESSA.

Now, 888sport has joined the likes of Bet365, bwin, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Unibet and William Hill as part of ESSA.

ESSA’s primary objective is to safeguard the interest of customers across the world from potential fraud via manipulation of sporting events. The integrity body looks after the interests of almost 40 millions punters in the EU alone at the moment.

“888sport is determined to continue to ensure the security of our markets and customer playing experience from the adverse impact of corruption in sport,” 888 sports fraud and risk manager, Ross Harkins, said.

“Joining ESSA is a key part of that approach and to maintaining the high standards of responsible gambling that we are committed to.”

Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, added: 

“The operator is a leading player in the industry and I am delighted that it has joined ESSA; it is the perfect start to 2017 and builds upon a very successful 2016 both in terms of membership growth and the association’s ability to protect its regulated members from betting-related fraud.

“888sport will now add its unique customer base and betting market platforms to our global anti-fraud alert and reporting system.”

GVC Holdings and Betfred have now parted ways after nine-year collaboration. The two parties ended their association just a year before the contract was due to expire.

In May 2016, the two companies put pen to paper, which ensured that GVC could offer its online sports platform to Betfred exclusively.

Full migration of Betfred's online business was covered under the agreement, with the GVC platform offering a unified account.

The two firms released a statement this week and informed stakeholders that this decision was arrived at “by mutual consent”.

According to the statement, the deal was “reached amicably, with no penalty clauses triggered by either party”, and that now both brands will be able to execute “greater flexibility to develop their businesses going forward”.

In a major new development in the world of online sports betting, William Hill has exited the Czech Republic after the new a new gambling legislation was introduced in the country.

The new law to regulate gambling in the country had the President Miloš Zeman’s signature after it was approved last summer. This new law, the Gambling Act, will help Czech Republic adhere to the European Union (EU) regulations.

From this year on, gambling operators will be subject to tougher licensing processes, which involve requirements such as having an official seat in an EU or European Economic Area country and holding at least €2 million ($2.1 million) in equity.

That’s not all. Other changes include a new tax rate of 23% on gross gaming revenue for sports betting and lotteries, as well as 35% for RNG casino games, on top of a standard 19% corporate tax rate.

Post the implementation of these new rules, British bookmaker opted to withdraw its services from the country and informed the same to its customers.

The players have been also told by the site to withdraw funds from their accounts.

It now remains to be seen whether other big players follow William Hill out of Czech Republic.

These, however, are testing and interesting times for the gambling operators and enthusiasts in the country.

In a rather interesting new development in the world iGaming, Russian bookmaker Fonbet launched a licensed online betting service in the country.

In doing so, Fonbet became the sixth player in Russia’s online sports betting market.

The bkfon.ru online sports betting platform will conduct all its transaction via a centralized TSUPIS system, in line with payment processing rules and regulations in Russia.

Fonbet is part of the Russian Bookmakers Self-Regulatory Organisation and acquired its license from the Roskomnadzor national regulatory body.

bkfon.ru will now function alongside other operators like Liga Stavok, Winline, 888.ru, 1XBet and Leon.ru.

It remains to be seen how the new player in the market performs. Considering other brands are well established, these are definitely interesting times for Russia’s sporstbook market.

Venue: Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis

Date: Thursday, June 16

England take on Wales in a crucial Group B clash on Thursday. After being held to a 1-1 draw against Russia, the Three Lions need all three points against Wales in order to ensure progress to the next round.

This is the Welsh Dragon’s first ever appearance at the Euros. Despite boasting of a strong group of players, Chris Coleman’s side will rely heavily on the brilliance of Gareth Bale to get past Wayne Rooney’s team.

Out of their 102 past battles, England have won 66, Wales 14 and 21 have been draws. This however is the first time the two teams are meeting at a major tournament. It has been 32 years since Wales last beat England.

Roy Hodgson will be worried about the performance of his strikers since they have failed to produce more than 1 goal in 13 of their last 14 games.

Despite the draw against Russia, some of the link-up play from England was good and the attackers did a fine job for majority of the match.

The Welsh defense remains suspect, as they have conceded in each of their last five games.

Considering they became the first British side to win an opening game at the Euros, the whole squad will be raring to go against England.

Form guide:

England: DWWWLWWLWW

Wales: WLLDLWLDWW

Possible starting XIs

England: Hart; Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Lallana, Kane, Sterling.

Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.

72Betting prediction:

England 2-2 Wales

Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille

Date: Sunday, June 12

World champions Germany open their Euro 2016 campaign with a Group C battle against Ukraine. Despite problems, the Germans are firm favorites to win this duel in Lille.

Ukraine have no injury concerns, while Joachim Low will be hoping star defender Mats Hummels is fit to play his team’s opener.

The Germans are renowned for their big-tournament performances. This time however they enter the Euros in questionable form.

Mykhailo Fomenko’s men are tricky customers and will fully believe they can beat the Germans who lost twice in the qualifying stages.

Ranked 19th in the world, Ukraine are solid at the back but could struggle in the goal-scoring department.

Ukraine have never beaten Germany, with three draws and two defeats in their last five meetings. Interestingly, Ukraine have never lost to Germany at a neutral venue.

While Germany have too much in the tank for their opponents, other teams will be closely watching how Die Mannschaft open their bid to win the Euro 2016

Form guide:

Germany: WLWLLWLWWW

Ukraine: WWWWDWLWDW

Possible starting XIs

Ukraine: Pyatov; Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk; Stepanenko, Sydorchuk, Garmash; Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka; Zozulya.

Germany: Neuer; Höwedes, Mustafi, Boateng, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.

72Betting prediction:

Germany 2-1 Ukraine

Venue: Stade Velodrome

Date: Saturday, June 11

England take on Russia in a Group B clash at Stade Velodrome on Saturday. After France got off to a winning start, England too will be hoping to get their campaign going on the right footing.

The Three Lions will be looking to turn their fortunes around on the big stage this time around. With plenty of expectations back home, England cannot afford to slip up in their opener.

Usually solid at the back, this Russian side has leaked plenty of goals. They are winless in their last three games, with opponents having found the back of the net on seven occasions.

Since the fall of Soviet Union, these two teams have met on just two occasions with both teams winning one game each.

Roy Hodgson will rely on the speed of his attackers to overcome an ageing Russian defense.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

England: WWWLWWLWWW

Russia: DLLWLWWWWW

Possible starting XIs

England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Lallana, Kane, Sterling.

Russia: Akinfeev; Smolnikov, Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Glushakov, Golovin, Samedov, Kokorin, Shatov; Dzyuba.

72Betting prediction:

England 2-1 Russia

Betclic Everest has become the first iGaming operator to obtain an online sports betting license in Portugal.

The company will offer its products to the country’s residents via the newly launched Betclic.pt website.

Portuguese iGaming enthusiast will now be able to place bets on sporting events from around the globe on the site.

Portuguese local regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) gave its nod to Betclic to offer its products within Portugal’s borders.

Last year, Portugal initiated plans to regulate its online gambling market. This decision of the country’s government led to several operators like William Hill, Betfair and Amaya’s Full Tilt and PokerStars shutting shop.

It now remains to be seen whether Betclic’s move helps generate a new interest in the Portuguese market. On paper it looks like the company has pulled off a coup, but one should reserve judgment until the revenue reports are analyzed in the coming months.