Cherry secures sports betting licence in tax prohibitive Poland

Cherry secures sports betting licence in tax prohibitive Poland

Thursday, July 5, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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Cherry is the ninth licensed operator in the regulated Polish market

Cherry AB has pressed ahead with plans to enter Poland, despite the reluctance of many major European operators to work under the country’s tax conditions.

The Group will soon be in a position to introduce its first online sportsbook to Polish customers after Cherry Online Polska, a subsidiary of the Cherry AB Group, was this week granted a sports betting licence by Poland’s Ministry of Finance.

Cherry, the ninth licensed operator in Poland, and the second company to receive such a licence under the new gambling regulations, will be operating in the market alongside the likes of Fortuna, Milenium, Star-Typ Sport, TOTOLOTEK, E-TOTO, forBET, LV BET, and Totalbet.

Patryk Włodarski, business consultant and responsible for the application, said: “We are proud to be the one of the first companies that were granted the licence.

“Poland is a fully regulated market and since the 2017 amendment to the gambling bill, it became our priority to obtain a licence, allowing us to offer our services online in full respect to the current laws. Now with a company in Warsaw holding a licence, Cherry is in position to introduce its first online sportsbook brand to the Polish customers very soon.”

Poland’s Senate passed the country’s new set of gambling regulations in late 2016, sparking a mass market exodus before the rules took effect on 1 April 2017.

Under these new regulations, online sports betting operators can apply for a licence from the Finance Ministry. However, by applying, they are agreeing to a 12% tax on betting turnover.

The likes of Pinnacle, William Hill and bet365 cited the unworkable tax rate, while even Polish-founded EnergyBet decided that the “highly restrictive and hostile regulatory environment” made continued operations unviable.

Totally Gaming says: Poland has drawn criticism for its attempts to implement a 'liberalised' iGaming market, largely because of this over-penal 12% turnover tax. The provision of casino games, poker, and bingo are limited to state-run operator Totalizator Sportowy, but Cherry has seen a sports betting opportunity that many have so far chosen to ignore.

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