Ladbrokes Exits Hungary, Norway, and Switzerland

Published October 15, 2014 by Mike P

Ladbrokes Exits Hungary, Norway, and Switzerland

Ladbrokes has chosen to exit the European markets of Hungary, Norway, and Switzerland as part of a restructuring strategy.

After performing various reviews of the European legal and regulatory frameworks in place across European igaming markets, Ladbrokes has taken the strategic decision to pull out of Hungary, Norway, and Switzerland. All player accounts registered with Ladbrokes from those countries have been cancelled, as have all marketing activities.

Hungary the Only EU Member

From the three countries highlighted by Ladbrokes, only Hungary is a member state of the EU. Even then, Hungary maintains a degree of independence that is similar to the UK. Since joining the EU in 2004, Hungary has retained its own currency (the Hungarian forint) rather than adopt the euro. This strategy has afforded Hungary greater control over its own economic affairs. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that Hungary has maintained tight legal and regulatory controls.

Norway a Legal Monopoly

In 2014, Norway has been one of the most active countries for policing unregistered online gambling sites. And Norway has complete power to do so, because it is not subject to the EU’s legal policy pertaining to the freedom of trade. Norway is legally entitled to maintain a state monopoly to operate its gambling services. To that end, operator Lotteritilsynet issued a government-backed federal warning to online gambling operators who were continuing to serve Norwegian players.

Switzerland Historically Neutral

Similar to Norway, Switzerland is also not a member of the EU and has also outlined strict punishments for online gambling operators who serve its citizens illegally. This comes as little surprise, though, as Switzerland has long had a history of remaining neutral from European policy.

Change in the UK

All of this comes at a time when UK operators are preparing for a change in licensing on 1 November, after which all operators serving residents will be legally required to hold a license with the UK Gambling Commission. Expect more operators to alter their organisations in the coming weeks.

See also

Ladbrokes Joins Exodus from Russia


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