Scandinavian online gaming company Unibet has further delayed their vacation to France after the decision by the government to not reform iGaming tax rates this year.
It’s thought by some that the rumors of a merger between Unibet and Sportingbet hinge on any decision by the Swedish operator to go back into the French market and after today’s announcement any merger may also now be on the rocks.
In the interview, conducted by eGaming Review, Unibet’s chief Henrik Tjärnström, pours scorn on any suggestion that they’ll be making the move back to France anytime soon. This is despite them holding licenses to offer poker, sports betting, and pari-mutuel horse race betting (in partnership with Zeturf) in the country.
“As we said in the communication around our Q4s in February, we apply for licences based on profitability, and France does not look good. We have many things we can put our resources into from a development point of view, and unless terms and conditions improve there, we can’t make any money. The opening is looking like a failure,” Tjärnström said.
Operators have continually attacked the tax rate that exists in the country with the most vocal former BetClic Everest chairman Stephane Courbit who criticized the law by saying that it “doesn’t allow us to exist.”
Tjärnström continued, “We have the licence, it is about allocating the development resources towards prioritising this and launching there. We said in our February Q4 update that this would be the end of Q2, but this will now be later in the year.”
You also only have to look at the research carried out by Bodog Network VP, Jonas Odman, to see that the customers also miss out thanks to their experience being shortened by 26.8%. It really does make you wonder whom the French regulators are trying to please apart from themselves and if they think that a system criticized by customers, companies, and the EU will continue to prosper. Their call of course.