Bets still at stake
After withdrawing recently from Switzerland, the William Hill concern has announced it they will pay the full cash-out value on all outstanding bets.
In a recent vote, 73% of Swiss citizens backed new legislation that bans foreign operators from offering online gambling. That meant that bookies such as William Hill had to withdraw, which led to confusion over all outstanding bets.
The forced withdrawal of bookies from the country put at risk bets on sporting events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Wimbledon, which are both currently taking place.
Already there are wagers such as a €1500 ($1692) each-way bet on Ashleigh Barty at 33-1 to win the Wimbledon singles. Now the French Open winner is the No.1 seed at Wimbledon and odds have dropped to 7-2 on her taking home the singles trophy.
Today, William Hill confirmed that it will offer the full cash-out value to all Swiss punters.
New legislation forced withdrawal
The new legislation was brought in after a nationwide vote that mainly aimed to improve measures tackling gambling addiction. However, the bill also carried new restrictions that operators who were previously granted licenses would have to leave the country. There were no provisions for open bets so technically operators could have voided them. Now William Hill has confirmed this won’t be the case unless the punter would lose money. And all of those outstanding amounts will be paid at the current market price.
A William Hill spokesperson said:
“Due to changes in regulatory law in Switzerland we were required to withdraw from the country. Our director of trading (Terry Pattinson) said he would personally go through every ante-post bet from Switzerland. And where the price had changed to be beneficial to the customer, we would offer a relevant cash-out value.”
It also means that Swiss customers won’t be out of pocket, whatever the outcome.
Unfair advantage claimed
The current legislation came into effect on July 1 and sent shockwaves through the gambling community, with some critics calling the bill “too restrictive.” There were concerns that the bill would give an unfair advantage to the Swiss casino industry and begin a slippery slope towards censorship. However, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga insisted that this was not the case.
William Hill appears to be unconcerned by the outcome. The spokesman added:
“Our customer base in the country wasn’t massive, however we obviously had a few ante-post bets that were knocking about that would have been affected by price changes, including the Ashleigh Barty one.”