William Hill to cease operations in Russia

William Hill notified Russian players that they would not be able to access its site as of September 23.

According to local media, William Hill Casino Club, William Hill’s online casino brand has ceased operations in Russia.

Russia.- William Hill’s online casino brand William Hill Casino Club has ceased operations in Russia. According to local media, the online gambling operator has notified Russian players that they would not be able to access its website as of September 23 and that all player accounts would be suspended, after the announcement.

Online gaming has become increasing popular in Russia over the past years. Russian gambling news website Betting Business Russia reported late last year that gambling websites were visited by approximately 205.4 million Russian players last year. The same report found that popular international operators like William Hill and bet365 held a 34 percent share of the overall traffic generated.

So far, as many as 439 online gambling websites were blocked by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, between September 15-21. The regulator has introduced stricter regulations regarding the provision of iGaming products and services within the country’s borders and has expanded the list of criteria an operator should meet in order to be able to service Russian players.

Roskomnadzor’s efforts to prevent the illicit distribution of iGaming options include blocking over 1,700 websites in August. In addition, the regulatory body extended its crackdown’s reach to social media by blocking operators’ account on various social networks.

Facebook, Twitter, and their Russian counterpart VKontakte were among those requested by Roskomnadzor to suspend all accounts that may be promoting gambling options provided by unlicensed operators. Following this measure, VKontakte alone blocked more than 250 such accounts, with those being linked to 40 different gambling operators.