Up until the mid-2000s, gambling altogether was mostly unregulated in Poland. Both major online and land-based operators and small betting shops ran their business in cities and towns, attracting more and more clients. The Polish population realized early on that placing bets and wagering on games of chance is a type of leisure they favor.
Prior to the mid-2000s, a few of the amendments were introduced that would allow the state to get a piece of the pie that the industry offers. Among other novelties, the state obliged new businesses to only open venues in the cities where the population is not under 250,000 residents.
In 2010, however, the Ministry of Finance introduced the Polish Act on Gaming, which brought major changes to the industry. As of 2010, only those brands that received licensing from the state could operate. Not only that, but there was also now a quota of land-based gaming venues per region, as well as the limitations on the size of the floor and the number of slot machines and table games.
Casinos-wise, today there are less than 20 brick and mortar gambling venues left in the country. These few are joined by several other survivors, including the lottery. It is a monopoly of the state-owned Totalizator Sportowy with its daily and weekly games, including the hugely popular Duzy Lotek. Also, any Sportsbook operator with a Polish license may apply to provide services online. The license is expensive and must be renewed every six years.
NEW REGULATIONS ON ONLINE GAMING
In 2016, the state launched a campaign on the international gambling lobbies targeting Polish players without a proper local license and while operating outside of Poland. There is even an official blacklist in place specifically telling the internet providers and banks among other participants of the chain to block and report any operations connected to the blacklisted websites. Massive fines in thousands of Euros are held over the heads of everyone involved if they fail to report.
To make matters worse, Polish officials can go after any player caught playing in an international lobby that does not have Polish licensing. This did not go without massive economic setbacks. Up until 2016, the turnover on gaming was around 4,304 million Polish zloty. By 2020, official research shows the turnover rose to 10,893 million. And the state treasury is missing on most of that money.
That goes to show that while the state may ignore or deny the growth of the market, it is happening. And instead of working out flexible solutions and finding ways to regulate the industry, the authorities choose to go after the businesses and people within the country.
This did not escape the attention of the EU. Because Poland is officially part of it, enjoying the growing economy, it is also expected of the country to participate in negotiations that would score one for the team. When the EU officials pointed out how the policy of bans costs the union money, the Polish government introduced several relaxed measures. For instance, as of lately, lottery tickets can be sold online. But it is still a long way to go for other participants of the industry.
Criminal penalty for players
Some casinos blocked
|Land-based||Online, operator||Online, player||ISP|
||Legal||Completely banned||Criminal penalty for players||Some casinos blocked||Unknown||--||
CAN POLISH PLAYERS PLAY IN INTERNATIONAL ONLINE CASINOS?
To anyone looking to play international lobbies inside Poland, we would have to admit that it is playing at your own risk. However, the rules do not apply if you play outside the country. In this case, we can recommend more than 300 online operators friendly to the community (this means offering the local language, currency, or payment methods) to choose from. These are all well-established, experienced, and reputable, even though many of them are on the blacklist of the Polish authorities.
The list of recommendations includes, among others, such websites popular for Poland as: