Why have Poland Casino Businesses faced controversy for many years?
Gambling activities in Poland are controversial and monopolized. The November 19th, 2009, Act regulates all Polish gaming. The Act stipulates only four kinds of gambling games. These are betting, slot machines, card games, and games of chance. Although the gambling Act defines each game type further, it has not addressed some vital matters well.
For instance, it does not differentiate between land-based and internet-based gambling at https://polski-sloty.com/kasyna-online/ and elsewhere. Poland is big and has more resources than Malta, yet its gaming industry is miles behind. Why is it the case? We will discuss the reasons why Poland has the most conflict-ridden gaming industry.
Accepted Games in the Gambling Act
The November 2009 act emerged to settle a crisis involving politicians and top casino operators. The two wanted to amend the gambling law in their favor. Unfortunately, the government responded in time with an act that ended the political scandal. While that was a good move, the government made stricter laws that banned crucial areas of the gambling business.
The amendment of the 2009 Gambling Act in April 2017 reinforced the monopoly instead of opening up the industry to attract new investors. Poland’s gambling policy is disruptive and excessively harsh for businesses to follow. Here are the reasons why:
Some definitions are vague
For instance, Polish law has not expressly defined skill games. If a game requires traces of skill and chance, should we still classify it as a game of chance (dice, bingo, lotteries, and roulette)?
As earlier stated, this law governs games of chance.
If you are in a competition that demands only your skills to win, the act restrictions do not affect you. However, if your skill-only game has traces of a game of chance, you could face prosecution.
Monopolized gambling environment
The April 2017 Act amendment should have addressed the monopoly, but it cemented it. Before, the state monopoly controlled cash lottery, number games, and telebingo. Today Totalizator Sportowy runs slot machines and online casino games. Totalizator Sportowy can now organize lotteries for several jurisdictions at once.
Multi-jurisdictional lotteries arrived in Poland after April 2017. Private entities trying to compete with the state monopoly cannot contend because they face quantitative limitations on some licenses. Besides, they can only manage casinos, lotteries, bingo, and small betting shops and websites. Due to heavily restricted licensing, Poland has few private entities in its gambling arena.
Entire Poland follows the Act of 2009. However, Poland has decentralized the execution of the laws in the Gambling Act. The minister of Public finance only makes crucial decisions concerning the issuance of betting permits and casino licenses.
The taxation authorities handle less-crucial activities like licensing raffle lotteries, collection of gambling tax, and the registration of slot machines. Here is the problem: Poland forbids offshore gambling.
A private entity must only conduct online betting or promotional lotteries. Other affairs are illegal. Remember that they need a permit before conducting online lotteries and betting. Total Casino, a state’s virtual monopoly, is the only company that faces nil restrictions when conducting betting activities online.
Blacklisting of Unlicensed gambling sites
If you participate in any gambling activity held outside the country while in Poland, you have committed a fiscal criminal offense. You cannot participate in illegal gambling in Poland or else face prosecution. Offshore operators want to expand Poland’s gambling industry but have had no voice since July 1st, 2017.
Since then, the government imposes blacklisting of all unlicensed gambling websites. On March 29th, 2022, Polish Internet service providers followed an order to block twenty-two thousand URLs. The restrictions do not end here. The Polish government requires payment service providers to stop serving all blacklisted casino sites. Acceptable operators are
- Local banks
- Foreign bank branches
- e-money institutions
- Savings and credit cooperative organizations
- Payment institutions
The Gambling Act of 2009 and its amendments do not permit Bitcoin or cryptocurrency payments or dealings. Cryptocurrency is among the top technology changes. Blockchain transactions are safer and faster, explaining why most casinos are adopting them. Polish casino operators cannot offer crypto payments unless via an e-Money institution. Harsh measures like these have prevented private investors from joining the industry.
No clear casino regulator
Maltese bettors can play casino games confidently because they have an independent organization (Malta Gaming Authority) that oversees their operations. Polish bettors have no self-governing regulator. Only the Act regulates gambling issues. Those caught in illegal gambling face the Fiscal Penal Code.
Hence, the National Revenue Administration, police, or public prosecutor deals with legal offenders. International casinos that want to operate legally in Poland might try elsewhere because there is no licensing regulator. Such a body handles conflicts arising from gambling activities and provides genuine licenses.
There is a tax rate for every game, with 2.5% for sports competitions being the lowest. Those running slot machines and casino games pay a whopping fifty percent tax from their proceeds. Polish betting companies pay a tax of twelve percent from their turnover. This minimizes their ability to compete effectively with overseas operators.
It also reduces their winnings. The gambling tax is notan income tax in Poland. Those who organize raffle lotteries and bingo do not pay income tax. Polish players do not pay gambling tax if they make winnings from card games, dice, bingo, slots, and roulette. Those who win poker tournaments part with a tax rate of twenty-five percent.
Is there hope for Polish players?
Poland has many fans of gambling. Gambling market also attracts many remote operators. The problem is not with the player or casino operator. Without the state monopoly, the Polish gambling industry can thrive. The player will suffer if the casino operator continues to face harsh restrictions from the state. Unless the state minimizes gambling restrictions by amending the current law, the industry will remain conflict-ridden.
Polish casinos face the most stringent gambling law. The government trusts in a state monopoly more than a private betting company. Hence, the Polish gambling industry is behind Malta’s. It is doing worse than other jurisdictions with independent regulators. Although the industry may still grow, it cannot expand fully due to heavy taxation, tough violation penalties, and the lack of an independent regulating body.