Online gambling activity in Poland is regulated by the Gambling Law of 2009. The act introduces stringent prescriptions regarding online casinos while leaving the word of European Union regulation.
Over the previous decades, gambling in Poland was regulated by Act on Games and Betting. However, the Act has been changed and the local government imposes additional restrictions on gambling activity.
Amendment of Polish Gambling Act
Polish parliament adopted Gambling Law in December 2016. The president signed the Act on April 1, 2017. One of the vital prescriptions of Gambling law refers to unlicensed operators. According to Polish gambling law, unlicensed operators are websites that don’t hold an online gambling license. Under the local Gambling Act, all these sites are illegal. However, casino operators ignore these prescriptions…
Local regulatory bodies including the Ministry of Finance are working on the register of blacklisted operators. They plan to compile the register of unallowed operators with a focus on providers in the Polish Language. Once the site has been placed on the blacklist, internet service providers are informed about that. In the next step, providers are required to block access to these operators. If the visitors want to access the blacklisted website, they will be rerouted to the sites allowed by the Polish government.
According to amended Polish gambling law, online sites without a license can submit an appeal against the decision to be placed on a blacklist. However, the Ministry of Finance is not obliged to inform operators about putting them in the register of blacklisted providers.
Amendments of the Polish Act will have an impact on unlicensed providers of gambling services. Payment providers are not allowed to work with unapproved operators to process transactions. It means that all payment providers should comply with these prescriptions after one of their gambling clients comes to the blacklist.
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Taking a look now at consequences, we can observe several things….First of all, the maximum penalty for operators that don’t comply with local regulation is 58,000 euros.
Before the adoption of the amendment, only legal activity in Poland was sports betting. At the moment, the only state-owned organization called Totalizator Sportowy offers casino-like games. Despite this offering, poker remains the illegal type of betting.
However, some changes are also applicable to the poker game. Before the amendment, betting operators were only allowed to organize poker tournaments in brick and mortar venues. Poker tournaments are still legal in the country. After the adoption of amendments, licensed providers have the green light to organize regular poker tournaments outside gambling venues. Another form of legal poker activity is poker organized by unlicensed entities or individuals. Here there is a maximum prize applicable of 500 euros.
Brick and Mortar Venues in Poland
According to the Gambling Law of 2009, there is a limited number of brick and mortar venues in Poland. Apart from venues that offer traditional gaming services, some operators include bingo saloons and sports betting.
Each Polish municipality which consists of 250,000 citizens or less is allowed to have one casino. In the case of bingo saloons, only one venue is allowed for every 100,000 people. Slot machines are also allowed in the state.