Online gambling sites in Poland will need to leave the country after the latest changes in Polish gambling laws. A restricted online gambling laws section has been prepared in order to regulate the online gambling activities in the country.
Polish lawmakers have realized the importance of online gambling revenue for the state economy and they decided to regulate online gambling activities within the boundaries of the country. Although it seems like good news for the international online gambling operators, the content of the proposed law is not as friendly as many online gambling experts imagined.
Earlier this week, Polish lawmakers voted in favor of legalizing online gambling. This new amendment allows only one operator to offer online gambling services to Polish citizens: the national lottery operator Totalizator Sportowy.
The lawmakers claim that online slots are the most addictive type of online gambling. Therefore, they aim to monitor the operator which operates the online slot games offered to the citizens of Poland. Totalizator Sportowy’s monopoly will definitely boost the revenue of the national lottery operator of the country. However, international online gambling sites will stay away from the country as they won’t be able to obtain licenses to be able to operate in Poland.
Online Gambling Sites in Poland are the Only Victims of the New Gambling Laws
Fortunately, this law doesn’t include online poker and sports betting. Best online poker sites will be able to obtain licenses to offer services to the citizens of Poland. New liberal gambling laws regarding poker operations do not only regulate online gambling. From the moment the new amendments pass into law, private groups will be able to organize poker tournaments as well. For the time being, only local casinos can hold poker tournaments in Poland.
Online sports betting sites in Poland will also be able to obtain licenses in order to operate in the country. However, the taxes levied on online sports betting are too harsh for the international betting operators to offer services to Polish betting fans. Current law levies 12% tax on sports betting turnover. Previously, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and High Education Jaroslaw Gowin suggested replacing the current betting tax with a 20% one on betting revenue. The parliament rejected Gowin’s proposal. Nevertheless, the very same taxation system proposed by him has brought success in Denmark.
The proposed gambling laws will be presented to the European Commission first. After the revision of the Commission, the Polish Parliament will ratify the new amendments once again before they pass into law. The new law is expected to come into effect by the beginning of 2017.
Illegal online gambling operators hold 90% of the online gambling market of Poland currently. The government plans to help the licensed operators to hold at least 40% of the market shares with the new gambling laws. The market share is expected to rise to 80% within a period of three years.
It is also expected that the new regulations will bring PLN637 million ($160 million) within the first year after implementation of the regulations. After three years, this amount is expected to increase to some PLN 2.32 billion.
Overall, the online gambling sites in Poland will probably wait until the regulations become more liberalized. Polish government will make sure that all the money transactions and internet access to the unlicensed online gambling operators are restricted. This will help the national lottery to boost its revenues.
Totalizator Sportowy has already penned a sponsorship deal with the top Polish football league Ekstraklasa. This deal will cost around PLN 10 million ($2.5 million) to the national lottery.