Poland is a Western European country with a developed economy, a pleasant business climate, and a legalized gambling industry. The primary regulator of the gambling industry is the Ministry of Finance, and the sphere itself is fully controlled by the Law on Gambling, adopted in 2009.
The Polish gambling industry is strictly regulated, not only by the above Law. The LCWork team has studied the intricacies of the gambling industry in Poland and is ready to share their observations.
What Can You Play in Poland?
Although the Gambling Law was adopted in 2009, it received amendments and additions only eight years later. As a result, legal activity in the country is clearly divided: some gambling activities are available only in a land-based format, and some can also be played online.
Rather, only one thing is available online — this is sports betting, and the Polish company Totalizator Sportowy has a monopoly on them. Therefore, it is a legal entity and is subordinate to the Treasury of Poland.
As for legal land-based gambling entertainment, here are available:
Lotteries and bingo (including cylindrical lotteries, bingo, and lotteries).
- Black Jack.
- Slot machines.
Some of these games even have their limitations. For example, Polish poker players can only play their favorite game in a land-based casino, only with a license and only as part of a tournament. And then, more than ten players should not participate in the tournament. In addition, each gambling type of activity is given a separate license. As for online casinos, they are prohibited in Poland.
How to Get a Gambling License in Poland
Gambling owners need to license the opening of their establishment and the gaming events themselves, such as poker tournaments. The very conduct of activities in this area is not licensed. But even if you meet all the requirements and standards for obtaining a license, it is not yet a fact that you will have it.
The fact is that there are also certain limits on licenses. Because according to the Law, in one municipality, you can open no more than one online casino for 250 thousand people. With bingo, everything is a little more loyal: there, you can open one institution for 100 thousand people.
Therefore, today in Poland, there are no more than nine land-based gambling houses in different cities:
- Warsaw: two establishments — Marriott Hotel & Casino Warsaw and Hilton Hotel.
- Plock: Hotel Grand Soport.
- Gdynia: Casino Poland.
- Wroclaw: Casinos Poland to IBB Andresia Hotel Poznan.
- Szczecin: Neptune Obris Hotel and Casino.
- Krakow: Hotel Dwor Kosciouszko.
In addition, due to difficulties in obtaining a license, there are a lot of offshore casinos operating on the Internet. Actually, such tough regulations will give an incentive to the development of "gray" gambling.
Taxation of gambling entertainment depends on the type of gambling entertainment:
- Card games and slot machines — 50%.
- Poker tournaments and bingo organization — 25%.
- Totalizators and bookmakers — 12%.
- Lotteries — 10%.
That is, the organizers of card entertainment have to pay the most, while sweepstakes and bookmakers actually pay a tenth of their income.
What's Happening in Polish Betting
Of all gambling entertainment verticals, it can be said that betting has the most power and opportunities. The Law fully regulates the activities of bookmakers, as well as the aforementioned Totalizator Sportowy. Also, since 2017, foreign bookmakers such as Unibet and William Hill have received a license to operate.
At the same time, the so-called. "gray" gambling, i.e., activities of illegal bookmakers. True, the government is watching them very closely and is trying to block each of them. Thus, according to statistics, over the past year, about 1,000 betting sites were blocked that were operating illegally.
Moreover, some law firms are calling for tougher licensing standards, as well as measures to combat illegal gambling activities. In theory, this should protect legally operating companies from damage and make it difficult for offshore companies to operate.
As a result, since 2020, the income of the unlicensed market has decreased by almost a quarter, while the total income of the gaming monopoly has risen by 96%.
Despite the fact that the gambling business is legal in Poland, doing business in this area is not so easy. Firstly, online casinos have a very hard time there: such activities are literally subject to sanctions, and sites are blocked (in 2020, more than 12,000 such sites got into the register of blocked ones).
Secondly, it is very difficult with taxes: each gambling vertical has its own taxes, and the highest taxes are for those who run a land-based casino with classic games or hold poker tournaments.
And finally, there are strict limits: only the sports betting operator has a monopoly, and land-based casinos can be opened in a very limited number.