Polish gambling market – brief overview

The history of the latest amendment to the Gambling Act is long, complicated, rich in brawls and doubts. In the end, however, the rulers succeeded in voting through the version that is still in force today. The provisions of the Gambling Act were very controversial, some of them still cannot be accepted by some gamblers, but the battle dust has already subsided and we can look at the gambling market calmly. If you don’t know the case or want to take a closer look at the provisions of the Gambling Act 2017, we have a thorough analysis of the new regulations that apply to both players and entrepreneurs. This time we want to look at the situation of bookmakers and online casinos in Poland. How did the legal revolution deal with them? Has anyone benefited from it?

The gray market is shrinking.

The aim of the amendment to the Gambling Act was to eliminate the so-called gray market of mutual betting and other gambling activities. Until the new law came into force, foreign bookmakers who did not pay taxes in Poland and made their services available under European Union law attracted Polish players with their winnings – not burdened with high Polish tax. The State Treasury lost even hundreds of millions of zlotys a year in this way.

According to the Association for the Liquidation of the Grey Zone of Mutual Enterprises in Poland “Play Legally”, since the Gambling Act came into force, the grey zone of the bookmaker has significantly shrunk. According to the report “Counteracting the Grey Zone in Poland”, in the first months of 2017 after the entry into force of the Bookmaker’s Act, in comparison with the same period in 2015, the grey zone of bookmaker’s betting decreased from about 84% of the market share to about 62%. Moreover, already in the first 3 quarters of 2017, the State income from taxes paid on legally operating bookmakers increased by about 95% compared to the same period in the previous year. In other words: from January to September 2017, the State Treasury earned PLN 130 million.