Poland Looking at Gambling Law ChangesPublished June 26, 2014 by OCR Editor
Amends in Poland's Gambling Act are set to allow EU and EFTA operators to offer services within Poland provided they open actual offices inside the country.
The Polish Government and its people are nowadays engaged in a bugging affair which unleashed a political crisis in the country. However, before that happened, some good news for online gambling came out of the country's Ministry of Finance only three weeks ago.
Gambling Act Changes
The Polish Ministry of Finance has published a project which is set to amend the country's Gambling Act. The changes touch subjects like betting sites and charity lotteries, but the biggest change which is related to the iGaming world is the ministry's intention to allow companies from EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) to operate gambling businesses inside Poland. While this signals a generally very positive move towards aligning with EU gambling regulation laws, the set changes will set one obstacle in the paths of interested gambling operators: they would have to open an office in Poland itself.
Missed Tax Revenues
The projected alterations to the Polish gambling laws, if they will be enacted, are not surprising due to the country's estimated missed revenues due to its gambling restrictions: About PLN 600 million which amounts to approximately €142 million. Poland is missing out on a big chunk of the action, as seen by estimates by consulting firm Roland Berger which valued the country's online gambling market at PLN 4.9 billion back in February (a little over €1 billion). The same report estimated that with things as they are in the present, Poland is seeing just 9% of this potential amount in income from the four Polish operators which hold online betting licenses.
With the country in a political crisis, the future of Poland's Gambling Act remains to be seen. If it does go further, it will be interesting to see how operators tackle the requirement for opening an office inside the country itself.