Poland Market Grows, but Illegal Activity is Still Growing Along With ItPublished February 8, 2020 by Lee R
A new governing body to address addiction is the key new proposal of by Polish regulator Graj Legalnie.
According to new figures, the regulated market in Poland is still struggling to overshadow its illegal trade.
Growth on Both Sides
Figures from legal association Graj Legalnie show that regulated bookmakers in Poland generated brought in a combined turnover of PLN6.7bn (£1.36bn/€1.58bn/$1.76bn) in 2019, good for a solid 28.8% year-on-year increase represented but still less of than the unlicensed market.
Licensed operators contributed a total of PLN800m to the state in gambling taxes, with the highest contributor being STS, at 45.5% of the market share, followed by Fortuna (31.3%); and ForBet (6.1%).
It turns out that unlicensed play is actually increasing in Poland, with the grey market up to almost 60% of the overall Polish gaming market, with the lost revenue on uncollected taxes costing the government an estimated estimated PLN1.1bn.
Much Illegal Play
Illegal activity was quantitatively rampant as well, with Graj Legalnie finding in November 2019 that three unlicensed foreign operators were showing a combined 2.1m hits in the Poland jurisdiction region, even with those websites among a total of 1830 illegal gambling websites cited in a Polish Ministry of Finance Blocking Register blocking register—where an additional 1303 are to be added.
Recommendations to Stifle
To limit unlicensed gambling in Poland, Graj Legalnie has offered a list of recommendations, starting with the creation of a dedicated regulator to address to provide oversight on the specific issue according to specific tasks, based on leading models such as the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authorities.
Compliant Blocking Needed
To further combat the issue, Graj Legalnie is calling on telecommunications companies to promptly and fully comply with blocking requests against unlicensed gambling websites to ensure the effectiveness of enforcement.
More Changes Ahead?
Graj additionally calls for changes to Poland's gambling structure, where operators currently pay 12% of turnover.
While these changes remain to be seen, the need to drive down illegal betting activity is clearly the priority in any more legislative or tax adaptations that the Poland authority makes, in pushing a thriving gaming community to licensed play as the key hurdle still facing the jurisdiction in its regulated era.