Poland Regulates, as Licensees Become Visible Contributors to the EconomyPublished January 31, 2019 by Lee R
Poland is rapidly bringing grey activity into the domain of full control in it's new market.
The Polish market is loosening by osmosis.
The 50% Plateau
Almost half of Poland's market is now licensed by sports betting operators.
This is a significant jump from a year ago, with Sport.pl data originating with Poland’s Ministry of Finance indicating the PLN5.1b land-based and online turnover figure achieved by Polish-licensed bookmakers for 2018 constitutes a 55% rise over 2017’s PLN3.3b and triples the 2016 figure of PLN1.7b of 2016.
The report further claimed that the 48% share of Polish-licensed bookmakers for 2018 online betting was eight points higher than 2017's year-end figure.
Previous Low Shows Growth
Before Poland's recent implementation of new regulations in April 2017, Polish-licensed operator shares were estimated to range as low as 10%, meaning 90% of activity in Poland was unregulated or “grey.”
Drivers of Growth
The local share gains is in large part the direct result of the seven new online betting licenses issues in 2018 by the Ministry, which doubled the total number of Poland licensees, with some of the new licensees still waiting to launch.
The breakdown across Poland's regulated online gambling market last year consisted of local operator STS' 47.1% share, plus Polish subsidiary of Czech operator Fortuna Entertainment Group taking 34%, and Totolotek (rumoured to be in the process of being acquired by Intralot) at third with 7.3% and forBET fourth at 4.4%, leaving 7.3% to be split among remaining licensees.
The considerable blacklist the Ministry of Finance has keep to prohibit certain operators stands at a whopping includes 5,414 domains, a jump of approximately 150 from mid-December totals.
Failure of telecom operators and payment processors to block blacklisted domains or process transactions constitutes liability to fines of up to PLN250k ($67k) per infraction.
Poland's new market represents an excellent example of how regulation turns local-facing unlicensed operators into allies whose activity and contributions to local revenues can be monitored and collected efficiently. This could set a precedent for other emerging economies to follow suit in bringing existing grey gaming activity into the fold so that unregulated activity can be converted into government revenues.