Poland to Step Up Fight Against Unlicensed GamblingPublished January 12, 2015 by Amir G
Keen on fighting unlicensed online gambling, the Polish government is looking at different options ranging from disrupting players' access to sites to hindering payments by foreign operators.
Signs from Warsaw in the past few months indicate that the Polish government is intent on stepping up its fight against unlicensed online gambling in the country. It began back in November when the Polish customs office issued a message reminding the public that anyone who takes part in unlicensed online gambling will be subject to criminal liability.
Blocking Sites Not on the Agenda
Poland has attempted to block foreign gambling websites in the past, but the initiative was pulled due to a strong resistance by the public to the idea of restricting internet freedom of access. Deputy Minister of Finance responsible for gambling issues Jacek Kapica warned that websites involved in such activities will be blocked as well.
Technically, according to Article 180 of Poland's Telecommunications Law, websites can be blocked if they jeopardize the security of the state, the national defense system or public safety and order. However blocking the sites on these accounts would seem tacky at best and would collide with EU laws.
Disrupting Access a Possibility
Instead of straight-out blocking websites, minister Kapica talked about possibilities to implement different tools which will disrupt players' access to websites, specifically mentioning graphic curtains or non-removable warning messages which will remind players that they are breaking the law. Another suggested solution is restricting foreign operators from paying Polish players, but that could very well be unproportional according to EU laws.
Actual Regulation of Foreign Sites
Perhaps the best proposals which have been put forward are those which call for actually amending the current Polish laws so that foreign gambling sites will be able to receive permits to operate in the country. As in the case with many other EU countries currently amending their iGaming bills, the taxes imposed on gambling operators are very high at their current state.