Poland Will Regulate; Slot Operators OutPublished July 27, 2016 by Lee R
Claiming the massive grey market in Poland can´t happen fast enough for the government.
Poland will be the next EU country to regulate, though not the next “free market.”
All existing and hopeful operators heard in Poland´s announcement of incoming regulation was the discouraging words “government monopoly.” That´s right, the court´s Council of Ministers has voted to amend current gambling law to allow online gaming in addition to recently approved sports betting, restricting provision of online casino games to authorized national lottery operator Totalizator Sportowy.
This comes on the heels of the opening of the Polish market to online sports betting operators, who hoped that further incoming authorization of online poker and casino gaming would include a licensing program for them as well.
The New Deal
The new legislative changes give Totalizator control of all online games of chance within Polish borders. The company is further tasked with preparing measures to implement and enforce responsible gaming.
Not So Bad
However, the despair should be curbed. The good news is that the monopoly portion actually only applies to online slots. This means that international operators can still enter the country´s market, as well as other non-slot operations. This also opens the door for private groups to organise land-based tournaments.
In the EU process, the amendment makes its way to the European authority for review for consistency with EU guidelines, with the final draft to be resubmitted back to the Polish legislature for final approval. All expected approvals would bring the law into effect by January 1st of next year.
The Polish market is currently valued at PLN5 billion, but there is massive room for growth. With grey operators holding an estimated 90% of market share online activity-wise, the Polish government hopes to harness at least 40% of the market before the end of the first year of the new law´s implementation. This would bring the state approximately PLN 637 million (160 million dollars); 60% of the market share in Year Two is expected to bring the state take to PLN 1.48b; 80% of the market would bring the take to PLN 2.32 b in Year Three.
Legislation leaving the door open for private online operators without a formal licensing program would appear to open a window for further agreements between private operators and Totalizator.