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Poland plans to liberalise gambling...

Poland plans to liberalise gambling

Published on December 14, 2016

Polish government is preparing a new gambling bill that would allow sports betting and online poker in the country. Gambling was outlawed in Poland seven years ago.

In an interview with Polish radio Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin said that “Poland suffered enormous, multibillion losses” when a Gambling act banning gambling outside casinos and online was introduced by the previous Polish government in 2009.

“That is why a few months ago we decided to change the law so that money flowed back into the budget,” Gowin explained.

Further, he assured that Poland has consulted with the European Commission and the green light to move ahead with the project was received.

Based on the latest draft, slot machines would be nationalised, operating solely under national lottery services.

Gowin said that bookmakers, however, would still operate in the fringe economy. The standard IP and payment – blocking mechanisms are planned to be used as enforcement methods against international operators providing services to the Polish market. The ministry informed that “more severe consequences” will be used for operators who continue to disregard the law.

“Over the next several months gambling will remain in [a shady area of the economy], and Poles will continue to lose PLN 100-300 million a month,” the deputy prime minister said.

Previously it was said that the new law was supposed to take effect on January 1 next year. However, at the moment revisions are waiting for approval from the various branches of government.

A second bill will be planned once the first law goes through, Gowin explained. This would “liberalise” the system to make it “safe to use bookmaker services, and play poker online”.