Polish government proposes 20% betting tax and online poker legislation

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin has set out plans for new laws to tax sports betting and regulate online poker in the country for the first time, making significant changes to the 2011 Polish Gaming Act.

The Deputy Prime Minister revealed plans to set a tax rate of 20 per cent of gross gaming revenue for sports betting operators, replacing the current 12 per cent turnover tax.

This is expected to generate PLN200m (€45.9m) for state coffers, while less stringent restrictions on advertising and sponsorship could generate up to PLN100m for sports teams in the country.

According to law firm DLA Piper, 10 per cent of gaming tax revenue will be allocated to socially responsible initiatives, with 7 per cent going to the Polish Olympic Committee and 3 per cent allocated to combating gambling addiction.

Following the amendment of the Polish Gaming Act in August last year, this would ensure around 70 per cent of the market is regulated, with IP and payments blocking in place for unlicensed operators, and foreign operators allowed to apply for licences.

Poker would also be regulated for the first time, according to Gowin. Currently it is only permitted in licensed land-based casinos, but online poker and tournaments would be offered by licensed companies.

Games held in private houses, which are prohibited and subject to strict enforcement penalties such as fines and prison terms, would also be legalised.

While the proposals are likely to be welcomed by operators they face a fight to make it into law. They have been prepared by Gowin’s minority Polska Razem party, and not by the coalition government’s largest party, the Law and Justice Party (PIS).

Despite this, Gowin is aiming to gain the support from the PIS for the proposals, and have the changes brought into law by the government.


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