Last week the Ministry
published a list of points to be covered by the forthcoming amendment to the
Polish Gambling Act, with IP and payment blocking a key point. This will be
used to target operators that have not obtained a licence to offer their
services to players in Poland, helping to increase market share for licensed
The regulator believes
that this will ensure a higher level of protection for players, explaining that
“only lawful operators guarantee offering games in a safe and responsible
New controls for slot
machines have also been suggested, with the operation of slots to be
restricted to a designated monopoly operator.
“Slot games are extremely
addictive for gamers and it is therefore necessary solution to ensure special
protection for players,” the Ministry said. “Slot machine games will be able to
be offered only in dedicated controlled areas and will not be available for
those under 18 years of age.”
The Ministry also
pledged to “tighten penalties relating to the violation of the law on
gambling”, although it did not set out details of the penalties.
operators will be subject to more severe consequences, which will hamper their
operations and thus increase the market share of legal entities offering
gambling,” it said.
Poker will also be
liberalised, both offline and online. Companies will be permitted to organise
poker games outside casinos, with the rules for organising such games
to be simplified.
Finally, the Ministry
aims to cut red tape for companies directly supervising and operating gambling
games. Previously, employees were required to pass professional exams, though
this will be scrapped and replaced by training obligations for staff. This, the
Ministry says, will reduce the cost of doing business.
The proposals have
been published after the country’s deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, a
member of the minority Polska Razem party, issued separate
proposals. These also included the possibility of legalising poker, but
set a 20 per cent gross gaming tax on sports betting to replace the
current 12 per cent turnover tax.
The Ministry of
Finance’s proposal, put forward by the government’s majority Law and Justice
Party (PIS), is more likely to pass into law.
“In the opinion of the
Ministry of Finance the above proposals represent a compromise between ensuring
the highest possible level of protection for players from the negative effects
of gambling (including by limiting the ‘gray zone’) and the guarantee of the
existence of a transparent and well functioning market for legal gambling,” the
The project was
submitted for departmental consultations and aims to bring in the new controls
from January 1st, 2017. However, law firm DLA Piper notes that this time frame
is “quite challenging” as it fails to take into account the European Commission
notification process, which it believes may take longer than three months.
“Another question mark
is whether there will be any transitional period for operators to adjust their
activities and apply for licences under the new regime,” DLA Piper adds.