“We are proposing to ban a significant part of the gambling sector,” Tusk told reporters in Warsaw, adding that draft legislation on the matter would be ready within two weeks. He said the draft aims to phase out the operation of slot machines and other low-wager betting machines outside casinos over the space of five years.
“We want to see this market shrink by 20 to 25 % per year. Over the course of five years, this kind of gambling should disappear from Poland,” Tusk said. Internet gambling and advertising aimed at promoting gambling is also to be banned, he added.
A government expert explained the Internet gambling ban would be facilitated by legislation permitting the monitoring of connections between Polish Internet providers and international gambling websites and online money transfers. The proposed legislation also aims to introduce state concessions for casinos and higher gambling taxes as well as new taxes for the sector, the prime minister said.
Tusk said the government's new hard line on gambling aims at increasing taxation of the sector and at "limiting and if possible, rooting out" highly addictive forms of gambling threatening young people, including children. Gambling will be made illegal for individuals below 18 years of age, he said.
Tusk was forced to sack several key ministers and political allies earlier this month over allegations of influence peddling within his cabinet regarding the new gambling legislation.
The allegations were levelled by the now-sacked head of Poland's CBA anti-corruption agency, Mariusz Kaminski, who has never disguised his antipathy towards Tusk's liberal Civic Platform and his support for the conservative opposition Law and Justice party of President Lech Kaczynski.