his would license and regulate sports betting based on a 12% turnover tax and allow the Polish government to prosecute company managers and companies for operating outside this framework and “organising” online poker, casino and slot games in the country.
Deputy finance minister Jacek Kapica was quoted by the Polish Press Agency as saying: “I expect that the law will come into force in June this year. We will have the next reading of draft in the coming meeting of the Parliament, then the Senate and then after 14 days the Act comes into force.”
If passed, the 12% turnover tax introduced for offline sports betting in January 2010 would be applied online, with all licensed operators required to operate from dot.pl domains, locate their data servers in Poland and run all financial transactions through banks registered in Poland. EU-registered operators will not need to register a company in Poland however.
The Polish government has already restricted gambling advertising and promotions to sports sponsorship, which in combination with the 12% turnover tax – which would be by far the highest in the EU - has led to fears among operators active in the country that it will be impossible to operate profitably and legally in the country.
The EC issued an opinion against the country’s proposed legislation last July, with the Polish government responding with minor amendments. The country’s monopoly operator Totalizator Sportowy recently requested approval from Poland’s minister of finance to move its business online after gambling revenue fell by more than 20% last year.