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October 26, 2020

Gambling Act

Poland okays online poker for foreign operators

Poland okays online poker for foreign operators
Poland's Council of Ministers in late June approved legislation amendments which will allow for foreign operators to offer online poker and permit poker tournaments outside of casinos.
Poland | 07/29/2016

Poland's Council of Ministers in late June approved legislation amendments which will allow for foreign operators to offer online poker and permit poker tournaments outside of casinos.

W

hen the Gambling Act was passed, most forms of gambling were prohibited. Sports wagering was allowed, however, was only opened to international operators when an amendment was passed in 2014.

This resulted in a huge grey-area, which proponents of liberalizing the restrictive rules set forth by the Gambling act are hoping the latest amendments will address.

"Reducing the 'grey area’ of gambling, especially in the area of ​​internet gaming, is one of the most important objectives of the amendment," the Polish government said in a statement. 

According to Poker Industry Pro, the Polish government projects that 40% of the grey-market will be regulated in the first year, 60% in the second year, and 80% in the third year once the amendments come into affect which is projected to be on Jan. 1, 2017

Besides allowing foreign operators to be licensed, the lofty goals by the Polish government could be achieved via another measure provided for in the amendments of blacklisting and blocking IP address of unlicensed operators.

Online casino games and video-slots will also be allowed according to the amendment. However, this will not be opened up at least for now to foreign operators with the Council of Ministers stating that slots are "one of the most addictive forms of gambling."

However, despite the apprehensions of many legislators about these casino games, the state-owned monopoly Totalizator Sportowy will be permitted to offer them with the remit of creating and implementing responsible consumer protection gambling policies.

Whether or not this will reduce the unlicensed market for these games remains to be seen with many believing it is less likely than that of online poker which will give a path to foreign operators to legally offer services.

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