The value of online betting in Poland is estimated at ca. 5 bln PLN, of which as much as 90 percent is generated by illegal bookmakers. In the last few years, the state has failed to take up rational initiatives aimed at restricting the grey market in online gambling.
The state of online bookmaking in Poland is absurd. Due to the massive scope of the grey market, the budget loses 300 to 400 mln PLN every year. The state failed the exam in this regard, as the appropriate organs have not made proper use of the legal instruments they have at their disposal and make no attempt to improve the market and encourage foreign operators to legalize their services.
One instrument which may bring tangible results in combatting illegal gambling is blocking the IP’s of unlicensed foreign bookmakers offering their services in Poland. This solution is currently successfully used a.o. in Denmark and Italy.
The passivity of state institutions that there is no place for fair competition, as licensed bookmakers have to pay a 12 percent sales tax – one of the highest in the EU – which renders them unable to compete with foreign companies.
Despite numerous interventions undertaken by Employers of Poland and the efforts of licensed operators, there was no will to use the available measures. The only “success” in this regard is the sentencing of several hundred users of unlicensed bookmaking services, most of whom were not even aware that they are committing crimes.
Regrettably, it has to be said that the state has no serious achievements in combatting unlicensed online betting. As a consequence, many users of betting services support state budgets with large sums – just not the Polish budget.
Łukasz Czucharski, Tax Committee of Employers of Poland