In February, the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) published the results of a control of the execution of regulations on entities providing betting services. The report shows that state administration is not prepared to combat illegal betting on the internet. Perpetrators of this illegal practice can sleep soundly. However, the same cannot be said about the gamblers.
Legal entities offering betting services cannot count on administration in their fight against the grey market. It is worth emphasizing that, as much as 91 percent of the market belongs to unlicensed foreign operators who evade taxes and do not pay a single złoty to the budget. These companies are not immediately under the jurisdiction of Polish tax authorities and they offer their services without permits issued by the Ministry of Finance.
NIK emphasized the need to elaborate new legal solutions which would prevent the evasion of the regulations currently in force. It also underlined the necessity of conducting legal analyses of the feasibility of introducing further instruments restricting the illegal practices f entities providing betting services on the internet.
The Supreme Audit Office has also asked the Ministry of Finance to prepare a method for combating the illegal advertisement of betting on the internet, to be implemented by the Customs Service. The gamblers should also be warned not to fall for these advertisements. Although there are no effective tools for combatting illegal betting on the internet, there are mechanisms in place making it possible for actions to be taken against the users of offshore operators.
One would hope that the control will result in the Ministry of Finance taking decisive, quick and effective action, as the fight against the grey market in internet betting is a common interest. The actions of illegal operators lead to losses of many millions for the budget and, what is more, does not contribute to the development of Polish sports in any way. It should be noted, that the main target of the Customs Service, police and prosecutors should not be the gamblers, who are often unaware of the regulations.
Mariusz Korzeb, tax adviser, expert of Employers of Poland