Despite efforts, Illegal operators continue to dominate Poland's online gambling market
Poland's effort to stamp out illegal online gambling operators have fallen short of expectations following revisions to the 2017 Gambling Act.
Some countries have decided to liberalize the online gaming market through regulation. This has given regulators the power to properly ensure compliance. Two organisations in Switzerland, the CFMJ and Comlot published a blacklist of online operators banned from the Swiss Market. As this next story shows, liberalizing online gambling does not always come without challenges. This is because despite the regulations, illegal Polish online gambling websites continue to flourish as a recent audit has shown. We'll take a look at the details next.
Illegal online casinos maintained 51% market share
From 2015 to 2018, the Polish online gambling market has grown by just over 58% from €1.15 billion to €1.82 billion. Although the amounts wagered on authorised sites have grown by 600% to €0.9 billion, illegal online casinos continue to command the largest market share at 51%.
Revisions to the 2017 Gambling Act
The Polish gambling act was revised in 2017, coming into force on April 1st, 2017. Not only was it intended to create a regulated environment, but it was also intended to eliminate illegal operators. It extended the 12% sales tax on land-based casinos to online gambling. Government-controlled Totalizator Sportowy retained its monopoly over online casino and lottery operations. This would seem to have not gone over very well with players.
Illegal online casinos still maintain a 51% share of the Polish market.
Polish online gambling withdrawal of casino operators
The changes imposed by the Act have forced several big online casino operators to retreat from the Polish market. These included heavyweights like Bet365, Unibet and William Hill. The lack of Polish online gambling competition has undoubtedly not helped to stamp out illegal activity as was originally envisioned. Undoubtedly, we can expect more of a crackdown by the Polish government.