Is legalised Poker on the cards for Poland?

Published on May 30, 2016 in Industry News

play poker online PolandFor years Polish gamblers were forced to play their favourite games of poker at land-based casinos. That is all about to change thanks to Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Science and Higher Education Minister Jaroslaw Gowin. The Minister has taken it upon himself to make Poker legal for players who don’t always have a way of getting to a land-based casino.

Minister Gowin has drawn up a proposal with the hopes of getting the necessary support from the general public but most importantly, the law makers. If he succeeds Polish punters won’t be the only one to benefit as the government might see an increase in their annual budget too.

In a specially organised press conference earlier this month, Minister Gowin and President of the country’s Football association, Zbigniew Boniek asked that the Polish Gambling Act of 2011 should be revised. This law is largely about the running of sports bets and poker options. The two stated that a change in the Gambling Act could provide Poland with more income and it would also prevent illegal gambling. In other words, the country can only benefit while keeping illegal traders at bay.

Minister Gowin further spoke of an additional 8% being added to the current 12% tax income from sports bets. In support of the Polish Olympic Committee and the initiatives aimed at the prevention and rehabilitation of gambling addictions he suggested that they should receive 10% of the money the government receives from the sports betting industry. And if Minister Gowin’s calculations are correct Poland’s budget could receive a 50 million Euro increase annually.

If it wasn’t already obvious Poker is an illegal hobby anywhere outside of a land-based casino meaning online casinos are a big no-no. That might all change as the minister’s proposal supplies players with the legalisation and regulations needed for online poker and all other online gambling prospects offered on the internet. 

It should be clearly stated that Minister Gowin does not see Poker and sports betting as harmful gambling activities, however that does not mean that he approves of all other gambling activities such as slot games. The Minister of Finance, Pawel Szalamacha, also mentioned earlier this year that an expansion in the gambling industry was highly unlikely.

It is too early to say if the proposal will be successful considering that it did not come from the ruling party in Poland. This means that in order for it to be successful it would need a large amount of support from Polish residents. 

In retrospect it does seem like the best possible choice seeing as 95% of the online market is controlled by external and unlicensed operators. Thus, if the Polish government decides to amend the Gambling Act they could take control and block out IPs and payments of unregulated operatives. They could also put the money earned from bets to good use to keep the country in tip top shape and even aid those in need. Let’s hold thumbs that Minister Gowin will reach success with his current mission as it will only benefit all Polish residents in the long run.