Gambling business in Poland is legal but is regulated very strictly by the Act on Gambling Games and the Ministry of Finance. The Act on Gambling Games regulates both land-based and online platforms.
The law divides gambling into three categories:
- luck games (lotteries, roulette, cards, craps, bingo);
- betting (sweepstakes and bookmakers);
- slot machines.
Online casino or “high roller kasyno” is not a separate category. But the law also defines regulations for Internet gambling.
Underage individuals may only participate in promotional lotteries and raffles. All gambling establishments, bingo, betting, casino games and slot machines providers should only work in appropriate locations.
There are three types of licenses in Poland:
- For casinos;
- For bingo parlors;
- For betting.
The number of casinos and bingo halls is limited. A company is allowed to open only one casino and bingo hall for every 250,000 city residents. Another limit is no more than one casino per 650,000 province residents. The casinos can also operate on cruise ships.
After the gambling law was passed in 2011, online casinos can now be hosted on Polish domains, and poker licenses are issued to international and European companies.
Bookmakers pay a turnover tax of 12% of their profit and, in addition, 20% of betting income, which in total is quite a high percentage.
The government has stated its intention to work against underground casinos operating without official permission and strictly control all activities on the gambling market. In addition, online casino sites will be blocked and penalized for violating the rules.
Foreign investors are allowed to do business in Poland without any restrictions, but to enter the Polish market, they are obliged to register their office in the country, and it must be headed by a person who is fluent in Polish. Here are some bullet points for you to remember:
- All types of gambling are allowed in the country; online poker is the only exception;
- The license to operate gambling activities is valid for six years;
- Gambling taxes are pretty high;
- The term of obtaining a permit takes several months;
- Foreign companies can work in Poland (with obligatory registration in the country);
- The gambling market belongs to the government.
In 2017 the gambling situation changed drastically. The government established a monopoly on this kind of business and allowed playing at only one officially acclaimed state casino. All others were declared illegal and blacklisted.
This approach did not suit either side – players were dissatisfied with the lack of choice, and international brands operating throughout Europe were forced to leave the Polish market.
All casinos that accept Polish players are included in the blacklist — to date, there are more than 15,000 sites in this register, and their number is only growing daily.
Illegal casinos are a breeding ground for payout fraud, preying on vulnerable players by exploiting gambling mania and disregarding legal requirements for transparency and measures to protect gambling enthusiasts from accumulating debt.
A legitimate casino is licensed, uses proven software, takes good care of players, provides psycho-emotional and physical protection, remains honest and transparent, pays out winnings on time, provides bonuses, does not replace concepts, and does not promote gambling.
Gambling fans can protect themselves by using our checklist and choosing only legal establishments.