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NEWS 16 January 2018
Polish gambling market dominated by unlicensed operators
By Robert Simmons
A report published by Polish legal association Graj Legalnie has claimed that despite a recent amendment to the country's gambling act, over 60% of the Polish gambling market is still controlled by unlicensed bookmakers.

Legislatory changes introduced in December 2016 means bookmakers who operate in Poland pay a 12% tax on turnover, one of the highest in Europe, and has prompted many international operators, including William Hill, to leave the market.

More than a year on from these changes, the report estimates that the tax has raised over PLN 396m for the Polish economy. However, Graj Legalnie has claimed that if the new law were fully enforced, the state treasury would potentially increase this amount to PLN 594m.

At the same time as the regulatory changes, the Register of Domains for Illegal Offering of Gambling was created, blacklisting over 1,200 gambling website domains to date and blocking access to these sites for Polish players.

Although far ranging in its scope, the list is incomplete and not updated on a regular basis. To avoid getting blacklisted, unlicensed operators often change their domain names, allowing them to continue to operate unfettered.

Of the remaining licensed sector, STS has the biggest market share with 48%, while Czech based operator Fortuna and native Polish operator Tototlotek are the next biggest players with 31% and 10% respectively.

Despite a high number of restrictions, the Polish legal bookmaking sector is flourishing, delivering turnover of PLN 3.3bn in 2017, almost double the PLN 1.7bn turnover reported in 2016.

Łukasz Borkowski, member of the Graj Legalnie Association has called upon the Polish government to do more, saying: "In our opinion blocking of illegal operators’ websites and payments must be more effective. The Polish Ministry of Finance should update The Register of Domains for Illegal Offering of Gambling more frequently and efficiently.

"It will lead to fairer competition on the Polish bookmaking market and reduce the 'grey market' in the Polish betting industry.”

RELATED TAGS: Online | Industry | Marketing | Legal & Regulatory | Casino
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