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Betting in Poland

Published on: 01/02/2016

Professional, Totolek and STS are the three major players in Poland’s gambling industry. Between them, these bookmakers manage in excess of 1000 betting shops nationwide.

The Polish government has devised its own style of taxation on betting. The industry’s turnover is taxed at 10% and another 10% is levied on winnings. This system has resulted in the gambling industry being able to generate enough money to significantly benefit the country’s economy.

Many other countries follow a tax-free model, but despite Poland’s double-tax method, gambling is extremely successful throughout the nation. Poland’s bigger cities are home to many casinos; but sportsbooks are even more popular, with a huge number of sport betting venues operating throughout the country, generating a massive turnover.

Poland’s gambling industry is growing in line with European trends and this is reflected in the expanding success of Poland’s three largest gambling companies, Professional, Totolek and STS.

A British company, known as Stanley Bet, made a huge investment in STS in 2008. As a result, the company’s value has since increased and it is on track to become Poland’s most successful gambling organization.

Polish law stipulates that gambling online is not allowed; however, the authorities are in the process of discussing options to change the regulations regarding online sportsbooks. This would benefit companies such as Proffessional, Ataotlek and STS. Polish people who still want to wager online can do so via foreign betting web sites. The fact that wagering online is illegal in Poland does not deter people from frequenting these off-shore sportsbooks.

Polish authorities have no blocks in place to prevent its citizens from frequenting foreign betting web sites, many of which are happy to receive their business and even provide information in the Polish language.

The Polish government are concerned about its citizens becoming addicted to gambling and regard internet gambling web sites as a nuisance, especially as they have a variety of gambling options on offer, and large amounts of money can be staked. Another cause for concern is the widening danger of social issues attached to gambling.

There have been talks of a complete ban on all gambling. Games machines in cafes and bars and venues which are not specialized gambling premises are frowned upon due to the likelihood of attracting vulnerable people such as children.

In addition to these steps, gambling promotion and advertising may well be banned which could pose a problem for sporting teams and events, who rely on sponsorship deals from such firms.

The country’s Prime Minister has spoken about proposals to increase taxes even more in an effort to minimise the rise of gambling addiction. As of yet, no firm decisions have been made as there are certain outcomes to weigh up. The dilemma is whether social gambling issues cost the nation more than the gambling industry brings to the Polish economy.