Poland has come a long way since the non-regulated gambling sector of the 1980s, and the lackluster laws of the 1990s which gave way to the current set of regulations. Over the past one year, the country has seen its annual gambling revenues skyrocket and register a 22 percent growth due to online sports betting.
Throughout 2016, the authorities discussed the online sports betting regulations extensively. Their goal was to attract foreign operators in the country and increase tax revenues. The new rules, implemented in April 2017, allowed foreign operators to conduct online sports betting in the country via a Finance Ministry license. They had to pay 13 percent taxes for the same. So far ten foreign operators have received licenses from the ministry. Although some believed that the high rate of taxation would discourage the relatively small market for gambling, the state’s revenue figures show a different story.
In its annual report, the Ministry of Finance suggests that gambling regulation brought impressive revenue gains to the country. In 2018 alone, the gambling sector revenue reached 2.7 billion euros ($3.5 billion) marking a striking 22 percent increase year-on-year. The overall tax collection also improved by 17 percent during this time.
The industry itself noted significant growth as casino revenues increased by 13 percent and sports betting revenues experienced 105 percent growth. The sports betting portion in online gambling grew from 15.4 percent to 26.4 percent. The new measures have also improved the local operators’ share of the online gambling business from 10 percent to 40 percent. The authorities are hoping that local operators could further increase their share to 90 percent. The taxes from online sports betting alone has improved by 217 percent.
The state-run monopoly continues in Poland with Totalizator Sportowy offering casino games, bingo, and poker services. Other operators are currently offering only sports wagering. The authorities have cleaned up the local gambling sector, blacklisting over 1,600 domains of unlicensed operators in the country. Titanbet and Betsson were some of the prominent operators blacklisted during the time.
Belarus and Greece are the next countries to follow Poland’s example and create new regulations for online gambling and sports betting. The two are also gearing up for providing sports betting licenses to operators soon. Poland’s increasing revenues and consistent growth of local operators in spite of the entry of foreign platform provide a good case study for other states sitting on the fence about gambling laws.