Poland: the Ministry of Finance prepared a draft amendment of the Gambling Law

06.07.2016

Ensuring the highest possible level of protection of the players against the negative impact of gambling as well as reducing the occurrence of “shadow” gaming sector – these are the main goals of the draft amendment of the Gambling Law outlined in the statement of the Ministry of Finance. However, the new draft aims also to liberalised certain provisions of Gambling Law.

The draft implements regulations regarding the rules of blocking websites and of payments made to entities illegally offering gaming on the Internet.

Moreover, the right to offer games on gaming machines outside casinos will be a state monopoly executed by an indicated entity. Games on gaming machines shall be organised only in separated places, under permanent control and they shall be unavailable for persons under 18 years old.

Another change is obliging the gaming providers offering games on gaming machines and gaming on the Internet to introduce responsible game regulations.

The draft also strengthens the sanctions threatened for the infringement of the Gambling Law. Illegal gaming providers shall be subject to more severe consequences.

The provisions on poker are to be liberalised. The suggested solutions enable the organisation of poker games even outside casinos, they simplify the process of organising poker games and enable legal participation in poker games on the Internet.

The abolition of professional examinations for persons supervising or directly conducting gaming is also suggested in the draft. Giving up the necessity to conduct professional examinations and replacing them with training is intended to reduce the bureaucratic burden of the entrepreneurs operating in the field of gaming as well as minimise the costs of conducting business activities in this area.

The above recommendations represent a compromise between the necessity to ensure the highest possible level of protection of the players against the negative impact of gambling (among others through reduction of the grey economy) and assurance of existence of a transparent and well-functioning market of legal gaming.

The amendment of the Gambling Law prepared by the Ministry of Finance has received a positive reception. Nevertheless, two of the new provisions have aroused controversy, namely 1) making single prizes in casinos of value exceeding PLN 2,280.00 subject to tax liability and 2) introduction of the obligation to carry out each transaction in a casino as a non-cash payment using payment cards.

The draft has been forwarded for ministerial consultations and the document assumes that the amendment will enter into force on January 1st, 2017.