Poland adds further restrictions to online gambling framework

polandTo the surprise of gambling stakeholders, the Polish government has rejected amendments to liberalise its online gambling framework, instead choosing to add further operator restrictions.

With foreign operators expecting Polish regulators to add online casino and poker provisions to its online gambling framework, the Polish Council of Ministers announced that slot games would be restricted to play on state-owned lottery operator Totalizator Sportowy.

The council’s amendments will surprise Polish licensed betting operators, who expected the amendments to implement new business conditions in-line with European Union market policies.

Defending its stance, the Polish Council of Ministers stated that its restriction on slot games was needed since it was “the most addictive form of gambling” which should be monitored by a state-owned enterprise.

Furthermore, the council has made no changes to its unpopular 12% tax on sports betting turnover, despite numerous ministers stating that Poland should follow Denmark’s lead and implement a 20% charge on betting revenues.

The new amendments implemented by the council, are set to be forwarded to the European Commission for review. However, industry commentators have stated that with continued high taxes  and further product restrictions Poland is unlikely to become a an attractive market proposition for international operators.

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