Bwin explores Polish options, as competition exits market

Breaking industry trends, GVC Holdings (GVC) European online betting subsidiary Bwin is reported to be pursuing a new Polish operator license despite a severe 12% ‘betting turnover tax’ being implemented this month.

Having refused to restructure its new Gambling Act, amid protest from European industry stakeholders, the Polish government has imposed its new online gambling regulatory provisions.

In preparation for new market regulations, this March operators Energybet, William Hill, OlympicBet, bet365 and Pinnacle announced that they would no longer service the Polish market, detailing that the imposed turnover tax made Poland, no longer a viable market for bookmaker services and operations.

However, GVC’s Bwin brand appears to have taken the opposite approach informing its Polish customers that it will apply for an operator licence, allowing for its continued wagering services. The bookmaker further states that it is in ‘constant contact with Polish authorities’ regarding its licencing process.

New regulations attached to Poland’s new Gambling Act have been criticized by several industry bodies accusing the government of creating business conditions which will favour state-run gambling enterprise Totlizator Sportowy.

Last September the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) urged the Polish government to drop its new framework stating that its 12 turnover tax would significantly reduce competition, creating an ineffective marketplace where Polish consumers will seek to wager with unlicensed and unregulated bookmakers.

The Polish Government has hit back at critics, stating that it will support its Gambling Act, with stricter access provisions creating a black-list and IP and bank transfer blocking to several European betting operators.

Although Bwin has confirmed that it is in talks with Polish representatives, the operator is yet to fully confirm whether it will commit to the Polish betting market.

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