The regulated gambling market in Poland is, it seems, thriving. As it was announced, the total revenue for licensed gambling activities reached €1.58bn in 2019, which marks a 28.8% year-on-year increase. Nevertheless, not everything is as shiny. The turnover, although increased, did not surpass the total turnover in the unlicensed market.
Figures from legal association Graj Legalnie show that unlicensed operators amassed more profits than operators with valid licenses. Gambling taxes from licensed operators brought to the state PLN800m. STS was the front-runner, with a 45.5% market share. Its first runner-up is Fortuna, with a 31.3% market share. The third most popular regulated betting operator was ForBet with a market share of 6.1%.
As Graj Legalnie also explains, three foreign operators had a combined 2.1m from Poland. Neither possesses a valid license. Their websites are even blocked by the Ministry of Finance in Poland. Nevertheless, they managed to acquire profits that are not governed by the state. Graj Legalnie added that the association sent reports of illicit gambling activities to the Ministry. The Ministry added 1830 gambling websites to the blocking registry and has 1303 more to add.
The legal association stated that, despite these results, there is a way to prevent or curb illicit gambling activities in Poland. One step would be to establish a dedicated regulatory body with clear objectives. The regulator could be modelled on the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority. The presence of such a body would greatly help oversee the sector. By monitoring licensed operators, it would pose firm regulations for both keeping and acquiring licenses. It could also keep an eye on the websites banned from the country in case they still perform prohibited operations. Currently, all gambling activities are overseen only by the Polish Ministry of Finance.
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