Polish Online Gaming
To obtain a license to offer sports betting over the Internet in Poland, operators must form a Polish LLC or joint-stock company with at least three shareholders worth at least EUR 500,000.
All of the shares must be owned by Poland or citizens of the EU. The same is true for the company's management and supervisory board.
Licenses cost more than EUR 60,000 to obtain and operators can face taxes as high as 25%.
The strict licensing regime in Poland comes after years of the Polish government taking a lax approach to online gaming.
Before 2007, online gaming was not an issue, although the law from 1992 stated that any foreign operator was forbidden to offer gambling products to the residents of Poland. Since all online gaming operators were foreign entities, offering online gaming was illegal by default. The law was not fully enforced and penalties were not applied for those involved in online gaming. The government started discussions in 2007 that would specifically ban online gaming.
New amendments to the Gaming Law came into force on 1 January 2010. The new legislation banned online gaming completely, as well as advertising Internet gambling companies. Additional amendments include the prohibition of online gaming operators sponsoring sports clubs.
In 2011, the President signed the amendment to the Polish Gambling Act which ushered in the current regulatory scheme.
In January 2012, the Polish Ministry of Finance granted its first online gaming license to Fortuna zaklady bukmacherskie (Fortuna) to offer its online gaming services to Polish residents.
On 25 March 2014, amendments to the Polish Gambling Act made it possible for companies based anywhere in the EU to process gambling-related transactions. This opened Poland's online gaming market to payment processors such as Skrill and Neteller. The European Commission approved the amendments in March 2015.
In December 2016, amendments to the Gambling Act were approved by the Polish legislature and became effective in April 2017. The amendments preserve the monopoly of Totalizator Sportowy to operate online casino and poker games, in addition to restricting unlicensed gaming sites from offering their services in the country.
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