A report commissioned by Poland’s national lottery operator has called on the government to relax regulations for a number of sectors, including a tax cut for the country’s many betting shop operators.
Released by state-owned Totalizator Sportowy, the report “recommends that the [Polish] regulator focuses on improving the situation of legal operators, while at the same time maintaining the principles” of Poland’s amended gambling law of 2016.
UK-based consultancy H2 Gambling Capital drafted the document, which presents a set of recommendations for the Polish authorities focused on amending regulations for three sectors of the country’s gambling industry: bookmakers; poker tournaments; and its only licenced online casino.
The study proposes to replace the current 12 percent revenue-based tax paid by betting shop operators with a 40 percent gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax.
This suggestion resembles calls from the local gambling industry association PIGBRiB, which has been lobbying the Ministry of Finance to replace the 12 percent tax rate with a 20 percent GGR rate.
For Total Casino, the country’s sole registered online casino, operated by Totalizator Sportowy and launched in 2018, the report suggests the country maintain the current ban on advertising, but allow the casino to provide customers with informative updates about its products and affiliation opportunities.
Regarding poker, the document proposes to legalise cash games, impose a tax on rake and enable Poland-based poker players to compete online against players based in other countries.
The study predicts that, between 2021 and 2026, Poland-based bookmakers will increase their revenues from PLN2.085bn (€459.5m) to PLN2.561bn (€564.5m), up 22.8 percent.
“The predominance of bookmaking in the total value of the market results from, above all, the significant restrictions in the field of advertising and public information related to the online casino, and from the longer presence of bookmakers [in the Polish market] in comparison with the online casino,” according to the document.
State-owned Totalizator Sportowy claims its suggested changes to gambling regulations would result in faster growth for the industry and greater funds for the government coffers.
The analysis “indicates that implementing the above-mentioned changes would lead to increasing the market’s value by PLN1.75 billion (up 42.2 percent) by 2026”, the lottery operator said. Poland’s “tax revenues would then increase by as much as PLN 500 million”.
Despite measures in the country’s amended gambling law of 2016 to combat unlicensed gambling operators, the offshore industry players continue to attract a sizeable share of Polish players.
This comes despite Poland blocking local users from accessing non-licensed gambling websites since 2017, with the country’s authorities operating a blacklist, which currently contains more than 15,000 entries.
It is estimated that “1.5 percent (496,000 persons) of Poland’s adult population uses illegal bookmakers’ websites, while 2.6 percent (875,000 persons) uses illegal online casino websites”, the document said.