Polish Finance Ministry Fines Leading Bookmaker

May 21, 2024
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The Polish Ministry of Finance has imposed an administrative fine of PLN2.95m (€700,000) on the country’s leading bookmaker, STS.
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The Polish Ministry of Finance has imposed an administrative fine of PLN2.95m (€700,000) on the country’s leading bookmaker, STS.

The fine was issued due to violations of Poland’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) law, according to a statement published on Monday (May 20).

The finance ministry said that the fine was imposed under Article 15(1) of the law, and resulted from “failure to fulfil an obligation” by the bookmaker. 

Per the statement, STS committed the following infractions:

  • The bookmaker failed to appoint a person responsible for fulfilling the obligations specified in the law, whose duties should include ensuring compliance with the legislation’s provisions.
  • STS did not submit a risk assessment document.
  • The company did not demonstrate the application of financial security measures referred to in Article 33 and Article 43 of the legislation in cases of a higher risk of money laundering or terrorism financing.
  • STS also did not submit a notification to Poland’s General Inspector of Financial Information referred to in Article 74 of the law.

The ministry said that the bookmaker appealed the fine before Poland’s Regional Administrative Court, which is the first instance court for administrative offences.  However, the company lost its appeal. 

STS subsequently moved to have its lawyers file a cassation appeal with the second instance court, the Supreme Administrative Court. 

While legal proceedings are ongoing, in Poland’s legal system the filing of a cassation appeal does not halt the collection of a fine.

A spokesperson for STS told Vixio GamblingCompliance that the fine had been paid and, as STS is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the bookmaker had informed its shareholders of that event in a filing.

Since last year, STS has been a part of global gambling giant Entain. The international sports betting and gaming group acquired a stake of about 70 percent in the Polish company in 2023. 

The group acquired the shares from Zbigniew Juroszek and Mateusz Juroszek, the bookmaker’s founder and his son who had served as its chief executive. 

Mateusz Juroszek is currently the chairman of STS and a board member of Entain CEE, a joint venture set up by Entain and EMMA Group. The Juroszek family holds about 10 percent of Entain CEE’s shares.

In addition to its online operations, STS bookmaker runs a network of more than 400 shops across Poland. 

Bricks-and-mortar retail represents 15 percent of the brand’s revenues, while online betting is responsible for the remaining 85 percent, as suggested by the latest available figures released by the company.

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