Polish Lottery Raided By Anti-Corruption Bureau

May 22, 2024
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Poland’s state lottery and sole online casino operator Totalizator Sportowy has been raided by officials from the country’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau as part of a probe launched by the local prosecutor’s office. 
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Poland’s state lottery and sole online casino operator Totalizator Sportowy has been raided by officials from the country’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) as part of a probe launched by the local prosecutor’s office.

The CBA, which seized reams of documents from the lottery's headquarters, is one of Poland’s special services, established to combat corruption with particular emphasis on public and local government institutions. 

The investigation into Totalizator Sportowy relates to a case of potential corruption dating to the years 2017 to 2021. At that time, the state-owned company was managed by executives close to the then ruling Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) party, which governed Poland from 2015 to 2023. 

In a brief statement released on the day when CBA officers entered its headquarters in Warsaw, Totalizator Sportowy said it “confirms that on May 15, 2024, the company received a decision from the Prosecutor of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Szczecin requesting the release of items (search)”.

“The request applies to the years 2017 to 2021. The company fully cooperates with the CBA officers who are carrying out activities in this field,” according to the statement.

In February 2024, Totalizator Sportowy’s supervisory board dismissed Olgierd Cieślik from the position of the company’s chief executive. 

The move paved the way for further changes at the state-owned company, following the swearing in of a new centrist government last December. 

Cieślik had served as the firm’s CEO since 2017, which indicates that Polish prosecutors are currently investigating the lottery operator’s activities during his time at the helm of the company.

Polish law enforcement authorities have not released any details on the scope of the ongoing probe into Totalizator Sportowy, triggering speculation by local media. 

Local broadcaster TVN 24 has obtained information that the investigation could be connected to contracts that Totalizator Sportowy had allegedly awarded to a consultancy co-owned by a former Law and Justice lawmaker-turned-lobbyist.

New managers were recently appointed to the firm’s management board. In March 2024, Rafał Krzemień was selected as Totalizator Sportowy’s president, and Szymon Gawryszczak and Artur Kapelko were named as the firm’s management board members. These were followed by further appointments.

Prior to his latest appointment, Krzemień served as the president of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, a municipally-owned company in the country’s capital which is ruled by the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) party of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. 

The country’s amended gambling law, which entered into force in 2017, designated Totalizator Sportowy as the only entity allowed to run slots outside casinos. 

In addition to running Poland’s national lottery, the company operates a country-wide chain of slot halls, and it is also the only legal operator of a Poland-based online casino.

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