Polish Monopoly Operator Wants More Blocking, Tax On GGR

September 28, 2023
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Poland’s state-owned gambling operator says regulated play could top 80 percent of the national market if regulators have extra powers to fight the black market, and if gambling tax applies to gross gaming revenue (GGR).
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Poland’s state-owned gambling operator says regulated play could top 80 percent of the national market if regulators have extra powers to fight the black market, and if gambling tax applies to gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Totalizator Sportowy, the national lottery operator and online casino and slot hall monopoly, commissioned a report arguing that the regulated online gambling industry could increase market share from 76 to 80.2 percent by 2027 if new measures to combat the black market are implemented.

“Specific actions may be helpful in hampering the activities of illegal gambling entities,” the state-run Totalizator Sportowy said in a statement accompanying a presentation of the report’s key findings.

The report focuses on “blocking unlicensed operators (and not only their domains), imposing administrative financial penalties on them, [enabling] more effective cooperation of electronic payment operators in blocking access to transfers of funds to illegal entities, and changes in communication with players that can be performed by legal market entities,” according to the statement.

The study presents three scenarios for the nation’s gambling industry and compares how each could impact gambling tax revenue and GGR.

The first scenario maintains existing regulations. Under the present turnover-based gambling tax, the rate on betting is set at 12 percent, while Totalizator Sportowy’s online casino is subject to a 50 percent GGR tax. 

Local bookmakers, members of parliament and others have been calling on the government to replace the turnover tax with a GGR tax for many years.

The second scenario amends gambling regulations and introduces a 40 percent GGR tax on bookmaking. Online casino games would continue to be subject to a 50 percent GGR tax, while Totalizator Sportowy would preserve its monopoly on online casino games. 

This scenario also envisages the government loosening regulations on communications between Totalizator Sportowy and online casino players, allowing the company to engage in sponsorships and more personalised marketing.

The third scenario, dubbed a “fully open market”, foresees the introduction of a GGR tax of 22.5 percent for both licensed online bookmakers and online casinos.

Privately owned companies would be allowed to launch online casino games based on a licence system, competing against Totalizator Sportowy.

All licence holders would also be allowed to engage in sponsorship and liberalised customer marketing, according to the report. 

The analysis concludes that by 2027, under the second scenario, market GGR could increase by 20.5 percent to around PLN9.55bn (€2.07bn) and gaming tax revenue could expand by 4 percent to PLN3.62bn. 

Should the authorities opt to implement the open market scenario, the nation’s GGR could reach PLN13.5bn, but gambling tax revenues would fall to some PLN2.92bn, according to the report.

Should current regulations remain in place, the analysis forecasts that market GGR in 2027 would be greater than PLN7.92bn and that the government will receive about PLN3.48bn in gambling tax proceeds that year.

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