The bookmaker or the act? Polish gambling rules still under fire

Source: Aleksander Kutnik¸ PKF Malta¸ August 2012

Since 1992¸ when the Poles have been started to run to the first bookmakers places¸ situation has changed a lot. An intensive growth of polish bookies incomings stopped in 2010¸ when the government implemented the “new gambling act”. But they have not give up and with the support of users they still fight for their rights concern betting on the Internet.

The first places¸ which allowed people to bet on sport events and competitions mainly¸ were launched in Poland in 1992. It was a real hit in that times – throng of people visited special points of TOTOLOTEK S.A. and tried to guess or calculate results of the sport matches. In the beginning the offer was not too vast – the clients have been betting only the matches of the Polish and English football league. After a dozen or so years the situation at the polish bookmaker’s market is completely different. Now every player can bet almost on every sport¸ from football¸ tennis and basketball to horse races¸ water polo and even… presidential election. But the new problem appeared – playing on the Internet is not legal in Poland in mostly examples (company can offer this kind of service¸ when has got outdoor points in Poland and additionally has to get the government’s permission). To betting legally every “customer” usually has to go to the special outdoor points.

Currently¸ there are 7 companies in the polish market¸ which have enabled the legal betting. 5 of them belong to the bookmaker’s market¸ 2 of them to the tote’s market. All of these entities compose the bigger mutual wagering market. According to the Employers and Employees of Bookmakers Companies Association (Stowarzyszenia Pracodawców i Pracowników Firm Bukmacherskich) statistics¸ in 2010 there were 1700 points in Poland¸ where the people could betting on the selected events. Polish mutual wagering market employed more than 4500 employees in that time.

The statistics show also that it could be an efficient business. From 2007 to 2009¸ has been following the systematic growth of the mutual wagering companies incomings.













Reference: Ministerstwo Finansów: „Informacja o realizacji ustawy o grach hazardowych w 2010 roku”

In 2009 the incomings of the companies came out 89. 1 mln z?otych (about 217 mln euro) and it was the biggest result in the history of this market. The situation changed in 2010 – main reason: changes in polish Act on Games of Chance and Mutual Wagering.

The government decided to add new rules to this act mainly because of the political scandal. Zbigniew Chlebowski has resigned from Prime Min