Online casinos are popular all over the world including Poland. Players are increasingly drawn to online casinos for their ease of use and convenience, generous bonuses, and multi-provider games. Gambling also has many advantages.
Guest author Jacek Michałski focuses on the Polish market and looks at whether online casinos are growing or decreasing.
Poland has some restrictive online gambling laws, which make it different for iGaming operators. The country has legalized online sports betting and grants licenses to foreign operators to offer online betting on its soil.
However, online casino, online poker, and online bingo are still under state monopoly. So Poland has only one legal online casino. Called Total Casino, it belongs to the state-owned Totalizator Sportowy
But this does not mean that you cannot play online casinos in Poland. Many foreign operators, licensed in remote gambling jurisdictions, accept Poles despite the country’s unfriendly online gambling laws. There are a number of Polish online casinos like energycasino that have a strong Polish player database. Polish players continue to flock to reputed online casinos that offer a safe and secure online gaming experience.
Polish Gambling Laws
The government of Poland created a set of new gambling laws in April 2017 to liberate its gambling market. But far from liberating the Polish gambling market, these laws restricted it further.
The new laws allow foreign operators to apply for only online sports betting licenses. The country doesn’t permit any foreign operator to run online casinos, online poker rooms, and online bingo sites in its territory.
Moreover, it has imposed a hefty tax of 12% on foreign operators running online bookie businesses in the country.
The laws, however, don’t stop Poles from signing up at any offshore online casino they like. One must note that the laws do not target residents but only companies and individuals running online casino businesses in Poland.
Popularity of Gambling across the World and Poland
Have you ever wondered how many people gamble in the world? According to world gambling statistics, 26% of the total adult population of the world plays games of chance. As many as 1.6 billion people all over the world bet on games regularly and 4.2 billion people say that they gamble at least once per year for more info visit: https://www.darksnow.org.
In Poland, the online and land-based betting market was worth €82.5 million in 2016, a number that increased by 28% every year from 2012 to 2016.
Polish Online Casinos – Growing or Declining?
A 2019 report from the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) in Poland reports that the country’s illegal gambling market is bigger than its regulated market. The country’s legal as well as unlicensed online gambling market increased to PLN7.9 billion for 2018 from a mere PLN5 billion in 2015. From 2015 to 2018, bets placed with licensed operators increased by 600% to PLN3.88 billion.
Despite the growth of the regulated market, illegal gambling sites continue to dominate in Poland although their rate of growth is slow. Bets placed at unlicensed gambling sites increased by 42% during the same years to PLN4.01 billion. This accounts for slightly more than half of the market.
Offshore gambling sites continue to be a problem for Poland. As they are based and licensed in offshore jurisdictions, the government of Poland has no power over them. At most, the government can blacklist them and instruct Polish ISPs to block them, but this doesn’t stop players from accessing them via VPN services. It also doesn’t stop blacklisted sites from making themselves accessible to Poles through clone domains.
Why Poles Play at Online Casinos
Why is gambling good in Poland? The restrictive laws of their country don’t stop Poles from signing up at offshore online casinos. On their part, Polish online casinos do everything in their power to make themselves attractive to Poles, as follows:
- They provide online casino gaming services in the native language.
- They support PLN and offer banking methods that are familiar to Poles.
- Polish players can play games for free.
- They can claim generous cash bonuses and free spins.
- Customer support is available round the clock in the native language.
The state-owned Total Casino, the only legal online casino in Poland, has a small library of games. Casino enthusiasts, therefore, prefer playing at offshore online casinos that offer thousands of multi-provider games.
COVID-19 made a huge impact on the online gaming market in Poland. The lockdown forced Poles to look at digital gaming options and online casinos witnessed a rush of traffic from Poland. Expect online casinos to continue to grow and thrive in Poland during the coming years.