Online Gambling Operators Continue Polish ExodusApril 27, 2017 9:55 am
Poland launched its newly regulated online poker market on April 1st, but rather than setting an attractive stage for international operators to offer their products, these companies have instead begun exiting the country’s unattractive business environment in their droves.
Major brands such as William Hill, Bet365, and Betfair chose to quit Poland ahead of the new gambling framework’s implementation on April 1st, while the iPoker network has now followed suit, in the process cutting off Polish players from such sites as Titan Poker, Winner and bet-at-home. Furthermore, on April 24th, some of these sites’ players found themselves cut off from the action mid-game, and as a recent post on the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA) reported:
“Some big names like Titan (Europartners) or Winner didn’t even send a single email to their customers about this fact. Some players were playing their favourite games and suddenly received pop up about disabled real money activities from their jurisdictions. Is that hard to communicate it to the players at least few days earlier?”
At the heart of the exodus is the 12% tax rate set by the Polish government on annual turnover of sports betting, which is viewed as being far too high compared to other regulated jurisdictions which base their lower rates on gross gambling revenue. In addition, the amended Polish Gaming Act has basically turned internet poker into a
state-run monopoly, while live poker tournaments may only be organized having first obtained a license from the country’s bureaucratic Director of the Chamber of Tax Administration.
If all this was not bad enough, tournament organizers must now also video and record the whole of their games, while the value of their prizes not exceeding “50% of the base amount.” With such new rules now in places, we are likely to see many more major brands quitting the Polish market over the coming weeks and months.