Polish trade body urges ministers to rethink gambling regime for a modern economy

Polish gambling trade body Polska Izba Gospodarcza Branży Rozrywkowej (PIGBRiB) has published a report outlining comprehensive changes to the nation’s online and land-based gambling frameworks.    

PIGBRiB has issued its report to Warsaw’s SEJM, Poland’s lower house, branding the Polish Treasury’s gambling enforcements of 2017 as ‘non-viable’ for a growing modern economy.

In 2016, Poland’s governing PiS National Conservative Party sanctioned the Treasury to undertake a sweeping reform of Poland’s gambling codes, drastically changing the market’s make-up in 2017.

Enforcing a 12% turnover tax on all gambling verticals, and further limiting online casino games to the domain of state monopoly Totalizator Sportowy, Poland was branded as an ‘unworkable marketplace by departing European operators.

Following three years under the new gambling regime, PIGBRiB has urged SEJM ministers to rethink the current legislation, as pro-business solutions would ‘stimulate a healthy and competitive market betting, but also maximise benefits to the state budget’. 

Replacing Poland’s 12% blanket turnover tax is at the top of PIGBRiB agenda, in which the trade body urges SEJM to pass a 20% GGR rate – an industry tax rate adopted by the majority of regulated EU markets.

 The PIGBRiB report urges ministers to rethink policy on ‘four critical criteria’ to help Poland develop an effective regulated gambling marketplace. The trade body urges ministers to prioritise: 

  1. The development of a strict ‘state-sanctioned supervisory unit’ monitoring all regulated operators and services.
  2. Developing gambling legislation on social and economic merits, benefitting state revenues and eliminate ‘grey areas’ for market incumbents.
  3. The body recommends the constant analysis of state and private enterprises to balance market conditions for the benefit of both actors.
  4. To develop consumer-led gambling policies, which incorporate the opinions of the consumer with regards to legislating gambling products, advertising and market restrictions.  

Backing its report, PIGBRiB has pointed to EU member case studies on effective gambling tax frameworks and legislative policies, which have protected national consumers whilst increasing state budget revenues.   

Despite PIGBRiB’s numerous appeals and foreign operators challenging the Polish government to drop its regime requirements, Poland’s PiS government and the Treasury have made no indication that a review of gambling will be undertaken in the foreseeable future.  

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