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For permits concerning other games raffle bingo and lottery, promotional lottery, and premium rate lottery , it is possible to change the name of the promoter. This requires amending the permit. For foreign companies operating through a Polish representative, if the agreement with the representative is terminated, a new representative must be established within two months from termination date.

The regulator must be notified of the termination and the appointment of the new representative. Companies operating casinos, bingo halls, slot machine parlours or betting are required to report any major changes in their shareholder structure to the minister in charge of public finance. The notification must include information on the source of funds used to acquire the shares and proof of their legality such as a company financial statement.

A similar notification obligation concerns changes in the Board, Supervisory Board, or the auditing committee of these gambling operators. What are the limitations or requirements imposed on land-based gambling operators? Prohibitions As a general rule, any activity related to gambling which does not conform to the Gambling Law is prohibited.

Therefore, organising gambling games that deviate from the rules of the Gambling Law is illegal. There may also be games that do not fall clearly within any specific category of such games as defined in the Gambling Law. In such cases, it is possible to request that the Minister of Finance issues a decision declaring a game to be a certain type of a gambling game.

More specific prohibitions include the following among others :. Casino games, bingo and betting are only permitted within casinos, bingo saloons and bet-making points, respectively. Slot machine games can only be located on the premises of lawfully operated casinos or slot machine parlours the latter being exclusively operated by a state-owned company. It is prohibited to even possess a slot machine for anyone other than casinos, manufacturers, authorised repair shops and so on.

Unauthorised possession of a slot machine is a crime, and in some cases administrative fines of PLN, per machine can even be imposed on owners of property where unauthorised machines are stored. With the exception of betting and promotional lotteries, offering gambling games online is prohibited for private entities. Minors under 18 years of age can only participate in promotional lotteries and raffle lotteries; all other forms of gambling activities are prohibited for minors.

Operators can ask for ID to check the participant's age. Outsourcing activities related to gambling operations to third parties is prohibited, except for purely technical actions, such as selling proofs of participation or handing out prizes. Betting on the results of number games is prohibited. Restrictions There are several restrictions on how gambling can be organised. The main restrictions are as follows:. All visitors to casinos, bingo saloons and slot machine parlours points must register before entry.

Their personal data must be stored for three years and can be accessed by the authorities. In casinos, a video record of each game must be prepared and stored for three years. The winners of prizes in gambling games can request operators to issue them with a certificate for their prize. Operators must keep records of all prizes awarded with a minimum value of PLN2, Slot machine games are very highly regulated, as well as prohibited to possess for anyone other than a limited set of entities.

There are several specific provisions regarding their registration and approval, technical inspections, and operation. For example, the owner of a machine is required to have it inspected by an authorised entity when the Head of the Customs and Tax Office orders him to do so. Any instance of moving a machine to a different location must be notified in advance to the competent Head of the Customs and Tax Office and in writing.

Persons convicted of an intentional crime cannot hold positions directly involved in gambling operations such as the position of a croupier, for example , nor can they act as supervisors where telebingo, raffle lotteries, raffle bingo, promotional lotteries or premium rate lotteries are organised. Moreover, they must undergo professional training on gambling regulations, which must be repeated every three years. Training is not required for a limited set of less prominent posts, such as for lottery ticket sellers.

Gambling operators must keep detailed records of their activities, including details of:. All gambling operators are required to send monthly reports on their operations to either the Minister of Finance or the Director of the competent Revenue Administration Regional Office, including economic and financial operation data. As a punitive measure issued by a criminal court in addition to the standard punishment for crimes related to gambling, the court can forbid an individual from participating in gambling and entering gambling facilities.

This measure can be ordered it is not compulsory alongside a conviction connected with organising or participating in illegal gambling. The restriction is imposed for a term of between one to ten years. Violation of this measure is a crime itself. Apart from this, there are no other entry restrictions such as "cool-off" periods or self-exclusion schemes required by law.

Anti-money laundering legislation In general, most gambling operators in Poland are subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations. As "obliged entities" within the meaning of anti-money laundering laws, they are required to, for example, report and store data on all transactions above EUR15, to the General Inspector of Financial Information.

As part of the licensing procedure, entities applying for a casino licence, bingo saloon permit, betting permit or a premium rate lottery permit must prove that they are in compliance with anti-money laundering laws. The General Inspector of Financial Information is authorised to carry out inspections on whether the anti-money laundering obligations have been performed correctly by entities applying for a licence or permit.

Licences or permits will be revoked if there has been a money laundering conviction within the EEA. The operators of casinos, bingo saloons and slot machine parlours must also verify and register the identity of their clients, which is also an anti-money laundering measure. What is the licensing regime if any for online gambling? The only forms of online gambling currently permitted for private entities in Poland are betting and promotional lotteries.

Conducting either of these requires obtaining a prior permit. All other forms of online gambling can only be held by a state-owned company. The Gambling Law, as it was initially adopted in , was controversial in whether it included "technical regulations" which were not notified to the European Commission see Question 1. These regulations particularly concerned online gambling and machine games.

According to this Directive, technical regulations must be notified to the European Commission before an act of law is passed, otherwise they are unenforceable against individuals. When the Gambling Law was passed, no notification was made. The CJEU decisions led to discrepant judgments of Polish courts in cases concerning operating unlicensed slot machine parlours.

In separate proceedings, the European Commission conducted an infringement case against Poland, concerning possible non-compliance of the Polish gambling regulations with EU law. In December , the Commission decided to close all open infringement cases against EU member states that concerned online gambling. Currently, due to the stance of the Commission and the general approach of the CJEU in gambling-related cases, the regulations concerning online gambling in Poland do not seem to be at risk of being invalidated for non-compliance with EU law.

Some offshore operators are trying in the courts to challenge the legality of the mechanism for blocking foreign gambling websites for more details, see Question 10 , claiming it restricts the freedom to provide services in the EU, but so far these attempts have been unsuccessful.

Available licences The only available permits that concern online activity are gambling and promotional lotteries. There are no limitations on the number of online betting or promotional lottery operators. Betting permits are issued for specific websites where the betting is to be offered, as indicated in the application, while permits for promotional lotteries are valid for a single lottery only.

Eligibility The eligibility requirements for online betting and promotional lotteries are the same as for their land-based equivalents see Question 5, Eligibility. Application procedure The procedure to obtain a betting operator permit for online betting or a promotional lottery permit is the same as for their land-based equivalents see Question 5, Application procedure.

However, entities wishing to obtain permits for online betting must address certain specific issues in their application, such as the age verification mechanism for participants in practice, a scan of ID is required on registration by most operators. The guarantee required for online betting operators is PLN, The online betting permit is valid for six years, while a promotional lottery permit only covers a single lottery, and its term may not exceed two years.

For an online promotional lottery, the fee is the same as for a land-based one. Changes of corporate control The rules on amending permits are the same for both land-based and online operators see Question 5, Changes of corporate control. It is not possible for online betting operators to change the name of the operator in the permit, but this is possible for online promotional lottery holders. What are the limitations or requirements imposed on online gambling operators?

Prohibitions With the exception of betting and promotional lotteries, no form of online gambling is permitted for private operators. Participating in online gambling organised by foreign operators that are unlicensed in Poland is also a crime. The more specific prohibitions specified in Question 6 such as the prohibition on gambling by minors also apply to online betting. Restrictions In addition to the restrictions applicable to each specific form of gambling both in land-based and online form see Question 6 , all forms of online gambling are subject to certain additional specific restrictions:.

The authorities are authorised to access the archive and the operator must provide them with access to such data including remote access tools. The data in the archive should be stored for five years; after that period the data should be deleted. Only using websites with ". For all money operations related to online gambling for example, collecting wages, the payment of winnings and so on , gambling operators can only use specific types of payment service providers as described by payment service regulations, such as banks, credit institutions or payment institutions.

Online gambling operators must secure the data confirming participation in gambling, and must ensure that it is not subject to any interference from unauthorised persons and that it can verify its authenticity. Online gambling operators are required to introduce and follow the "terms of responsible gaming", that is, a set of procedures and measures including, among other things, age verification check, measures allowing participants to control their activity on the website, or restricting them from playing when there are no funds on their account.

Anti-money laundering legislation The anti-money laundering rules are the same for both land-based and online operators see Question 6, Anti-money laundering legislation , with the exception of certain additional restrictions, such as the obligation to conduct payment transactions using specific types of providers see above, Restrictions , which can also be considered anti-money laundering-related. B2B and B2C. Is there a distinction between the law applicable between B2B operations and B2C operations in online gambling?

There is no explicit distinction between business to customer B2C and business to business B2B in online gambling operators under Polish law. However, since the outsourcing of gambling operations to third parties unless for certain merely technical actions is prohibited under the Gambling Law, B2B operators would not be permitted in Poland.

Technical measures. What technical measures are in place if any to protect consumers from unlicensed operators, such as ISP blocking and payment blocking? It is a criminal offence to participate in illegal gambling or betting as well as in any forms of foreign gambling or betting in Poland when the participant is located in Poland. In addition, technical measures have been introduced to the Gambling Law to enforce this prohibition.

From July , unlicensed gambling websites can be made inaccessible from Poland. The Minister of Finance keeps a register of websites which he has determined to provide unlicensed gambling services, and internet service providers ISPs are required, within 48 hours from entering a website on the blacklist, to block their users' access to such a website. Users wishing to access them are rerouted to a website run by the Ministry of Finance featuring a warning outlining the consequences of illegal gambling.

Moreover, a payment blocking system was introduced. Payment service providers PSPs are required to cease providing their services in relation to these blacklisted websites. Owners of blacklisted websites, owners of their domain names, as well as ISPs and PSPs can file objections against the entry of a specific website to the register. Objections are considered by the Minister of Finance, whose decision may be further contested before an administrative court. To date however, the courts have upheld all of the Minister's decisions with respect to blacklisting, with no objections having been considered in favour of the website owners.

Mobile gambling and interactive gambling What differences if any are there between the regulation of mobile gambling and interactive gambling on television? At present, mobile gambling and interactive gambling are not specifically regulated by the Gambling Law. Therefore, the general provisions of the Gambling Law would apply. Depending on the type of a game, a particular mobile or interactive gambling game could either fit within the definition of a slot machine game a game "played with the use of mechanical, electromechanical or electronic devices, computers included, for cash or in-kind prizes, where the game features an element of randomness" or online gambling or betting.

Therefore, mobile or interactive gaming would be regulated in the same way as these forms of gambling. Social gaming How is social gaming regulated in your jurisdiction? In general, no specific rules exist in Poland in relation to social gaming. The Gambling Law applies to all games of chance in which there are cash or in-kind prizes. In theory, games of chance that are free to play, but which feature a cash or in-kind prize, are not explicitly permitted under the Gambling Law, but also not explicitly prohibited.

The judgment rejected the approach of the Polish regulator, according to which even a free-to-enter sweepstake should be considered a gambling game for which a licence must be obtained. However, if a game is a game of chance and offers in-game tokens or virtual currency that can be won as a prize, and such prize may be sold for real money or otherwise obtained or exchanged using real money for example through an in-game purchase , such prizes would be considered "in-kind prizes" and would result in the game being classified as a game of chance under the Gambling Law.

Moreover, due to a broad definition of a slot machine in the Gambling Law, if a certain game is of random character and is organised for commercial purposes, then the game can be considered a slot machine, even if there are no prizes at all. Blockchain technology To what extent is blockchain used in gambling in your jurisdiction?

How is it regulated? There are no regulations on using blockchain in gambling in Poland. Operators are not prohibited from using it for example, by storing data in a blockchain-based database , although they would still have to meet all statutory requirements concerning the location of servers and accessibility of data for the authorities.

In practice, the obligation to follow these requirements may make using blockchain unfeasible. So far, no licensed operator has announced that it is using blockchain. Online betting operators are required to conduct payment transactions using specific types of providers.

It is not possible to pay for a bet using a cryptocurrency, unless a particular payment provider allows that. Gambling debts Are gambling debts enforceable in your jurisdiction? There are no specific provisions in relation to gambling debts under Polish law. However, in general, gambling debts are enforceable when they concern legal, licensed gambling or betting products in Poland.

Illegal gambling debts that is, debts related to unlicensed gambling or betting are considered unenforceable under the Polish Civil Code. The enforceability of claims related to participating in gambling is limited due to a very short statute of limitations six months from the date they become due. Tax What are the applicable tax regimes for land-based and online gambling?

Land-based gambling Gambling games which require a licence or permit, with the exception of promotional lotteries, are subject to gambling tax. Gambling tax also applies to games that are subject to state monopoly. Gambling tax also applies to participants of poker tournaments organised by casinos.

Each game is subject to a different tax rate and tax base that is, the basis for calculating taxable income. The tax base and rates are as follows:. Raffle lotteries or raffle bingo. Number games. Cash bingo, telebingo, premium rate lottery and poker tournament. Slot machines. Casino games other than poker tournaments. Sports betting for the competition of animals if the permit covers only this type of betting. The tax base is the total sum of wages paid in and the tax rate is 2. Other forms of betting.

Gambling tax is paid monthly into the account of the competent Tax Office. The tax on poker is deducted from winnings by the tournament organiser. In addition to gambling tax, winnings in certain gambling games are subject to personal income tax. Online gambling There are no provisions for gambling tax that are specific to online gambling.

Online betting operators are therefore subject to the same regime as land-based ones see above, Land-based gambling. Advertising To what extent is the advertising of gambling permitted in your jurisdiction? To the extent that advertising is permitted, how is it regulated? Land-based gambling There are heavy restrictions regarding the advertising and promotion of many forms of gambling. The definition of advertising is very broad, as it covers:.

The advertising of gambling services per se. Displaying the trade marks or other distinctive marks of gambling operators. Displaying any information regarding where such games are held and how to participate in them. It is also illegal to advertise and promote any goods or services "whose name, trade mark, graphical shape or packaging make use of the resemblance to or are equivalent to the designation of" gambling games or gambling operators.

The promotion of gambling is also prohibited. According to the Gambling Law, the following actions constitute promotion of gambling games:. Making public presentations of gambling games. Giving out accessories related to gambling games.

Handing over or selling chips or tickets for gambling games in public places. Other forms of public encouragement to participate in games or betting, convincing of their advantages, or encouraging them to enter a casino or bet-making point. The final point of the definition above is particularly broad, which has led to some preposterous consequences such as the conviction of a man who posted a photograph of himself with a roulette wheel on Facebook.

The restrictions described above do not apply to advertising and promotion that are held inside gaming facilities such as casinos or slot machine parlours or bet-making points. Operators can also mark such places with their name or logo on the outside.

Due to an amendment to the Gambling Law, advertising of betting became possible in April , although with several restrictions. Only licensed operators are allowed to advertise, and the contents of advertisements are highly regulated. For example, advertisements of betting operators cannot invoke associations with relaxation, financial success or sexual attractiveness, and betting cannot be associated with mental or physical fitness.

All advertisements of betting are required to include claims outlining, among other things, the risks of betting. Betting advertisements are not allowed on covers of newspapers or magazines. Advertising of betting is also prohibited in public places, with the exception of mass events, but only in cases where a betting operator sponsors the event, the team or participants in the event or a relevant sports association.

Advertisements can be presented on television, radio, in cinemas and theatres, provided that this occurs between 10pm and 6am. Advertisements of betting services can also be broadcasted between 6am and 10pm if this happens during sports events broadcasts, when the betting operator sponsors the event or its participants. Moreover, betting can also be advertised in the form of "informing about sponsorship". Betting operators which sponsor other persons or entities such as sports teams can present themselves publicly as such sponsors.

There are no restrictions as to the type of media which can be used to inform about sponsorship. However, the permitted content of such information is limited, as it can only consist of the name or other form of identification of the sponsor such as a logo , with no other promotional messages allowed. Advertising and promotion of games of chance other than specified above such as bingo, lotteries, and number games, among others see Question 2 and Question 4 is not prohibited and is therefore considered legal, in all media.

The issues outlined above do not apply to these types of games. Online gambling Gambling games which are allowed to be advertised in general see above, Land-based gambling , including online ones, can also be advertised online, with the same restrictions as their land-based equivalents. Moreover, online gambling can be freely advertised on the gambling operator's website. Online advertising of betting either land-based or online is allowed outside of the operator's website, as long as the content of advertisements follows the rules outlined in the Gambling Law see above, Land-based gambling.

Both land-based and online betting operators can also use the internet to inform about sponsorship, with the same limitations as indicated for land-based betting. Certain financial services, such as loans, cannot be advertised on gambling operators' websites.

Developments and reform Legal development. Has the legal status of land-based and online gambling changed significantly in recent years, and if so how? Land-based gambling After significant amendments to the Gambling Law which came into force in see Question 1 , there have been no significant legal developments in relation to land-based gambling.

The primary factors changing the market landscape recently are related to increasing competition between betting operators and the effects of the novel coronavirus disease COVID pandemic. There are currently 12 active permits for land-based betting, while there were only eight before the amendment.

In addition, from July , Totalizator Sportowy the state-controlled gambling operator started opening slot machine parlours throughout Poland, and some consumers may consider them as an alternative to land-based betting. Further, all live sports events, such as football league games and the Olympic Games, were cancelled or postponed.

While it is too soon to assess the long-term effects of the pandemic on the market, it has no doubt had a significant, negative impact on the revenues of casinos and betting operators. Some betting operating companies have decided to scale-down operations and reduce staff. Further, one betting operating company has considered filing for bankruptcy, while another announced that it has suspended operations altogether. Although the lockdown measures have recently been relaxed, it seems unlikely that the market will continue to thrive in the way that it did before as some betting operators may feel they have no option but to close their business permanently.

Online gambling Starting from , offshore gambling operators faced website and payment blocking measures imposed on them. Some of them decided to stop providing services to customers from Poland, while others are contesting the blocking mechanism in various ways see Question 1 and Question 7. Some offshore operators filed complaints against the blacklisting of their websites. So far, the Minister of Finance has rejected them all only two websites were delisted, but due to mistyped URLs , and several ministerial decisions have been appealed to the administrative courts.

The complaints mostly argue that the blacklisting measure is a restriction of freedom to provide services in the EU. So far operators have not been successful in persuading the courts to remove their websites from the blacklist, nor to submit related questions to the CJEU.

Despite the measures taken by the authorities to block access to offshore websites, offshore operators remain a significant part of the market. It is too soon to assess the long-term effects of the pandemic on the market, but it certainly has had a significant, negative impact. Even though the majority of online betting operators did not close down during the pandemic, they could only offer bets on lesser-known sports events, e-sports, and virtual sports.

Due to significantly lower sales, some online betting operators have decided to scale-down operations. Mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies among operators are likely in the near future. Are there any proposals for reform? Following the major changes introduced to the Gambling Law in see Question 1 , no radical overhaul of the Gambling Law is expected in the foreseeable future.

However, the Ministry of Finance plans to introduce certain amendments, particularly with respect to the provisions concerning blacklisting of unlicensed gambling domains. The amendment bill, which is currently in the early stages of the legislative process and subject to change, is intended to significantly simplify the criteria for entering a website into the blacklist. According to the amendment bill, the regulator intends to further intensify the campaign against offshore gambling websites.

Private operators have repeatedly asked the government to make certain amendments to the gambling regulations, particularly to either:. Lower the current gambling tax rates which are said to be among the highest in Europe. Introduce the "gross gaming revenue" model prevalent in other countries. However, the government does not seem willing to accept these proposals, despite the fact that the COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the gaming industry.

Professional and academic qualifications. Areas of practice. Gambling and gaming law, including contests, raffles, online betting and gambling, social networks gaming, contests and promotions: licensing regimes, regulatory issues as well as advertising regulations and provision of B2B services, including electronic payment services in relation to gambling products, loot boxes; intellectual property law; advertising and media law; telecommunications and e-commerce; data protection.

Advised a leading payment services provider in Poland in relation to providing IT outsourcing and maintenance services in Poland to another company from the capital group that provides payment services to offshore online gambling operators under Polish law.

Advised a leading global e-sports organisation in relation to sponsoring of e-sports teams by offshore online gambling operators under Polish regulations on gambling advertising. Advised a leading global hardware and software solutions provider for gambling industry on outsourcing to its Maltese subsidiary activities related to conducting an e-lottery in Poland under Polish gambling regulations.

Advised a leading global video games producer in connection with a complaint filed with the Polish Ministry of Finance concerning the use of loot boxes in one of the games. Advised a leading global online gambling operator on requirements for obtaining an online betting licence in Poland. Advised a Polish betting operator on the possibility to offer betting on virtual card games. Polish, English, German.

LADBROKES BETTING ODDS GOLF

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Dice games. These are not defined further by the Gambling Law. Slot machine games. See below, Slot and other machine gaming. Slot and other machine gaming Under the Gambling Law, slot machine games are defined as "games played with the use of mechanical, electromechanical or electronic devices, computers included, as well as games conducted via the Internet, when their rules correspond to those of slot machines, for cash or in-kind prizes, where the game features an element of chance".

As the definition is broad, many types of electronic games can be treated as slot machine games under the Gambling Law if they offer cash or in-kind prizes. An "in-kind prize" in relation to slot machine games is also understood to cover winning either:. Additional play time. The ability to start a new game without having to pay a new game fee. This definition is particularly broad, and it has been argued that it even covers some mechanics of "ordinary" non-gambling computer games, such as "loot boxes" in November the regulator dismissed these claims, although only in a press statement with no official legal force.

Slot machine games are only permitted inside casinos or slot machine parlours, with the latter being exclusively operated by a state-owned company. Terminal-based gaming There is no such separate category of games defined under the Gambling Law. In most cases the various types of gaming terminals provided they feature games with an element of chance and offer cash or in-kind prizes will fall within the category of slot machine games see above, Slot and other machine gaming.

Bingo The Gambling Law defines three forms of bingo:. This is a game "where participation occurs by purchasing a game ticket, which includes random sets of numbers or signs from a predefined set of numbers or signs, where the game is conducted nationwide and the draw is broadcasted on television and the entity organising the game offers cash or in-kind prizes".

Cash bingo. This is a game "where participation occurs by purchasing random sets of numbers from a predefined set of numbers, where the entity organising the game offers only cash prizes which value depends on the total of the stakes paid". Raffle bingo. This is a game "where participation occurs by purchasing random sets of numbers from a predefined set of numbers, where the entity organising the game offers only in-kind prizes". Each form of bingo is regulated in a different manner, for example:.

Telebingo is subject to state monopoly and cannot be organised by private entities. As of , no such games have been held in Poland. Cash bingo can only be held in bingo game saloons, which require a bingo game saloon permit.

No such saloons operated in Poland in Organising a raffle bingo game requires obtaining a prior permit that will be valid for one specific game only. Any natural or legal person can organise a raffle bingo game a bingo game saloon permit is not required in this case. A mere notification that the game is due to be held which should be made at least 30 days prior to the planned date of the game is required for raffle bingo games with:. A permit for a raffle bingo game is not always required, but must only be organised for charitable intentions.

The Gambling Law states that all profits should be used for "socially beneficial purposes". A permit is always required if the value of prizes exceed the sums specified above. In practice, games of bingo are almost non-existent in Poland. Lottery The Gambling Law defines four types of lotteries:. Cash lotteries. These are games "where participation occurs by purchasing a coupon or other game ticket and the entity organising the lottery offers only cash prizes".

Raffle lotteries. These are games "where participation occurs by purchasing a coupon or other game ticket and the entity organising the lottery offers only in-kind prizes". Promotional lotteries. These are games "where participation in a free lottery occurs by purchasing a product, a service or other game ticket and the entity organising the lottery offers cash or in-kind prizes".

There are games "where participation occurs by either a paid phone call, or short text messages using a public telecommunications network". Each type of lottery is regulated in a different manner, for example:. Cash lotteries can only be organised by a state-owned company appointed by the Prime Minister currently Totalizator Sportowy. Raffle lotteries can be organised by anyone with a prior permit in the same way as raffle bingo.

For details of permit costs and exemptions for public benefit organisations, see above , Bingo. Number games The Gambling Law specifically addresses number games. These are defined as "games where the prize is won by choosing correct numbers, signs or other distinguishing marks and the value of the prizes depends on the total of stakes paid", and the game of "keno", where "the prize is won by choosing correct numbers and the value of the prizes is the product of the stake paid and the multiplier specified for specific levels of prizes".

The most prominent number game in Poland is Lotto, a de facto national lottery. The state has a monopoly over all number games in Poland. What is the licensing regime if any for land-based gambling? Available licences Different licences or permits are required depending on the type of game, for example, a:.

Casino licence is required for casino games. Bingo game saloon permit is required for cash bingo. Betting operator permit is required for providing betting operations. Casinos and bingo saloons are limited in number. Under the Gambling Law, not more than one casino can operate in a single location village or city up to , inhabitants.

Casinos can be also run aboard sea passenger ships and passenger ferries under the Polish banner, provided these games commence no earlier than 30 minutes after leaving the departure port and end no later than 30 minutes prior to arrival at the destination port. The rules for numbers are similar for bingo saloons, but the limit is one saloon per , inhabitants, and not more than one saloon per , in one province.

Where more than one entity applies for a licence or permit with quantitative restrictions, the Minister of Finance should organise a public tender procedure. For slot machine parlours operated by a state-owned company there is also a limit on the number of slot machines which can operate in them, with no more than one machine per 1, inhabitants allowed in a single county powiat. There are no such restrictions as to the number of bet-making points allowed.

Each casino licence is valid for one specific casino only. This rule also applies to bingo saloon permits. Similarly, one permit is valid for a specific number of bet-making points. Each licence or permit also requires the approval of the terms and conditions of the gambling product from the Minister of Finance or Director of the competent Revenue Administration Regional Office, depending on the geographic scope of the intended gambling product. For some games, no licence or permit is required and a mere prior notification is sufficient.

A notification to the competent Head of the Customs and Tax Office must be made at least 30 days prior to the planned date of the game of raffle bingo or a raffle lottery, if the total value of the prizes does not exceed either:.

Eligibility Number games, cash lotteries, telebingo, and slot machines other than those in casinos are subject to state monopoly and can therefore only be offered by a state-owned operator. In general, only joint-stock and limited liability companies with their registered offices in Poland can operate casinos, bingo saloons or betting points. A representative in Poland must be appointed on the basis of a written agreement with the operator in question.

A supervisory board is required for the casinos', bingo saloons' and betting operating companies. A minimum share capital requirement exists for casinos, bingo saloons and betting operators PLN4 million for casinos, PLN2 million for bingo saloons and betting operators. Raise justified concerns in relation to state security, public order, security of the economic interests of the state, as well as concerns from the perspective of the regulations on combating money laundering or financing of terrorism the minister granting the licence or permit may request an opinion from the police or other authorities in this regard.

Be convicted of an intentional crime or intentional fiscal crime in any EU member state. Have criminal proceedings pending against themselves in the context of money laundering or financing of terrorism. Have had their other gambling licence or permit or, in case of natural persons, those companies which they acted for revoked due to a violation of their terms in the last six years. A person in question may be requested to provide official certification to prove that any of the above is not applicable.

In general, premium rate lotteries can be only organised by either:. Joint-stock or limited liability companies with registered offices in Poland. Entities wishing to apply for a licence or permit are required to prove the legality of their capital, and that they are not in any arrears with any taxes, customs duties, and social security contributions.

For casinos, bingo saloons, betting and premium rate lottery operators, there is also a requirement to prove compliance with the laws regarding accounting, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Promotional lotteries, raffle lotteries and raffle bingo can be organised by any natural person, legal person, or an entity without legal personality without any particular limitations.

Persons managing or representing an entity organising raffle lottery or raffle bingo must not have been convicted of an intentional crime or intentional fiscal crime in any EU member state. Application procedure Casino licences and permits for bingo saloons, betting and poker tournaments are issued by the Minister of Finance.

Permits for organising raffle lotteries, premium rate lotteries, raffle bingo or promotional lotteries are issued by the Director of the competent Revenue Administration Regional Office. The procedure for all types of gambling licences, permits and notifications consists of submitting an application and the required documents to the relevant authority.

Different licences and permits have different requirements. However, in general the application should include:. The applicant's details. Details starting date or duration, place and so on of the planned operation, game or lottery. Certificates or declarations of no tax, customs duty or social security arrears. Documents proving the legality of financial resources of the applicant. Economic and financial study concerning the planned investment and expected profitability in case of casino licences and bingo saloon and betting permits.

Certificate or affidavit confirming that the applicant's operation is compliant with relevant anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism regulations in the case of casino licences and bingo saloon and betting permits. Financial statement of the applicant for the previous turnover year.

Draft s of terms and conditions of the game s , which must be validated by the regulatory body. The former must also provide among other things :. Documents proving the right to use the venue where gambling is planned such as lease agreements. Information regarding the financial status of the applicant and its shareholders.

After the application is submitted to the relevant authority, it is examined and a decision will be issued, which either grants or refuses the licence or permit. The applicant can appeal against the decision. The decision concerning licences or permits should take place within six months of the date of filing the application with the exception of decisions concerning applications for promotional lotteries, premium rate lotteries or raffle lotteries, which should take place within two months from the date of filing the application.

However, under the general rules of Polish administrative procedure law, these time restrictions are not binding, and in practice obtaining a betting permit typically takes between nine and 12 months. A fee must be paid to obtain a licence or a permit see below, Duration of licence and cost : Fees.

For some gambling products, operators wishing to obtain a licence or permit must provide a guarantee. Organisers of promotional lotteries, premium rate lotteries, raffle lotteries and raffle bingo must have a guarantee for the payment of prizes up to the total value of the prizes.

In addition to the requirement to obtain a licence or permit, gambling operators must report to the authority for issuing the licence or permit that their operations have commenced. If only a notification is required, the applicant can commence its operations without needing to obtain any explicit permission from the authorities. However, for charity raffle lotteries and raffle bingo, the organiser must report to the authorities how the income from organising the game was used towards the charity cause.

Duration of licence and cost Duration. Casino licences, bingo saloon permits and betting permits issued are valid for a six-year period, which can be extended for additional term of six years. Permits may be valid for no more than:. Three months, for poker tournaments. Two years, for raffle lotteries, raffle bingo, promotional lotteries and premium rate lotteries. Other permits are valid for a single game only.

The fees payable for granting licences or permits are not set out in the Gambling Law as specific sums of money. Instead, they are presented as fractions of a "base amount", which is equal to the average monthly remuneration in enterprises without bonuses from profit in the second calendar quarter of the previous year as announced by the President of the Central Statistical Office in the Official Journal of the Central Statistical Office.

Because of this the actual sums to be paid to each licence or permit are different for every calendar year. For land-based gambling, the fees for obtaining licences and permits are as follows:. Casino licence. Bingo saloon permit. Betting permit. Raffle lottery, raffle bingo. Promotional lottery, premium rate lottery. Poker tournament. Changes of corporate control Casino licences and permits for bingo saloons and betting cannot be transferred to another entity, otherwise than by sale of the whole or part of the enterprise when universal succession applies.

For permits concerning other games raffle bingo and lottery, promotional lottery, and premium rate lottery , it is possible to change the name of the promoter. This requires amending the permit. For foreign companies operating through a Polish representative, if the agreement with the representative is terminated, a new representative must be established within two months from termination date. The regulator must be notified of the termination and the appointment of the new representative.

Companies operating casinos, bingo halls, slot machine parlours or betting are required to report any major changes in their shareholder structure to the minister in charge of public finance. The notification must include information on the source of funds used to acquire the shares and proof of their legality such as a company financial statement.

A similar notification obligation concerns changes in the Board, Supervisory Board, or the auditing committee of these gambling operators. What are the limitations or requirements imposed on land-based gambling operators? Prohibitions As a general rule, any activity related to gambling which does not conform to the Gambling Law is prohibited. Therefore, organising gambling games that deviate from the rules of the Gambling Law is illegal. There may also be games that do not fall clearly within any specific category of such games as defined in the Gambling Law.

In such cases, it is possible to request that the Minister of Finance issues a decision declaring a game to be a certain type of a gambling game. More specific prohibitions include the following among others :. Casino games, bingo and betting are only permitted within casinos, bingo saloons and bet-making points, respectively. Slot machine games can only be located on the premises of lawfully operated casinos or slot machine parlours the latter being exclusively operated by a state-owned company.

It is prohibited to even possess a slot machine for anyone other than casinos, manufacturers, authorised repair shops and so on. Unauthorised possession of a slot machine is a crime, and in some cases administrative fines of PLN, per machine can even be imposed on owners of property where unauthorised machines are stored.

With the exception of betting and promotional lotteries, offering gambling games online is prohibited for private entities. Minors under 18 years of age can only participate in promotional lotteries and raffle lotteries; all other forms of gambling activities are prohibited for minors.

Operators can ask for ID to check the participant's age. Outsourcing activities related to gambling operations to third parties is prohibited, except for purely technical actions, such as selling proofs of participation or handing out prizes. Betting on the results of number games is prohibited. Restrictions There are several restrictions on how gambling can be organised.

The main restrictions are as follows:. All visitors to casinos, bingo saloons and slot machine parlours points must register before entry. Their personal data must be stored for three years and can be accessed by the authorities. In casinos, a video record of each game must be prepared and stored for three years. The winners of prizes in gambling games can request operators to issue them with a certificate for their prize.

Operators must keep records of all prizes awarded with a minimum value of PLN2, Slot machine games are very highly regulated, as well as prohibited to possess for anyone other than a limited set of entities. There are several specific provisions regarding their registration and approval, technical inspections, and operation. For example, the owner of a machine is required to have it inspected by an authorised entity when the Head of the Customs and Tax Office orders him to do so.

Any instance of moving a machine to a different location must be notified in advance to the competent Head of the Customs and Tax Office and in writing. Persons convicted of an intentional crime cannot hold positions directly involved in gambling operations such as the position of a croupier, for example , nor can they act as supervisors where telebingo, raffle lotteries, raffle bingo, promotional lotteries or premium rate lotteries are organised.

Moreover, they must undergo professional training on gambling regulations, which must be repeated every three years. Training is not required for a limited set of less prominent posts, such as for lottery ticket sellers.

Gambling operators must keep detailed records of their activities, including details of:. All gambling operators are required to send monthly reports on their operations to either the Minister of Finance or the Director of the competent Revenue Administration Regional Office, including economic and financial operation data. As a punitive measure issued by a criminal court in addition to the standard punishment for crimes related to gambling, the court can forbid an individual from participating in gambling and entering gambling facilities.

This measure can be ordered it is not compulsory alongside a conviction connected with organising or participating in illegal gambling. The restriction is imposed for a term of between one to ten years. Violation of this measure is a crime itself. Apart from this, there are no other entry restrictions such as "cool-off" periods or self-exclusion schemes required by law. Anti-money laundering legislation In general, most gambling operators in Poland are subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations.

As "obliged entities" within the meaning of anti-money laundering laws, they are required to, for example, report and store data on all transactions above EUR15, to the General Inspector of Financial Information. As part of the licensing procedure, entities applying for a casino licence, bingo saloon permit, betting permit or a premium rate lottery permit must prove that they are in compliance with anti-money laundering laws. The General Inspector of Financial Information is authorised to carry out inspections on whether the anti-money laundering obligations have been performed correctly by entities applying for a licence or permit.

Licences or permits will be revoked if there has been a money laundering conviction within the EEA. The operators of casinos, bingo saloons and slot machine parlours must also verify and register the identity of their clients, which is also an anti-money laundering measure.

What is the licensing regime if any for online gambling? The only forms of online gambling currently permitted for private entities in Poland are betting and promotional lotteries. Conducting either of these requires obtaining a prior permit. All other forms of online gambling can only be held by a state-owned company. The Gambling Law, as it was initially adopted in , was controversial in whether it included "technical regulations" which were not notified to the European Commission see Question 1.

These regulations particularly concerned online gambling and machine games. According to this Directive, technical regulations must be notified to the European Commission before an act of law is passed, otherwise they are unenforceable against individuals. When the Gambling Law was passed, no notification was made. The CJEU decisions led to discrepant judgments of Polish courts in cases concerning operating unlicensed slot machine parlours. In separate proceedings, the European Commission conducted an infringement case against Poland, concerning possible non-compliance of the Polish gambling regulations with EU law.

In December , the Commission decided to close all open infringement cases against EU member states that concerned online gambling. Currently, due to the stance of the Commission and the general approach of the CJEU in gambling-related cases, the regulations concerning online gambling in Poland do not seem to be at risk of being invalidated for non-compliance with EU law. Some offshore operators are trying in the courts to challenge the legality of the mechanism for blocking foreign gambling websites for more details, see Question 10 , claiming it restricts the freedom to provide services in the EU, but so far these attempts have been unsuccessful.

Available licences The only available permits that concern online activity are gambling and promotional lotteries. There are no limitations on the number of online betting or promotional lottery operators. Betting permits are issued for specific websites where the betting is to be offered, as indicated in the application, while permits for promotional lotteries are valid for a single lottery only.

Eligibility The eligibility requirements for online betting and promotional lotteries are the same as for their land-based equivalents see Question 5, Eligibility. Application procedure The procedure to obtain a betting operator permit for online betting or a promotional lottery permit is the same as for their land-based equivalents see Question 5, Application procedure.

However, entities wishing to obtain permits for online betting must address certain specific issues in their application, such as the age verification mechanism for participants in practice, a scan of ID is required on registration by most operators. The guarantee required for online betting operators is PLN, The online betting permit is valid for six years, while a promotional lottery permit only covers a single lottery, and its term may not exceed two years.

For an online promotional lottery, the fee is the same as for a land-based one. Changes of corporate control The rules on amending permits are the same for both land-based and online operators see Question 5, Changes of corporate control. It is not possible for online betting operators to change the name of the operator in the permit, but this is possible for online promotional lottery holders.

What are the limitations or requirements imposed on online gambling operators? Prohibitions With the exception of betting and promotional lotteries, no form of online gambling is permitted for private operators. Participating in online gambling organised by foreign operators that are unlicensed in Poland is also a crime.

The more specific prohibitions specified in Question 6 such as the prohibition on gambling by minors also apply to online betting. Restrictions In addition to the restrictions applicable to each specific form of gambling both in land-based and online form see Question 6 , all forms of online gambling are subject to certain additional specific restrictions:.

The authorities are authorised to access the archive and the operator must provide them with access to such data including remote access tools. The data in the archive should be stored for five years; after that period the data should be deleted. Only using websites with ". For all money operations related to online gambling for example, collecting wages, the payment of winnings and so on , gambling operators can only use specific types of payment service providers as described by payment service regulations, such as banks, credit institutions or payment institutions.

Online gambling operators must secure the data confirming participation in gambling, and must ensure that it is not subject to any interference from unauthorised persons and that it can verify its authenticity. Online gambling operators are required to introduce and follow the "terms of responsible gaming", that is, a set of procedures and measures including, among other things, age verification check, measures allowing participants to control their activity on the website, or restricting them from playing when there are no funds on their account.

Anti-money laundering legislation The anti-money laundering rules are the same for both land-based and online operators see Question 6, Anti-money laundering legislation , with the exception of certain additional restrictions, such as the obligation to conduct payment transactions using specific types of providers see above, Restrictions , which can also be considered anti-money laundering-related. B2B and B2C.

Is there a distinction between the law applicable between B2B operations and B2C operations in online gambling? There is no explicit distinction between business to customer B2C and business to business B2B in online gambling operators under Polish law. However, since the outsourcing of gambling operations to third parties unless for certain merely technical actions is prohibited under the Gambling Law, B2B operators would not be permitted in Poland.

Technical measures. What technical measures are in place if any to protect consumers from unlicensed operators, such as ISP blocking and payment blocking? It is a criminal offence to participate in illegal gambling or betting as well as in any forms of foreign gambling or betting in Poland when the participant is located in Poland.

In addition, technical measures have been introduced to the Gambling Law to enforce this prohibition. From July , unlicensed gambling websites can be made inaccessible from Poland. The Minister of Finance keeps a register of websites which he has determined to provide unlicensed gambling services, and internet service providers ISPs are required, within 48 hours from entering a website on the blacklist, to block their users' access to such a website.

Users wishing to access them are rerouted to a website run by the Ministry of Finance featuring a warning outlining the consequences of illegal gambling. Moreover, a payment blocking system was introduced. Payment service providers PSPs are required to cease providing their services in relation to these blacklisted websites. Owners of blacklisted websites, owners of their domain names, as well as ISPs and PSPs can file objections against the entry of a specific website to the register.

Objections are considered by the Minister of Finance, whose decision may be further contested before an administrative court. To date however, the courts have upheld all of the Minister's decisions with respect to blacklisting, with no objections having been considered in favour of the website owners. Mobile gambling and interactive gambling What differences if any are there between the regulation of mobile gambling and interactive gambling on television?

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