The gambling industry is thriving in Poland, according to the latest figures, but concerns remain over the extent of illegal online gambling in the country.
According to figures released by legal organisation Graj Legalnie, the regulated gambling market in the country produced total turnover worth €1.58 billion during 2019. This represents an impressive 28.8% rise compared to 2018. The biggest share of the regulated market was held by STS, which claimed 45.5%, while Fortuna took a 31.3% share and ForBet earned 6.1%. During the course 2019, the regulated betting industry produced €189 million in gambling tax revenue.
But analysts have also highlighted the growing threat of the so-called ‘grey market’ of illegal betting in Poland, which boasts a larger turnover.
According to Graj Legalnie, the illegal betting sector now represents around 60% of the betting market in Poland, as the result of an upsurge in activity among overseas and illegal operators. They also note that if the Polish government had been able to tax this turnover, they would have been able to draw several million Euros worth of revenue for the national coffers.
In November last year, it came to light that three illegal operators had been responsible for 2.1 million site visits from Polish consumers, despite the fact that the Polish Ministry of Finance had blocked all three. And, of 1830 betting sites reported to the national register, 1303 had not yet been blocked.
As a result, Graj Legalnie has called for the Polish government to set up a regulator to oversee the industry, with similar powers and responsibilities to those exercised by the UK Gambling Commission. Currently, the gambling industry is overseen by the Ministry of Finance, but it has limited powers to track illegal online gambling transactions or to enforce Poland’s Gambling Act.