Poland Pull the Plug on Online Gambling
The troubled online casino gaming industry has been dealt another blow as Polish authorities followed Russia’s lead by deciding to ban online gambling in the country.
Poland has now joined the ranks of the United States, Russia, Israel, India and several other nations, who have all taken steps to limit or prohibit online gambling, with the ban coming at a particularly turbulent time for the country after the government’s upper echelons were implicated in high-profile gambling scandal.
The Polish government were originally in the process of raising casino taxes, but it is thought that members of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s administration had deliberately thwarted the plans because of their ties to the gambling industry. As such, the timing of the ban has lead some critics to question whether the new laws have merely been imposed to obfuscate the government’s involvement in the scandal.
The government’s decision to crack down on online casino gaming has also had a knock-on effect on many of Poland’s land-based casino operations as slots and other forms of live gaming have also been declared illegal. It is projected that over 50,000 slot machines will be removed from bars and malls in light of the new law, which will come as disastrous news for businesses that depend on them for auxiliary income.
Certainly, the new laws will come as a further set-back for online casino companies looking to branch out into Eastern Europe, but also for the Polish poker scene which has been experiencing something of an upturn in recent months.