$5 billion gambling industry in Poland

Poles spent the equivalent of $5 billion on gambling in 2008

Figures released by Poland's Ministry of Finance this week show that Polish citizens spent the equivalent of over $5 billion on gambling in 2008, significantly up on 2007's figure of $3.8 billion.

The 42 percent growth that the number represent make Poland one of the fastest growing land gambling markets in Europe, with the slot machine population doubling over the past year to 46 000 and more to follow.

And the Poles apparently like slots; revenues from this category of gaming alone have grown 73.2 percent to $2.7 billion.

Sadly, little progress appears to have been made on the regulation of online gambling, a topic that has been under discussion by Polish legislators since November 2007.

In April 2008 comments by Polish Finance Minister Marek Kapica suggested that a regulatory regime for online gambling would be in position by the second part of 2009 (see previous InfoPowa report). Kapica opined publicly that Poland would have to legalise online gambling: "We cannot control this process anyway and it is better that the budget at least derives some revenues from it," he said.

At that time the Finance Ministry was reportedly preparing appropriate legislative changes for approval by the European Commission as part of the procedures required of EU member nations.

There have been no reports on the progress of this initiative since.

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