New gambling regulations for Poland

New gambling regulations may not be good news for the industry

Wracked by recent political corruption claims, the Polish government is reported to be taking a populist approach in its latest proposals for new gambling regulations...and these may not be online gambling-friendly.

According to the Wall Street Journal blog, the government wants to show how lobby-proof and corruption-resistant it is and has accordingly drafted a bill that limits gambling to casinos only, outlawing slot machines outside casinos and banning e-gambling.

Blogger Malgorzata Halaba reports from the Eastern European nation that the government is under pressure after a number of politicians and cabinet members were accused of tampering with the existing gambling legislation, and were suspected of involvement in illegal lobbying by the land gambling industry. The charges forced a government reshuffle earlier this (October) month.

According to the financial portal money.pl, the gambling ban will mean the state budget will be short of 3.5 billion zlotys ($1.23 billion) in five years time. Legal gambling sites will bring 350 million zlotys to this year’s budget, and the amount could only rise in the coming years.

Halaba observes that previous attempts in Poland to ban the liquor industry should have informed the lawmakers that there are always ways to circumvent prohibitionist style laws. She quotes an idiomatic Polish expression: “A Pole is always wise after the damage has been done,” commenting that the old saying did not appear to have worked this time around.

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