Recently, a new proposal submitted by Jarosław Gowin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Science and Higher Education Minister of Poland, bears the potential to create some changes in the Polish legislation that can enable Polish citizens to play legalized and regulated online poker as well as other types of online gaming options.
For now, in Poland, the game of poker can only be played legally at land-based casinos. If an individual or a group of people are found guilty of hosting a private poker tournament under current Polish law, they will face hefty fines, and in some cases, imprisonment.
However, things may change soon because earlier this May, Zbigniew Boniek, the President of Poland's Football Association, together with Gowin, stated in a press conference that some changes should be made to the Polish Gambling Act of 2011, specifically point out on the provision of online poker and sports betting options.
According to Gowin's new proposal, the current tax on revenue from sports betting will be increased from 12% to 20%, which would result in the generation of an extra €50 million yearly for Poland's national budget. Additionally, online poker would also be finally legalized and regulated, along with the hosting of private poker tournaments.
Unlike many of his colleagues, Gowin strongly believes that both sports betting and online poker are seemingly less harmful gambling activities as compared to slot machines. Gowin believes that now is the time for "normality and common sense" to prevail, and he also intends to help the government avoid losing more money to gambling companies that operate within the ‘grey zone'.
According to data released by the official government, around 95% of the online gambling market in Poland is dominated by unlicensed foreign operators.
Since Gowin is not a part of the governing party in Poland, his proposal would need a lot of substantial support for any of these changes to be approved and implemented, and also, it is still too early to determine how much support he will actually obtain.