This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Polish poker is legal, but polish poker players have nothing to be happy about when it comes to their country’s legislation on poker and gambling. Poland, to date, holds some of the most restrictive gambling regulation in Europe, and is under constant pressure by the European Commission to adjust their draconian gambling laws. Recent amendments to the law do show promise but the road ahead is long and every polish poker pro should be joining the fight to raise awareness with the government and the regulator.
The law in Poland today allows non-numerical (lotteries/raffles) gambling in licensed land based establishments owned by polish companies, and there are indeed a few casinos in the country but the law allows only a select few forms of betting online. Online poker is allowed in Poland only if you play against the house, yes you read right, no competitive skill based online poker is allowed online on Polish territory, only casino poker which, being a casino game, is a statistical loser for everyone but the casino.
Polish poker history
Land based Gambling in Poland was regulated in 2010, and online regulations soon followed in 2011. The regulation imposed by the government were extremely harsh and banned many games, including playing poker online, and enforced very strict limitations on the games that were allowed. Only polish operations were allowed to offer games, and only polish banks were allowed to process funds. The situation was bleak and it looked like Poland was moving back towards a state owned monopoly, but the European Commission intervened, and some regulations were loosened.
Polish poker today
In 2015 an amendment to the law allowed non polish companies to process funds for gambling. This small win for the European commission and the gamblers in the country can be the Launchpad to a revolution in the country’s treatment of the industry. Recently, on march 2nd 2016, the polish government published a more extensive framework of rules that will allow operators to understand what they need to do from a technical perspective to conform with regulation. These are small steps but they are promising and we are optimistic for a future of legal online poker in Poland!