- Polish Gambling Act imposes 12% turnover tax, but Bwin intends to stay
- Companies including Betfair, Bet365 and Pinnacle have left the Polish market
The amended Polish Gambling Act, which came into force on April 1, outlaws online casino and other betting companies that don’t obtain a local license, which would also require them to pay the country’s turnover tax. As a result of the legal changes, which were first revealed late last year, a number of online operators, including Betfair, Bet365 and Pinnacle, have announced that they are leaving the Polish market.
But Bwin appears to be prepared to stay in the country. The company, which is owned by online gambling operator GVC Holdings, has announced that it is working on a possible solution that will enable it to continue to operate in Poland.
Following the introduction of the new Act, Bwin had complied with the law by disabling the gambling function for Polish users of its site. According to a message posted this week, Bwin said that it had applied for a local license, was in contact with the Polish authorities over the issue, and hoped to restore full betting functionality for Polish customers shortly.
The amended Gambling Act brought in a number of sweeping changes, including the creation of an online casino and poker monopoly for the state-controlled Totlizator Sportowy, and required online sports betting companies to comply with a 12% tax on betting turnover.
According to the Remote Gambling Association, the tax is unworkable; a view that has some support from within the Polish government, which has promised to re-examine the tax at a later date. It appears that Bwin is banking on a future reform of the tax, and is prepared to take a hit in the short-term, in order to retain access to the Polish gambling market.
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