Online gambling has had a huge effect on the casino industry worldwide. Land-based casinos are few and far between in most countries so 30 years ago, most of the world’s population had no access to casino gambling. That changed in the late 90s when online casinos opened their virtual doors. Today, anybody of legal age can access online gambling sites unless it is restricted in their country by local laws. So, what impact does online gambling have on the Polish casino industry in particular? We are discussing this topic with Jacek Michałski, an iGaming expert from Poland.
The legal framework
Unfortunately, Poland has a very strict stand against foreign registered online casinos. Online gambling is the monopoly of the state in Poland (just like it is in Norway and Hungary among other European countries) and players in Poland can only play at the state-owned company – Totalizator Sportowy.
The government has even introduced a blocking mechanism for foreign casino websites. The Ministry of Finance keeps a register (read blacklist) of websites that offer gambling services to players in Poland.
Once a new online casino becomes operational in Poland and the government finds out about it, they add it to this blacklist quickly. Internet service providers have to make sure to block users’ access to these sites and payment service providers are also obliged to block payments initiated to these same websites.
Gambling at foreign-registered casinos
Despite the strict gambling laws, you’ll find plenty of casinos listed on casino review sites that hold a license in Malta, Curacao, Gibraltar, the UK or Costa Rica and accept Polish players. These foreign-owned and operated casinos offer the najlepsze gry hazardowe, their site is available in Polish and they often accept PLN deposits. In fact, a huge amount of Polish gamblers are already playing online.
The coronavirus pandemic had a further positive impact on online gambling. Land-based casinos had to close down all around the world, including in Poland, for several months and in some places for over a year. Those who would frequent casinos on a regular basis had to opt for online casinos and the online gambling industry boomed during this period.
The future of the casino industry
Trends are changing all over the world and internet-based options seem to be taking over old business models. Think about how quickly Uber and Netflix changed the ways we order a taxi or rent a movie.
A recent business analysis showed that today, most revenue in Las Vegas doesn’t come from gambling but from food and beverage sales and sales of show tickets, club entrances and day-trips around Vegas. Sin City is more about partying than gambling today. However, anybody who wants to gamble can do it online 24/7.
Even those, who are after the “real casino experience” can enjoy live dealer games with a live video connection to a gaming studio where physical cards are dealt by a croupier and where players can interact with each other.
Virtual reality is also gaining space in the online casino industry. More and more casinos offer VR games where players can see other players’ avatars. They can move around the casino floor and enjoy slot games as if they were right in front of them, in realistic looking 3D.
The future of online casinos in Poland
We can only guess what the future may bring in gambling legislation in Poland. If the government were to allow foreign-owned online casinos to operate in the country, they could charge licensing fees from the casinos – just like Italy and Sweden have done it. At the moment, keen Polish players will still find casino sites that work from a Polish IP address or can simply use a VPN and a Skrill or Revolut account to deposit.
As online gaming is so accessible, it doesn’t take a lot of time to become a gambling master and take your gaming to the next level.
Online gambling is growing every year while traditional land-based casino gambling has seen better days. Poland has strict online gambling legislation as the industry is the monopoly of the state, however, lots of Polish people play online at foreign-registered casinos without a problem. Online gambling has reached record-breaking revenues worldwide and further growth is expected in the future.