The best Poland betting sites cater primarily to both online wagers from Polish players and Polish sporting events or teams. Winter sports are particularly popular in Poland, such as ice hockey but there is a large football (soccer) interest in the region as well. In addition to many popular payment methods in the region such as NETeller and credit card, many Polish bettors enjoy using their exclusive online payment method at betting sites – known as Przelewy24. The best Poland betting sites takes steps to make sure that their software is accessible to players that speak Polish as their first language and allow deposits, withdrawals and wagers in the Polish Zloty.
Poland Online Betting Information
The primary currency used for Poland betting is the Polish Zloty with currency rates that typically average out to about 1 United States Dollar to about 2.77 Polish Zloty. Of course, along with this currency, the Euro is also quite popular in the country. Throughout Poland, these two currencies are widely used at the best Poland betting sites. The language most often used in Poland for online betting is Polish. There are also a great deal of residents in Poland that speak English as a second language and often use it for betting on the Internet. The best Poland betting sites typically offer betting in both English and Polish and accept deposits in the Zloty and Euro. Betting in Poland is not anywhere near as strictly regulated as it is in other portions of the world such as the United States. In fact, one of the few restrictions on gambling in the country concerns itself with brick and mortar betting rooms rather than online betting. For example, no betting room can open in a Polish city with less than 250,000 residents. As there are only three companies that offer sports betting in the country of Poland, international betting web sites make up most of the best Poland betting sites. When residents of Poland place wagers on sporting events, they are taxed at anywhere from 2% to 45% depending on the nature of the wager and the amount won.
Attributes Of The Best Poland Betting Sites
The most important attributes of the best Poland betting sites is that they accept the Polish Zloty and allow players from Poland to participate in online betting. Finding a betting site that features software available in Polish is quite rare so the best Poland betting sites are those that take steps to make their software more accessible to players from Poland. Two very popular sports in Poland include football and ice hockey – both of which Poland plays with national teams. The best Poland betting sites will allow a large variety of wagers on football and ice hockey events, especially during the Olympics. Finally, many of the best Poland betting sites accept a popular Polish payment method known as Przelewy24 with low deposit minimums/fees and fast processing times. The best Poland betting sites can typically be drawn from the list of some of the best betting sites on the Internet – largely due to the country’s large population and relaxed legal restrictions on Internet betting. While finding betting sites that are available in Polish and accept the Zloty can be difficult, it is easy to find betting sites that accept the Euro and feature software available in popular secondary languages in the country – English and German.
Polish gambling laws have undergone major changes in recent years. For the longest time, sports betting was the only form of online betting that was legal across the country. Amendments to the gambling law enacted in 2016 changed the to permit operators to apply for sports betting licenses.
The 2016 amendments also legalized online casino games and poker, although those forms of gaming may only be offered by the state-run monopoly lottery company. Unfortunately, confiscatory tax rates for sports betting have caused some betting sites to leave the market entirely and others to state that they have no intention to apply for an online sports betting license.
The first regulation of online gaming in modern times in Poland was enacted by the Gambling Law of 2009 and a handful of amendment to that law initiated in 2011 and 2016. The original Gambling Law (full text here) concerned itself mostly with land-based casinos and betting operations. It laid out the terms by which licenses may be awarded, how casinos must conduct business and also clearly made it a criminal offense for individual gamblers to participate in unlicensed gambling activities.
In 2011, amendments (full text here) to the law were passed and these focused primarily on internet betting. The amendments specifically criminalized both the organization of and participation in gambling games online. Only sports betting was permitted under the amendment, and only by licensed entities.
The 2011 amendments did lay out a licensing framework for online bookmakers, but the requirements for a license were so burdensome that only four operators (all Polish) bothered to secure licenses. There were two hurdles in particular that have dissuaded international operators from achieving a license in Poland:
- Prospective licensees were required establish a “physical presence” in Poland
- Licensees were subject to a 12% tax on total turnover
These two requirements alone made it too costly for international operators to even consider applying for a Polish betting license. Even so, that hasn’t stopped foreign gambling sites from targeting Poland anyways. Multiple reports have found that unlicensed betting firms account for 90% of Poland’s total online gambling revenue, with licensed operators accounting for just 10%.
Both the 2009 law and the later amendments failed to meet a single objective. Rather than boosting the domestic industry and collecting taxes from operators, the laws have persuaded international operators to avoid licensing and continue to accept Polish customers without paying any taxes at all to the state. Simultaneously, Poland has no effective mechanisms to prevent access or payments to foreign betting websites.
The one step Polish regulators have taken in an effort to combat the offshore industry is to target individual players with criminal action for visiting unlicensed betting sites. In 2014, the Ministry of Finance revealed that it had information on more than 24,000 players with active investigations on 1,100 of them – all for patronizing foreign gaming sites.
Changing the Law
Polish lawmakers found themselves under pressure from both the EU and operators uninterested in serving the market under the hostile legal environment. Furthermore, the existing legislation’s failure to achieve its goals resulted in politicians proposing further amendments to the gambling law.
One major change made in 2014 repealed restrictions on financial transactions to and from foreign betting sites. The change came about as a result of significant pressure from the European Commission, whose opposition was based on free trade agreements that it found Poland’s gambling laws to violate. The change gave payment processors such as Skrill and Neteller the ability to quickly process payments for gaming sites and issue winnings to players.
Other amendments were also proposed in 2014 in order to bring Poland’s licensing framework in line with EU treaties regarding the free movement of goods and services. These changes include altering the “physical presence” requirement, legalization of online poker and an end of the Polish monopoly over “number games.”
Those amendments were finalized and enacted in 2016. Sadly, the burdensome tax rate for sports betting was left intact and a state monopoly over casino and poker games was enforced. The situation in Poland is currently not a favourable one for international betting sites. Some sites left the market in 2017 and more are likely to follow suit.
Furthermore, Poland began an internet blocking program taking effect in July of 2017. The Ministry of Finance released its first blacklist in May of 2017. Polish internet providers are now required to block access to any website within 48 hours of that website appearing on the blacklist. Internet providers that do not comply are subject to hefty fines. That list will undoubtedly grow as the new gaming laws scare international operators away from applying for Polish betting licenses.
Horse Racing Betting in Poland
Poland’s gaming laws do not adequately address horse racing betting even though three racetracks operate across the country. Local race tracks do not permit horse racing and licensed gaming sites do not offer parimutuel style wagering. However, Unlicensed foreign-owned betting sites do offer fixed-odds horse wagering on both international and Polish races.