The Act of 19 November 2009 on Gambling Games (the Act), which is the main act regulating gambling activities in Poland, specifies four forms of ‘gambling games’: games of chance, betting, card games and slot machine games.2 Each of these forms is further defined in the Act.3
Games of chance cover all ‘games, including games organised via the internet, for cash or in-kind prizes, the result of which depends in particular on chance, and the rules of which are specified in the terms and conditions of a given game’.4 It is often difficult to distinguish whether a game involving both elements of skill and chance should be considered a ‘game of chance’ (and therefore regulated by the Act). It is widely understood that even a minor element of chance is sufficient for the game to be considered a ‘game of chance’, although not all court judgments follow this principle. Skill games are not expressly defined in Polish law; however, it is understood that competitions in which exclusively the skill of participants is assessed (competitive sports included) do not constitute an act of gambling and are not bound by the Act’s restrictions.
In practice, games of chance cover lotteries, roulette, dice games and bingo. The Act further regulates various subtypes of most of these games.
Lottery-style games include:
a ‘number games’ – lotteries where the participants choose specific numbers or other marks and the prize is related to stakes paid (e.g., the national lottery);
b ‘cash lotteries’ and ‘raffle lotteries’ – similar to number games, but where purchase of coupons or other game tickets is required, with cash or in-kind prizes offered;
c ‘promotional lotteries’ – where a purchase of a specific product or service is required to participate, but the participation in the lottery itself is free of charge; and
d ‘audiotele lotteries’ – held via paid phone calls or SMS messages.
Roulettes (or ‘cylindrical games’ under the Act) are defined as games where the ‘participation consists of choosing numbers, signs or other distinguishing marks, the value of the prize depends on a predefined ratio of the stake and prize, and the result of the game is determined by a rotary device’.5 Cylindrical games, as well as ‘dice games’ – not further defined in the Act – may only be held in casinos.
Finally, among games of chance there is bingo, in three variants: cash bingo, raffle bingo (depending on the type of prizes) and telebingo (with the draw broadcasted via television).
Betting constitutes another form of gambling regulated by the Act. Betting only occurs when cash or in-kind prizes are offered. Bets that do not involve such prizes are outside the scope of the Act. There are two subtypes of betting available in Poland: totalisator systems and bookmaking.
Totalisator systems are a form of pool betting, where the winnings depend on the sum of stakes paid by all participants. Totalisator systems are only available for results of sports competitions.
Bookmaking, on the other hand, may cover betting for the occurrence of any events. These may or may not be related to sports; a recent amendment to the Act even introduced bookmaking for so-called ‘virtual events’ – computer-generated results of sports competitions. Bookmaking is a form of betting in which there is no ‘pool’ of bets (as in totalisator systems); instead each prize is calculated on the basis of a fixed ratio of the stake paid (fixed-odds betting). Polish gambling law does not recognise spread betting systems, where prizes are adjusted depending on the scale in which the result exceeds a specific value.
A recent amendment to the Act introduced card games – limited to games of blackjack, poker, and baccarat – as a separate category of gambling games. Previously these were among games of chance. Only card games for cash or in-kind prizes are regulated in the Act – other forms are outside the scope of gambling and permitted.
Slot machine gaming constitutes the final major form of gambling as understood by Polish law. The definition of slot machines is particularly confusing. The Act states that these are ‘games played with the use of mechanical, electromechanical or electronic devices, computers included, as well as games that reflect the rules of slot machine games held via the internet network, for cash or in-kind prizes, where the game features an element of chance’.6 Therefore it may seem that games with no cash or in-kind prizes (such as computer games) do not fall into this category. The definition is expanded, however, as the in-kind prize also constitutes additional play time or the ability to start a new game free of charge. Moreover, in some cases even games with no prizes at all may be considered as slot machines, because under the Act, ‘games played with the use of mechanical, electromechanical or electronic devices, computers included, as well as games which reflect the rules of slot machine games conducted via the internet network, organised for commercial purposes’ are also considered as slot machines, ‘even if there is no possibility to win any cash and/or in-kind prizes, but the game is of random character’.7 Read literally, this definition may sometimes even cover typical video games. Fortunately, the authorities have not, thus far, pursued the video game market.
As a result of the above-mentioned problems in distinguishing between games of chance and skill, as well as the broad definitions of games in the Act, it is often difficult to assess whether or not certain activities constitute gambling. There is also a problem with games that would constitute games of chance were it not for the fact that their characteristics do not correspond with all the features of the specific games of chance included in the definitions given in the Act. As the provisions of the Act mostly relate to these specific games, such activities are effectively unregulated, while still fitting within the definition of games of chance (which may only be held in accordance with the Act). For example, free prize draws, which are similar to promotional lotteries but where making a purchase is not required, still constitute a game of chance. There are disputes regarding the legal assessment of this situation. It can be argued that because all games of chance have to follow the Act, and if the Act does not explicitly allow such games to be organised, then they are illegal. On the other hand, free prize draws, in general, do not expose their participants to significant danger – therefore, it is reasonable to expect that they are not outlawed.
Similarly, ‘fantasy league’-style contests are also not defined in Polish law. While in general these resemble skill games more than gambling, such assessment may depend on the details of a particular contest.
In order to address such issues, the Act offers the possibility to obtain a binding interpretation from the minister in charge of public finance in which a game may be assessed on whether it should be treated as a gambling game as understood in the Act.8
Gambling and financial markets are regulated by different legislation and should be considered as separate establishments, although there is no explicit distinction in the Act in this regard. While it can be argued that financial products resemble gambling games in some aspects (the results of both depend on factors outside of participants’ control), it appears that in practice this issue has not caused controversy.
ii Gambling policy
The current state of gambling regulations is mostly the result of the ‘gambling affair’ – a political scandal of 2009, where it was revealed that some prominent politicians of the government and the ruling party were cooperating with gambling business owners and tried to amend the laws on gambling in their favour. In response to the affair, the government introduced the Act, which was meant to show that the government is not influenced by lobbying. The Act is therefore very strict, with major areas of the gambling business outlawed.
The government remains opposed to gambling in general, seeing it as a dangerous addiction and a questionable business. It is not outlawed, however, as it is a source of national income. Still, numerous restrictions on gambling are widely considered a significant burden on the development of the market.
iii State control and private enterprise
Until recently, only number games, cash lottery and telebingo were reserved to the state monopoly (in practice, telebingo games are not currently organised). However, from April 2017, the scope of the monopoly has expanded substantially. The state-owned company Totalizator Sportowy sp z o.o. may now offer casino-style games online and operate newly established slot machine parlours.9 Both areas are exclusively granted to Totalizator Sportowy. Moreover, also in April 2017, Totalizator Sportowy was allowed exclusively to organise multi-jurisdictional lotteries in Poland10 – such games were not present on the Polish market before.
Private entities operate in other areas regulated by the Act – by managing casinos, betting shops, betting websites, most types of lotteries and bingo. While there are some quantitative restrictions regarding particular licences – the number of casinos and bingo saloons across Poland is limited – it does not seem that monopolies or oligopolies have developed on a national level.
iv Territorial issues
All laws regarding gambling in Poland apply to its whole territory. Municipalities participate in regulating the market only to a very limited extent, by issuing opinions on placing a casino or a bingo saloon on its territory. A positive opinion of the municipality’s council is one of the prerequisites of obtaining a licence.
While the law remains the same for the whole of Poland, the process of its implementation and licencing is decentralised to some extent. While casino licences or betting permits are issued by the minister in charge of public finance (a central authority), several less prominent issues, such as registering slot machines, issuing permits for raffle lotteries and collecting gambling tax, are the responsibility of tax authorities of varying degrees of seniority at the local level.
v Offshore gambling
Offshore gambling is illegal in Poland. The only gambling activities that may be conducted online by private entities are betting and promotional lotteries. Both require obtaining a prior permit. Other forms of online gambling are either restricted to the state company or banned altogether, with no distinction as to whether operations are conducted within Poland or abroad.
It is illegal to participate in unlicensed gambling in Poland. It is also illegal to participate in any gambling held abroad while the player is located in Poland. Both such acts are prosecuted as fiscal criminal offences.11
As offshore operators are not bound by strict laws in Poland (e.g., high tax rates or limitations on types of games to be held online), they were able to offer better service to players than licensed Polish operators. Because of this, offshore operators controlled up to 90 per cent of the market, according to certain studies. As the legal means to act against offshore operators were limited (they are located outside Polish jurisdiction), instead the authorities opted for prosecuting participants, which is much easier. The number of convictions for participation in foreign gambling has risen in recent years.
From 1 July 2017, a new approach will be used against unlicensed (mostly offshore) operators. The government will be able to block access to websites used for offering unlicensed gambling. Payment service operators will also be required to cease providing their services for such blacklisted websites. In anticipation of the new law, some offshore operators have declared that they will cease their operations in Poland, while others aim to obtain a licence in Poland.
II LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
i Legislation and jurisprudence
The legal issues applicable to gambling are mostly regulated in the Act. Criminal sanctions for illegal gambling are provided in the Penal Code and the Fiscal Penal Code.
ii The regulator
There is no separate specialised regulatory body designated to govern the gambling sector in Poland. The main responsibilities regarding gambling (such as issuing casino licences or betting permits) are granted to the minister in charge of public finance.12 Some less prominent powers (such as issuing permits for organising promotional lotteries, registering slot machines etc.), as well as enforcement measures are delegated to the National Fiscal Administration (an administrative body responsible for issues connected with tax and customs duty) and its officers – such as the directors of fiscal administration chambers and heads of tax offices.
iii Remote and land-based gambling
The Act does not distinguish between online and land-based gambling in detail. The Act simply includes provisions that apply specifically to forms of gambling conducted ‘through the internet’ – a term which is not defined further. Audiotele lotteries, which require a phone call or an SMS message to participate, are also a form of remote gambling, but these may not be conducted online.
Most forms of online gambling in Poland are either prohibited or restricted to state monopoly. The only exceptions are betting and conducting promotional lotteries, which can be held online, but each of them requires a prior permit.
iv Land-based gambling
In general, gambling may only take place in specific locations as indicated in a relevant licence or permit. There are different restrictions regarding each type of venue.
Casinos are venues where the following games may be played: cylindrical games (roulette), dice games, card games and slot machine games.13 Casinos are limited in number. Only one casino can operate in a single location (village or city) of up to 250,000 inhabitants. For cities of more than 250,000 inhabitants, the maximum number of casinos is increased by one per each 250,000 inhabitants (two casinos are available for up to 500,000 inhabitants, three casinos are available for up to 750,000 inhabitants and so on), but there cannot be more than one casino per total population of 650,000 inhabitants in a single province.14 As of January 2017, there are 45 casino licences active in Poland.
Cash bingo is only allowed in bingo halls.15 These are also limited in number, similar to casinos, but with the threshold of one bingo hall per 100,000 inhabitants, with a maximum of one per 300,000 in a province.16 In practice, no bingo halls operated in Poland as of 2015 (more recent data is not available, but it is very likely that this remains unchanged).
Betting shops are entitled to offer two forms of betting: totalisator systems and bookmaking. There is no limitation on the number of betting shops in Poland. There are currently eight betting operators, with several shops for each of them.
Slot machine gaming is restricted to casinos and recently established slot machine parlours operated by Totalizator Sportowy. There is a limitation on the number of slot machines – no more than one per each 1,000 of inhabitants in one district.17 They must be located at least a 100 metres from other gaming venues, as well as schools, churches, etc. As the amendment to the Act that introduced this type of venue entered into force very recently (1 April 2017), no state-operated slot machine parlours are currently active. On the Polish market there are, however, numerous unlicensed, privately owned slot machine parlours with unclear legal status18 that the authorities are trying to close down, but so far this does not seem effective. From 1 April 2017, enforcement attempts will likely intensify, due to amendments to the Act aimed at making it easier to prosecute the operators of such businesses.
Venues which sell national lottery and other state-run number games tickets are not strictly regulated in the Act. The only restriction in practice is an obligation to have a separate cash register for registering sales of lots. In practice, they are operated by private entities acting as agents of the state-owned company, usually at newsagents or other similar locations. There are no restrictions on their number.
v Remote gambling
Both betting and promotional lotteries (the only forms of online gambling available for private entities to organise) require obtaining a prior permit to be organised. It is effectively impossible to pursue these operations from abroad, because of the requirement to establish either a branch office or a representative in Poland (for companies incorporated in the European Economic Area (EEA)) or a Polish company (for other entities).19
For betting, all data related to operations is required to be located within the EEA, with remote 24/7 access provided for tax authorities.20 A remote betting permit is separate from a land-based one, therefore operators who wish to offer both forms of betting have to obtain two permits (a basic betting licence and a separate licence for each website they want to use for online betting).
The Act does not distinguish between regulations on land-based and online promotional lotteries. For betting, most provisions apply to its both forms, with some of them applicable only to online or land-based forms because of their nature.
vi Ancillary matters
Certain activity related to gambling, while not constituting gambling per se, is also regulated in the Act. In particular, certain restrictions apply to slot machines. Their manufacturers are required to notify the tax authorities of their scope of business, and keep records of the machines they produce. Moreover, every slot machine has to be registered with the tax authorities before being deployed. Performing technical inspections for the purpose of registration is restricted to entities authorised by the minister in charge of public finance. Similarly, it is also required to register equipment used for gaming, such as randomising devices.21
Other types of gambling equipment are not directly regulated in the Act. Businesses such as gambling software developers do not need to obtain any specific licences.
Natural persons are required to undergo training in order to perform some specific tasks related to gambling operations. The training requirement is a new institution in Polish gambling law. In April 2017, it replaced the requirement to pass state exams for professional licences.
Training is required for persons directly involved in gambling operations (such as croupiers) as well as supervisors of gambling games, such as directors of gambling venues. Some tasks, notably assisting customers in making bets in a betting shop, are exempt from this requirement. Training may be held internally by a gambling operator or an external training facility; it covers gambling regulations and terms and conditions of games, and has to be repeated after three years.22
Iii THE LICENSING PROCESS
i Application and renewal
Depending on the type of a game, different licences or permits are required. Applications for licences or permits have to be submitted in writing (online filing is not available) to the relevant authority – the minister in charge of public finance or the director of a fiscal administration chamber, depending on the type of game. The specific requirements vary for each type of a game, but in general, the application should include:
a the applicant’s identification details;
b information on the planned operation, game or lottery, and any drafts of the terms and conditions of the game;
c financial statements, documents proving the legality of financial resources of the applicant, certificates of no tax or social security arrears, etc.; and
d in case of casino licences, bingo hall permits and betting permits:
• economic and financial study concerning planned investment and expected profitability, and planned business objectives;
• certificate or affidavit confirming that the applicant’s operation is compliant with relevant anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing regulations;
• documents proving the right to use the venue where gambling is planned (such as lease agreements); and
• information on the financial status of the applicant and its shareholders.
After examining the application, an administrative decision is issued, either granting or refusing the licence or permit. A resolution may be expected within six months of the date of filing the application (or two months for promotional lotteries, audiotele lotteries or raffle lotteries). These time restrictions are not binding under the general rules of Polish administrative procedure law, and the authorities may take longer to decide in specific cases. The applicant can appeal against the decision.
Casino licences, bingo hall permits and betting permits are valid for six years and may be extended by another six years. Permits for raffle lotteries, raffle bingo, promotional lotteries, and audiotele lotteries are issued for the period of each game, but no longer than two years.
Licences and permits are granted against a fee that is different for each type of gambling activity. Fees are calculated as specific multiples of a base amount. For each calendar year, the base amount is equal to the average monthly remuneration in the second calendar quarter of the previous year as announced by the President of the Central Statistical Office. For 2017, the base amount is equal to 4,244.58 zlotys. For example, the cost of a casino licence is 32,000 per cent (320 times) of the base amount, therefore a licence costs 1,358,265.60 zlotys. A betting permit costs 9,000 per cent of the base amount if the application covers one website.
Where more than one entity applies for a licence that is limited in number (as with casino licences), the minister organises a public tender.
For some games, such as raffle lotteries with only minor prizes, no licence or permit is required and a mere prior notification to tax authorities is sufficient. The notification has to be submitted at least 30 days prior to the planned date of the game.23
ii Sanctions for non-compliance
In general, non-compliance with the Act may result in administrative liability, fiscal-criminal liability or both. The main offence – pursuing gambling operations without a proper licence, permit or notification – constitutes grounds for imposing a fine depending on the type of game that was conducted, in the amount of up to five times the fee for a relevant licence or permit. It is also a crime with sanctions of up to three years’ imprisonment or a criminal fine, or both.24
Other offences include non-compliance with a licence or permit, violating state monopoly, participating in unlicensed gambling or even ownership of a venue where unregistered slot machines are located.25 Administrative fines of up to 250,000 zlotys may also be imposed against internet service providers or payment service providers that fail to comply with obligations concerning website and payment blocking, respectively.26
The regulator may also revoke a licence or a permit, in whole or in part, if statutory conditions for such revocation (such as a gross breach of the conditions of a licence or permit) are met.27 The decision of such revocation is enforceable with immediate effect.
Criminal liability for ancillary acts, such as aiding and abetting illegal gambling operations, is also possible under Polish law. Criminal acts may only be committed by natural persons, but the legal entity in the interest of which the act was committed may be required to cover the fiscal-criminal fines, because of auxiliary liability.28 Moreover, an additional fine of up to 5 million zlotys, or 3 per cent of annual turnover, whichever is lower, may be imposed on such entity in case of final conviction of its employee, on the basis of the Act on Criminal Liability of Collective Entities for Punishable Offences.
As there is no separate regulator or enforcement body dedicated to gambling issues in Poland, related wrongdoings are handled by authorities such as the police, public prosecutor service and the National Fiscal Administration, depending on the case.
All operators in the gambling sector are of course required to comply with all generally applicable laws. In addition, there are specific anti-money laundering measures imposed on gambling operators. For example, casinos are required to establish the identity of their guests and to provide such information upon request of the authorities.29 Moreover, in most cases, the companies that apply for gambling licences are required to prove their compliance with anti-money laundering laws as part of licencing procedure.
In 2016, the Financial Supervisory Authority issued a communication in which it stressed that banks and other payment service operators should not process payments connected with unlicensed gambling, as this may be viewed as aiding and abetting the committing of a crime. After the communication was issued, several banks stopped processing such payments. Further developments in this area are expected in July 2017, when new regulations on payment blocking enter into force (see Section VIII, infra).
Gambling games, with the exception of promotional lotteries, are subject to gambling tax.30 Gambling tax is also applicable to games held by the state monopoly. Different tax rates are used for different games, ranging from 2.5 per cent (for betting on sports competitions by animals) to 50 per cent (for most casino games and slot machines). The taxation base also varies between games, but in most cases the tax is calculated against turnover from a game. This is often criticised as one of the main reasons that makes the Polish online betting operators unable to compete with offshore entities, as currently the tax (12 per cent of turnover) effectively reduces winnings significantly. Recently there were discussions in Parliament to change the taxation of betting to 20 per cent of the gross gaming revenue (GGR), but this proposal was outvoted.
Gambling tax is separate from income tax (including corporation income tax), which is also applicable to gambling operators – with the exception of income from organising raffle lotteries and raffle bingo, which is exempt from income tax because it may only be used for charitable purposes. Games subject to gambling tax are exempt from value added tax.
Gambling tax does not apply to participants, with the exception of winnings from poker tournaments (in this case, the 25 per cent tax is deducted from winnings by the tournament organiser). Winnings are subject to participants’ income tax, with the exception of (1) winnings of up to 2,280 zlotys and (2) casino winnings (with no limitations). The income tax rate for income obtained from betting or other games (including lotteries) is 10 per cent.
VI ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
In general, public advertising of most gambling games31 is restricted in Poland. The definition of advertising is very broad, as it even covers public displays of symbols that resemble gambling games,32 such as a roulette wheel. In addition, public promotion of gambling games, understood as making public presentations of games, handing over chips or gambling tickets, etc., is also prohibited. These restrictions apply to all casino games, card games and slot machines. On the other hand, number games and lotteries (both operated by state operators and private operators) as well as bingo may be freely advertised.
The general prohibition of advertising and promotion of gambling does not apply when advertising or promotion is held inside gambling premises or on licensed betting websites.
In April 2017, advertising of betting was allowed, although only to a limited extent. Promotion of betting remains illegal, and this may possibly lead to confusion as the definitions of advertising (legal) and promotion (illegal) seem to overlap to some extent. It remains to be seen how this will be resolved in practice. Advertising of betting is only allowed for licensed entities – offshore operators are prohibited from advertising in Poland.33
In general, it is now allowed to advertise betting, but the contents and placing of advertisements is heavily regulated. For example, advertisements may not invoke associations between betting and personal success, nor may they encourage paying higher stakes as means of increasing one’s chances to win. Advertising of betting is not permitted on TV and radio, or in cinemas and theatres, between 6am and 10pm, save for advertisements that are broadcasted during transmissions of events sponsored by betting operators (such as football matches). Advertisements are allowed in newspapers and magazines, but not on their covers. Out-of-home advertising of betting is only permitted during mass events and sports events sponsored by betting operators.
In addition to regular advertising, betting operators may also exercise ‘informing about sponsorship’, by displaying their names or other forms of identification (such as logos) in messages in which they inform the reader that they sponsor specific persons or entities (such as sports teams). ‘Informing about sponsorship’ may not include other promotional communication, such as slogans.
Advertising gambling outside of its permitted scope constitutes a fiscal crime, punishable by a fine of up to 720 day-fine units.34 Deriving profits from such advertising is also prohibited. Wrongful advertising may also lead to a revocation of a gambling licence.
VII THE YEAR IN REVIEW
The most important event for the gambling sector that occurred recently was the introduction of an amendment to the Act, which came into force on 1 April 2017 (some of its provisions will enter into force on 1 July 2017). For a review of the most significant changes introduced, see Section VIII, infra.
Owing to the significance of the new regulation, much of the past year has been spent discussing the shape of the new laws. In general, it seems that despite claims of the Polish government that the amendment is aimed to protect participants from the dangers of gambling, its primary concern is clearly to increase state revenue. Because of this, while the amendment expanded the scope of legal forms of gambling in Poland, the majority of these new forms may only be pursued by a state-owned company. Several operators appealed to the government to liberalise the gambling market in some aspects (e.g., by introducing more liberal rules on playing poker, widely considered a skill game, not a form of gambling), but these voices were largely ignored. The idea of blocking gambling websites – the first measure of such kind in Poland – was controversial among privacy advocates, but again these concerns were not heard by the authorities.
In other areas, the situation of slot machine parlours in Poland remains disputed. Although effectively outlawed in 2009, many still operate. Their owners argue that the provisions of the Act that restrict gambling to casinos are not binding, because the Act was not notified to the European Commission – a step required when legislation includes ‘technical regulations’ as defined by EU law. After many contradicting local judgments, in October 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in case C-303/15 that these provisions do not fall within the scope of ‘technical regulation’. The authorities continue to close down unlicensed slot machine parlours, and with the introduction of the amendments to the Act in April 2017, which greatly increased the related penalties (and even made it a crime to possess a slot machine), enforcement attempts are expected to increase.
It is clear that the recent amendments to the Act, which in their major part came into force on 1 April 2017, with some important provisions only enforceable from 1 July 2017, will have a major impact on the market.
Among the most significant novelties introduced in the amendment is the introduction of blocking unlicensed gambling websites. From July 2017, the minister in charge of public finance will be able to select websites that – in his or her opinion – are used to offer gambling games for residents of Poland while not possessing a valid licence or permit. Polish internet service providers will be required to redirect users who try to access them to a government website. Payment service providers will be required to cease cooperation with such blacklisted operators – this measure is intended to cut off their funding. Even though these laws are not yet effective, their impact has already been significant. Several foreign gambling websites have closed for users in Poland. There are rumours that major offshore operators have applied for betting permits. Further developments are expected when blocking measures become effective. Offshore gambling, although illegal, constitutes the majority of the online gambling market in Poland, so blocking unlicensed websites is expected to expand the licensed part of the market significantly.
The amendment reintroduces slot machine parlours to the market after their de facto banishment in 2009,35 but this time they will be exclusively operated by a state-owned company. The first venues are expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2017. Totalizator Sportowy is also expected to start an online casino, as this has also become possible under the new regulations (but only for the state).
Several other changes were also introduced. When all is considered, it is possible that owing to the new regulation, the gambling market in Poland will look significantly different after this year.
1 Piotr Dynowski is a partner and Michał Sałajczyk is an associate at Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy spk.
2 Article 1(2) of the Act.
3 For definitions of all games, see Article 2 of the Act.
4 Article 2(1) of the Act.
5 Article 2(1)(4) of the Act.
6 Article 2(3) of the Act.
7 Article 2(5) of the Act.
8 Articles 2(6)-2(7b) of the Act.
9 Article 5(1b)-5(1c) of the Act.
10 Article 5(1a) of the Act.
11 Article 107 of the Fiscal Penal Code.
12 In Polish law, acts do not grant responsibilities to specific ministers (such as the Minister of Finance). Instead, every act refers to specific portfolios of government (such as public finance), and these portfolios can be assigned to specific ministers by the Prime Minister.
13 Article 6(1) of the Act.
14 Article 15(1) of the Act.
15 Article 6(2) of the Act.
16 Article 15(2) of the Act.
17 Article 15(1a) of the Act.
18 In short, the provisions of the Act that were intended to outlaw slot machine parlours in 2009 were not notified to the European Commission, which led to controversy on their enforceability. See Section VII, infra, for more details.
19 Articles 6(5) and 7a(1) of the Act.
20 Article 15d of the Act.
21 Article 23–23f of the Act.
22 Chapter 3 of the Act.
23 For details on licensing requirements and procedure, see Chapter 5 of the Act.
24 The criminal fine is calculated by multiplying a ‘day-fine unit’ (calculated by the court by taking into account the earnings and other personal circumstances of the offender) by the number of such units as indicated by the court, taking into account the severity of the crime. A fine for conducting unlicensed gambling operations may be between 10 and 720 units, with one unit set between around 67 zlotys and 800,000 zlotys.
25 Article 89 of the Act.
26 These provisions will come into force on 1 July 2017.
27 Article 59 of the Act.
28 Article 24 of the Fiscal Penal Code.
29 Article 15a of the Act.
30 Chapter 7 of the Act.
31 Articles 29 and 29b of the Act.
32 Article 29(9) of the Act.
33 While this is not expressly stated in the Act for anything other than betting, it can be argued that in fact any form of unlicensed gambling may not be advertised in Poland, as (1) advertising of many forms of gambling is prohibited regardless of whether it is licensed, and (2) especially for offshore gambling, it may be argued that such advertising would encourage committing a crime.
34 Article 110a of the Fiscal Penal Code. See footnote 24, supra.
35 See also Section VII, supra.