POLAND

Poland – The amendment to the Gambling Act goes to Sejm subcommittee

The Parliamentary Public Finance Committee appointed an extraordinary commission on Wednesday to work on an amendment of the Gambling Act. The draft law is to extend the objectives for which funds from the Physical Culture Development Fund may be allocated, it is about expenditures on the development of social tourism.

During the session of the Parliamentary Public Finance Committee, the first reading of the commission draft amendment to the Gambling Act took place.

The project, which deals with amendments to the Gambling Act of November 19th 2009, provides for the addition of the words “development of social tourism.” Therefore, the scope of the tasks for which the funds of the Physical Culture Development Fund may be allocated will expand – referred Urszula Augustyn (PO party) during the commission meeting.

“Public tourism, also known as social tourism, is a form of citizen activity that is supported by the state. So very wide and very popular “- she stressed. She added that the main groups that benefit from this form of activity are children, young people, especially from poorer families, but also people with disabilities or older people.

Augustyn pointed out that “the draft law does not affect the state budget”. She added that from the point of view of public finances it would mean “small changes”.

The purpose of the change, she argued, is “so that we can direct funds from this Fund directly to social tourism.”

The money is needed, as she explained, for example, for the good marking of tourist routes, viewpoints or support for organizers of mass events.

Speaking about the benefits of the new solution, she pointed to improving citizens’ health through outdoor activities. “But also micro, small and medium enterprises will benefit from it, because increased tourist traffic is an opportunity for leisure organizers or those who offer catering and accommodation services to be able to benefit more from it”.

As indicated in the project’s justification, “financial support for various forms of physical activity of large groups of citizens is small and focused on sport.” Pursuant to the Act, the Fund’s resources intended, for example, for the reconstruction, renovation and co-financing of sports facilities investments, amount to over PLN 516 million, for the development of sports among children and youth – approx. PLN 360 million.

“On the other hand, directly (…) only 2.5 million zlotys were allocated for co-financing tasks in the field of social tourism” – said Augustyn.

Members of the finance commission have decided to appoint an associate subcommittee to deal with further work on the amendment.

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