POLAND

Józwiak (Kukiz’15) calls for the amendment of the gambling law

Due to bad legislation from the gambling sector, a huge amount of public money is leaking; it is necessary to amend the regulations so that the state does not “pump” money into a bad business – says Bartosz Józwiak (Kukiz’15). He also appealed to the prime minister for control of Totalizator Sportowy.

April 1st last year The amended Gambling Act came into effect, which at the end of last year was signed by President Andrzej Duda (some regulations, including those concerning blocking access to websites, entered into force on 1st of July 2017). The amendment thoroughly amended the Act of 2009 and introduced a strong state control in the area of ​​slot machine games. According to the law, gambling machines are managed by Totalizator Sportowy, the owner of the LOTTO brand, which is a State Treasury company.

Józwiak, at a press conference in the Sejm, pointed out that, as a result of the amendment, Totalizator Sportowy became a monopolist on the low-prize machines market.

In my opinion, Totalizator Sportowy absolutely fails to fulfill the tasks imposed on it by the Act (…). First of all it works incredibly ineptly, secondly it was absolutely unprepared for these tasks, so it can not fulfill them in a way that would be satisfactory for Poland and the budget – said Józwiak.

In addition, he said, Totalizator Sportowy “does everything not to give in to any control by MPs in any way.”

It does not provide any data about contracts (…) escapes from this responsibility, which should not be avoided by the Treasury company, that is, that citizens would know how it handles their money – said Józwiak.

As he pointed out, Totalizator Sportowy probably bought 300 low-prize machines. Józwiak expressed doubts about the connections of a foreign company from which Totalizator purchased machines. The MP also wants to know who provides the software for these devices. Józwiak said that the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności were to provide the machines and software. He asked what is the role of these two entities in the production of Polish machines and software, since the devices were purchased on the foreign market.

Józwiak also argued that games on these machines are not very popular. “We buy equipment on which nobody in Europe and the world wants to play. And we want to build budget gains on this? This is detrimental, “he said. He noted that according to press reports, these machines were to cost EUR 16 thousand per item, so in total they would cost about PLN 20 million.

We buy very expensive, very weak equipment from the company, which is doubtful “- assessed Józwiak.

He added that, moreover, Totalizator Sportowy purchased automatic machines without any tender procedure. “Who does Totalizator work for when buying machines from a free hand?” Asked the MP.

Totalizator does not have its own private money, only public money, so it is important how much the taxpayer has already + pumped in + this wrong, as we all see, interest – said Józwiak.

In July this year Totalizator Sportowy opened in Bydgoszcz the first gaming room as part of the pilot program. The company announced that the state-owned WZŁ No. 1, PWPW and Exatel companies were working on the central management system, player registry, infrastructure and gaming machines. Also, 300 Merkur Gaming machines were ordered.

Józwiak also wants to know how much the state budget has gained in the last year and a half, when Totalizator Sportowy “operates as a monopolist” on the market for low prize machines.

We have another sector in which, despite the fact that we are trying to seal, according to Prime Minister Morawiecki, budget revenues, we have another sector from which a huge amount of money is leaking (…) by bad legislation – said Józwiak.

He appealed to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for the inclusion of “Totalizator Sportowy” in individual, personal control, especially in the area of ​​low prize slot machines.

Prime Minister, this is a great river of flowing money, this bill allows it. There is a last chance to make an amendment to it, which will make the Polish state (…) not pumping budget money into a bad business, but it will be gaining on gambling – said Józwiak.

As he said, all countries in the world earn on gambling, and Poland “seems to be the only country that invests in gambling at the same time without any profits,” he concluded.

Józwiak assessed that “it is time for the prime minister to intervene” and the amending the Gambling Act. He pointed out that the amendment should go in such a direction that the state would “actually” control gambling.

Let the state even license companies that deal with this gambling, but the state should not be the operator of this gambling, it is not the role of the state – he argued.

Józwiak pointed out that he can not get answers from Totalizator Sportowy to his questions.

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