Poland’s Ministry of Finance has published its annual review of the country’s regulated gambling market for 2017. According to the report, the overall gambling turnover touched PLN12.9b (US$3.5b) in 2017, which marks an increase of 22 per cent compared to the turnover in 2016. The government’s tax increased by 17 per cent to PLN1.64b during the same period.
The Polish market remains dominated by casinos (PLN4.8b, +13 per cent) and lottery operations (PLN4.6b, +1.4 per cent), but sports betting stole the show, posting annual turnover of PLN3.4b, a year-on-year improvement of 105 per cent, which pushed betting’s share of the overall market from 15.7 per cent in 2016 to 26.4 per cent in 2017.
The betting boom was spurred in part by a 29 per cent rise in the number of retail betting outlets, but Poland’s newly regulated online betting market was the vertical’s prime mover.
The report did not break out specific numbers for online turnover, but you can derive a sense of the betting shift via the government’s tax figures. In 2016, the government’s share of betting activity was PLN196.6m, of which PLN88.1m came via the internet. In 2017, betting tax totalled PLN407.4m, of which PLN279.2m was generated online, a year-on-year gain of 217 per cent.
Polish legislators approved new online sports betting rules in late-2016, and the regulated market officially began life on 1 April 2017, prompting a flurry of market exits and the birth of a new blacklist of operators who failed to make an appropriately swift run for the border.
Last month, Poland’s government estimated that locally licensed operators’ share of the online betting market had risen to 40 per cent by the end of 2017, up from a mere 10 per cent prior to the imposition of the new regime. The government hopes rigorous enforcement of its domain- and payment-blocking tools will eventually push the domestic online share to 90 per cent.