Poland – A strong blow to illegal gambling in Starachowice

In the local media one could hear about a massive control action in Starachowice on two premises with machines. In the past time, three premises were closed down, on March 6 – the first of them on Radomska St., on March 7 two more – Noble on Radomska St. and Noble on Piłsudskiego 24 a St.

On March 6 this year there was an entering to the first premises, at Radomska St. (opposite to Stella). 5 so-called gaming suitcases were seized, which are gaming devices in the form of a suitcase. The service and people staying inside were taken into custody to explain. One of the detainees was wanted by the police, he was suppose to be in a closed facility.

On March 7, 2018, in the evening, officers of the Świętokrzyskie Customs-Fiscal Office, the Poviat Police Headquarters in Starachowice, the Department of Combating Economic Crime of the Ministry of Finance and the Mazowieckie Customs and Tax Office made operational activities in two Starachowice premises. As many as 30 officers took part in the operation. Passers-by could feel like during the plot of an action film, because the masked anti-terrorists were equipped with long rifles, helmets and bulletproof vests. The entering to both premisses took place simultaneously, in which one owner was selected. First the cameras were turned over so that the staff inside would not start destroying the evidence. Then began a forced entering. Special equipment had been used to break the locks and get inside.

illegal gambling


In the premises, devices for gambling were disclosed in the amount of 6 units (three units in each) of full-size machines. In addition, cash in the amount of PLN 6 215.00, monitoring recorders and service keys also had been disclosed during the proceedings. As part of the activities, apart from searching the premises – interviewing witnesses, inspecting places and securing evidence indicating a fiscal offense – were carried out. As we learn unofficially, one of the detainees submitted extensive explanations about the dealings that took place inside. Money won had been paid by the service staff. The money lost went to the machine, which was emptied by the people who installed the machines.

As we learn unofficially from the competent authorities, it is very difficult for them to reach the organizer of the game at the highest level. A company that inserts machines changes its owner several times a day. Often these are “people removed straight from the garbage heap”, sometimes the owners are missing persons. The owner of such company is changed a few dozen times a month. This is the main obstacle to reaching and punishing the real owner. That is why prevention is so important, building public awareness, proper upbringing and education from an early age.

illegal gambling


The case is in development, because the penal and fiscal proceedings conducted by the Head of the Świętokrzyskie Tax and Income Office include in its operation an entity that organizes the games throughout the country. We remind you: tax crime under art. 107 of the Penal Fiscal Code is punishable by a fine or even imprisonment of up to 3 years. In addition, pursuant to Art. 89 of the Gambling Act for the organization of gaming machines is subject to a fine of PLN 100,000.00 from each machine.

All activities are the result of the amendment of the act introduced last year by the government of PiS (which came into force on 1 April 2017). Gambling in Poland was not previously legal, but in Starachowice alone at the turn of March and April last year more than 140 slot machines disappeared, which was a direct result of the new law that became more effective. Uniformed services are already investigating further, more secretive premises in our city. These are not the last actions or detentions.

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