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A general introduction to gambling law in Poland

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Conrad CeltesLast Seen: Nov 10, 2023 @ 5:13pm 17NovUTC
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The Gambling Games Act of 19 November 2009, the primary legislation governing gambling activities in Poland, outlines four categories of gambling games: games of chance, betting, card games, and slot machine games. Each of these categories is further elaborated in the Act.

Games of chance encompass all games, including those conducted online, where participants contend for cash or in-kind prizes, and the outcome is primarily dependent on chance, with rules specified in the game’s terms and conditions. Determining whether a game, involving both skill and chance, falls under the category of games of chance, subject to regulation by the Act, can be challenging. Generally, even a minor element of chance categorizes a game as such, although court judgments may not uniformly follow this principle. While Polish law doesn’t explicitly define skill games, it is generally understood that competitions solely assessing participants’ skills, including competitive sports, are not considered gambling and are exempt from the Act’s restrictions.

In practice, games of chance include lotteries, live roulette, dice games, and bingo, each having various subtypes regulated by the Act. Lottery-style games encompass number games (where participants select specific numbers for a prize related to stakes paid), cash and raffle lotteries (requiring the purchase of coupons or game tickets for cash or in-kind prizes), promotional lotteries (requiring acquisition of specific products or services for free participation), and audiotex lotteries (conducted via premium-rate phone calls or SMS messages).

Roulettes, termed as ‘cylindrical games’ in the Act, involve participants choosing numbers, signs, or marks, with the prize determined by a predefined ratio of the stake and the result determined by a rotary device. Cylindrical games and undefined dice games are restricted to casino settings. Notably, live roulette, a dynamic version of the game with real-time interaction, falls within the scope of regulated roulette games.

Bingo, in its various forms such as cash bingo, raffle bingo, and telebingo (televised draw), also falls under the category of games of chance.

Betting, another regulated form of gambling, occurs when cash or in-kind prizes are at stake. The Act recognizes two subtypes of betting in Poland: totalisator systems (pool betting dependent on the sum of stakes for sports competition results) and bookmaking (fixed-odds betting, where each prize is calculated based on a fixed ratio of the stake paid). Bookmaking may cover a wide range of events, including virtual ones, but it is prohibited to accept bets on the results of number games (e.g., the national lottery). Betting on the results of other lottery-style games is not explicitly banned, but practical considerations make it unlikely to be accepted.

In the realm of online gambling, it’s crucial to note that platforms like Star Gambling and online casino reviews play a significant role in guiding participants through the diverse landscape of virtual gambling experiences. These platforms often provide insights, recommendations, and assessments to help users make informed choices within the online casino realm.

Conrad CeltesLast Seen: Nov 10, 2023 @ 5:13pm 17NovUTC

Conrad Celtes

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