History of Casinos and Gambling in Poland
Historically, the Eastern European nation of Poland has assumed a communist identity with an entrenched and stringent body of law. It has managed to shed this façade in recent times, however, by gradually embracing the principles of democracy and becoming a fully-fledged member of the European Union in 2004.
These principles of freedom don’t currently extend to online gambling in Poland, however, which is so heavily restricted and regulated that it continues to come under fire from both its own residents and the EU Commission.
Perhaps we should not be surprised by this, with the first offline casino in Poland having only been opened in Sopot on August 6th, 1930.
A co-partnership Zoppoter Casino G.m.b.H was subsequently launched the following year, offering baccarat and roulette to players aged 21 or older.
Unfortunately, this casino location was demolished in 1945 by the Red Army, derailing the burgeoning gambling industry in Poland as communism took a tighter grip of the nation during the post-war epoch.
During this time, roulette, blackjack and one-armed bandit games were available on the ferries sailing to Scandinavia, and for a while this was the only place in which gambling was permitted in Poland.
A less stringent regulatory approach took centre stage during the 1980s, however, with the Podró?? establishment ultimately being opened on July 15th, 1989. This was the first casino opened in Poland after the Second World War, with 40 offline establishments now operating legally in several of the nation’s hotels and entertainment complexes.
A similarly relaxed regulatory approach was applied to online gambling in Poland, and this continued until a scandal involving Polish Sports Minister Mirioslaw Drzewiecki and the existence of a corrupt pro-gambling lobby in the government in 2009.
Shortly after this was revealed, Prime Minister Donald Tusk (now the Chairman of the European Council) launched an all-out war on virtual casinos, drafting stringent laws that practically outlawed all forms of online gambling. Two pieces of anti-online gambling laws were eventually passed in both 2009 and 2011, and these remain in force to this day.
Only online sports betting is currently legal in Poland, with the rationale being that the outcomes here were dependent on the skill and performance of teams rather than chance. Football remains the most popular form of sports betting in Poland, whilst Formula One has also been rising in popularity since 2006.
Poland currently offers a strict licensing system for virtual sportsbooks, with licenses granted on a six-yearly basis to companies located within the country’s borders.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Poland?
The simple answer to this question is no, although as with most jurisdictions the prevailing iGaming laws are both complex and relatively easy to circumnavigate.
We’ve also seen recent moves by various parties to open up the Polish market, with the European Court of Justice having ruled against the government’s anti-gambling legislation and the Gambling Act of 2011 (this claim is now being processed through the national courts).
At the same time, the existing gambling authority in Poland is continuing decade-long negotiations to deregulate the online marketplace, whilst a license was recently granted to the Tototek platform (which is a Polish subsidiary of the Athens-based iGaming firm Intralot.
Even without this, Polish citizens continue to be accepted by operators such as bet365 and Mr. Green, who are even offering Polish language versions of their sites in a bid to capture their share of what’s thought to be a potential £1 billion marketplace.
It’s also fair to surmise that whilst the penalties for breaking Poland’s iGaming laws are severe, they’re rarely enforced and this has enabled the market to grow away from the gaze of the authorities.
How do we Review the Top Polish Casinos?
Whilst there may be currently be a relative paucity of iGaming operators available in Poland, natives can still access some of the world’s market leading brands.
Here are some of the metrics by which we measure online casinos in Poland, in order to determine which operators are the best:
Safety and Security:
Given that most of the online casinos available in Poland are powered by multi-national brands, the vast majority are secured by 128-bit SSL encryption. However, we’ve reviewed each casino to ensure that it’s secure, transparent, and capable of protecting your financial transactions.
As with all jurisdictions, iGaming operators in Poland tend to offer generous deposit match offers and welcome bonuses. Slot players can also bank on a number of free spins when registering with our sites, and we’ve compared the best bonuses currently on offer.
With so many multi-national operators active in Poland, natives can use an array of traditional and contemporary deposit methods. We’ve provided a full list for each casino, so that you can choose a platform that suits your preferred banking method.
There’s arguably an even wider range of withdrawal methods available to Polish players, the vast majority of which provide fast (or in some instances instant) payouts. We’ve covered this in more significant detail in our reviews, so you can determine the best way of banking your winnings!
Mobile gambling is all the rage in Poland, as players look to access virtual sites through their smartphone or tablet. To satisfy this behaviour, operators now operate either responsive, instant play casinos that are optimised for mobile or native apps, and we’ll share how you can access games on the go at a Polish casino.
Poland’s market leading casinos all offer outstanding customer support, across an array of channels including telephone, email and live chat. We’ve appraised the quality of support offered by each of our online casinos, both in terms of the range of channels on offer and average response times.
Established Game Providers:
You can rest assured that all of the online casinos in Poland have access to a huge range of software houses, including household names like Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming and Playtech. We’ve looked at each casino to determine how they represent the world’s plethora of development teams.
Licensing and Regulations:
Our casino reviews also include full licensing information and regulatory guidance, which is important given Poland’s wide stringent iGaming legislation. This way, you can make an informed casino choice that reflects the laws of the country.
Playing with Real Money – What Currencies can you wager with at India’s Online Casinos
Regardless of which country you reside it, online gamblers should ideally be able to wager in their own domestic currency, as this negates the need for costly exchanges into Euros (EUR), pounds (GBP) and U.S. Dollars (USD).
This way, you can retain as much of your bankroll as possible make the most of the capital at your disposal.
Fortunately, a large number of online casinos now accept Polish Zloty (PLN), including stellar platforms such as Mr. Green, Royal Panda and the bwin Casino.
When frequenting these sites, you can also wager using a number of globally-accessible payment options, including the following:
• Visa Debit
• Bank Transfer
Which Casino Games are Available in Poland?
Despite the fact that online sports betting is the only fully legalised and accessible gambling vertical in Poland, natives can access a range of games through their international sites.
We’ve selected some of the most popular below, from virtual slots and table games to video poker iterations:
• Slots: As with most iGaming markets, slots remain the most popular and dominant driving force in Poland. Make no mistake; players can access both low and high-variance slots in Poland, including huge progressive jackpots such as Mega Moolah.
• Table Games: Polish players can also access an array of table games online, including multiple forms of blackjack, baccarat, sic bo and European roulette. There a single and multiple deck blackjack games available online in Poland too, so there’s something to suit players of all shapes and sizes.
• Poker and Casual Games: Online players in Poland can also access various iconic poker iterations, from Texas Hold ‘Em to Caribbean Stud Poker. There’s also a wide range of so-called casual games too, including Keno, scratchcards, virtual sports and a wide range of virtual bingo verticals.
• Live Casino: On a similar note, there’s also a diverse range of live casino games available to online players in Poland. With high stakes roulette and blackjack tables along with various real-time poker iterations, no stone is left unturned in creating n immersive and authentic live experience online.
Popular Casinos Accepting Polish Players
Polish players certainly have pick of the bunch when it comes to selecting iGaming brands, with a number of the world’s market leading operators active in the jurisdiction,
We’ve selected three of the best online casinos below, whilst asking what you can expect in terms of gameplay and the overall experience.
• Royal Panda: Founded in 2014, Royal Panda is accessible to players in regions stretching from Poland to Australia and the United States. It’s also a fun and immersive brand with an enduringly cute mascot, whilst new players can currently qualify for a 100% deposit match bonus and up to 10 free spins on selected slots.
• Betway: Betway is another global betting brand available to Polish players, and one that currently has access to more than 450 high-quality games from the market leading software houses. New players can also qualify for a welcome bonus worth up to €1000, which is lucrative by anybody’s standards!
• Mr. Play Casino: Next up is a relatively online casino, and one which first entered the marketplace in 2017. Mobile-friendly and packed full of fun and immersive games, whilst the brand is also offering an extremely competitive welcome bonus in the form of a 100% deposit match up to the value of €200 and 100 free spins!
Playing Online Casino Games with a Real Live Dealer
Whether you access a new casino like Mr. Play or an established platform such as Betway, you’re likely to find an exceptional live platform.
Real-time and competitive games certainly provide a competitive hook for players in Poland, thanks to their authentic pacing, exceptional live dealer interaction and the potential to play for incredibly high stakes.
These games are different from commercial games as they don’t require you to compete directly against the computer, whilst they often take place in a three-dimensional setting.
You can also play a huge number of games through the live casino vertical, including blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat.
Casino Bonuses and Free Spins
We’ve already touched on a couple of welcome bonuses available to Polish players, with the vast majority of these taking the form of deposit matches of either 100% or 200% up to a specific and predetermined value.
In the case of newcomers like the Mr. Play Casino, this type of bonus will also be supplemented with up to 100 free spins. This is a common practice in the digital age, which slots playing an increasingly pivotal role in the iGaming market and accounting for approximately two-thirds of the global GGY.
The key is to compare the available real-time welcome offer on our website, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for the relevant terms and conditions.
These can place significant restrictions on the offers in question, both in terms of the total value of the bonus and the games through which the free spins can be deployed.
What’s a Bonus Wagering Requirement?
Another key condition of any bonus is the associated wagering requirements, which refer to the amount that you need to bet in order to release your bonus winnings into your primary cash balance.
The precise wagering requirements vary from one casino provider to another, as whilst some require you to bet 20-times the value of the bonus this can increase to 50-times in some instances.
So, if you open your account with €10 and leverage a 100% deposit match to receive a total bonus of €20, you’ll have to wager €750 to withdraw your capital against a wagering requirement of 35-times.
Just be sure to check the full terms and conditions associated with your bonus, as each type of game tends to count differently towards meeting your wagering requirements. Some may not even count at all, so you’ll need to keep this in mind if you’re going to access your winnings as quickly as possible.
The Casino Market in Poland
Given the stringent regulations surrounding Poland’s iGaming market and the fact the restrictions facing domestic operators, it’s a little hard to determine the full value of the industry.
According to most estimates, the online GGY in Poland peaked 310 million PLN (£65.5 million) in 2018, with some suggesting that this could more than double over the course of the next seven years even without the implementation of new legal changes.
This would create an online GGY of 736 million PLN (£155 million) by the end of 2025, whilst this figure could well increase even further if the government did indeed choose to open up the marketplace.
If we look at the combination of land-based and online gambling operators in Poland, total turnover peaked at an impressive 5.1 billion PLN (£1.07 billion) at the end of last year.
This represented a staggering increase of 55% in relation to 2017’s figures, whilst it has also showcased a three-fold hike in comparison with 2016. This suggests that the gambling market in Poland is moving in the right direction, and this will be music to the ears of players and operators alike.
Online Casinos Gambling Rules and Regulations in India
Poland undoubtedly boasts a relatively limited gambling history in relation to other nations in Europe, whilst the iGaming sector remains heavily restricted by the LawAct on Gambling Games from 2019 and the additional legislation published in 2011.
This legislation imposes extremely strict rules on online gambling activity, whilst also setting harsh requirements for operators to follow and severe sanctions in instances where these are not met in full.
Still, sports betting remains a lucrative source of revenue in the country, whilst online casino gameplay has also attracted a large number of players thanks to loopholes in the legislation and the fact that rule infringements are rarely punished to the letter of the law.
So, whilst the current legislation was established specifically to restrict iGaming in Poland, the overall market continues to grow whilst regulators continue to push in order to open the industry up further to operators.
For now, the gambling market in Poland is regulated and tightly controlled by the Ministry of Finance, which issues the six-year licenses for brands to operate in the country.
This is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, regardless of what regulatory changes are introduced over the course of the next few years.