Casinos in Poland: Are They Legal or not?

The gambling industry in Poland produced five billion Euros in 2020. Considering this statistic, Poland is among the most profitable gambling markets in Eastern Europe. Poland has many land-based casinos, and its mobile gaming area is opening up.

Visit to discover how popular the Polish gaming industry has become. The gambling industry could grow faster without the state-owned monopoly casinos that no casino could rival. Those who want to know if gambling is legal or illegal in Poland should read this article. We will try to expound on this topic as much as possible.

The Polish Gambling Market Has Been Thriving

Following the 2009 Gambling Act amendment in 2017, many casinos and players have cropped up. The amendments were not as favorable as casino operators might have imagined. The legislation continues to be the strictest and most restrictive in Europe.

This outcome has not affected the profitability of the local gambling market. While the market made 1.82 billion Euros in 2018, the profits rose to $5 billion in 2020. The reason for this growth could be the strong protection that Polish players receive from the Gambling Act.

Are Polish Casinos Lawful or Unlawful?

When it comes to the legality of casinos, there are two sides. First, the state has a monopoly casino with the most recognized license. Second, there are privately-owned land-based casinos or online betting and promotional lottery sites. These are legal only if they have obtained the correct permits.

Casinos that do not have a permit are illegal and in constant fights with the authorities. Players who do not have accounts with state-owned casinos use offshore casinos or illegal ones within the country. Reasons for unlawful operations may include

No competition for monopoly casinos

The Polish government owns Totalizator Sportowy, a monopoly casino no one can contest with. It controls sports betting; number games, slot games, bingo, and cash lotteries. If you want to play these games locally, the only legal casino is Totalizator Sportowy. Some online-based private limited companies offer sports betting and promotional lotteries but with proper licensing. Some big investors like Unibet and William Hill left the market because of the rigid monopoly system that limits the growth of private companies.

Heavy taxation

Research shows that fifty percent of the Polish gambling market consists of unregulated operators. These private operators evade the high tax rate of twelve percent on sports betting. It is easier for them to run illegally than pay this tax rate.

Blockage of unlicensed websites

The Ministry of Finance has been blacklisting and blocking all websites running without a license. It may seem like a noble action to protect players from scams. While it could be the case, it is also possible that the government wants to protect its monopolies. So far, the finance ministry has captured and blocked sixty thousand slot machines. It targets sites that translate into polish language and reports them as illegal to local ISPs. The internet service providers then redirect any local user to a government casino. This action might not end the war against illegal casinos. Local people love these casinos for providing the most lucrative bonuses and advanced games. If new casino sites crop up, they will get members despite the blacklisting risk.

Legal establishments include the following:

  • Slot parlors
  • Bingo shops
  • Brick and motor casinos
  • The State-owned Total Casino website and Totalizator Sportowys
  • Sport betting venues.

How Do The 2017 Act Amendments Affect Casinos?

If a website receives a block for lacking a gambling license, it cannot get off the blacklist. If a player accesses a blocked site from another country, they will notice no changes. Those in Poland will not bypass the block, and the operator of the illegal site cannot do anything. 

There is another severe punishment for illegal casino operators. No payment service company should transact with an unlicensed casino site. If it does not abide by this rule in one month, the government will enforce a hefty penalty worth 58,000 Euros.

Internet service providers that do not blacklist a website directed to it could face the same harsh penalty. Poker is not legal in Poland. Casino-style games are legal, but you can only play them safely on the Totalizator Sportowy website.

Before the 2017 Act amendments, people could play poker tournaments in land-based casinos. Poker tournaments by unlicensed companies are legal if the top prize is not over €500.

Are Brick and Motor Casino Legal?

Brick and motor casinos in Poland are under the 2009 Gambling Act. Bingo saloons, sports betting venues, and traditional slot parlors fall under this law. Polish Gambling law has harsh restrictions for these facilities.

For instance, there can only be one casino in a municipality with 250,000. A bingo salon should be one in a place with 100,000 citizens. Only three to fifty slot machines should be in a parlor. Some of these are a property of the state and operate under the Totalizator Sportowy casino.

Again, gambling in land-based casino venues is a government affair. Whatever belongs to the government has a valid license. Private shops offline should have a valid license to have peace when giving their services to customers.

Should Polish Players Feel Safe in Casinos?

One thing Polish players cannot escape is the state’s control over their gambling activities. Whether they play online or offline, they must face government surveillance. Hence, the decision to play at a government’s legal casino or an illegal one without a license is yours.

If you live in Poland, you might face URL redirects to a government website when using an illegal site. Those outside Poland have more freedom as they should not bypass government restrictions.

One day those inside the country may play at a state-owned casino only. That is if the battle against unlicensed casinos ends in favor of the government.

A Table Showing Answers to Polish Regulatory Framework Questions


Polish Regulatory Framework questions Answers
Is there a Gambling Act in place? Yes, the Gambling Act of 2009
Is there an official regulating body in Poland? No, there is no licensing body like Curacao or Malta Gaming Authority.

The Ministry of Finance regulates gambling activities.

Is licensing necessary to run a land-based gambling venue? Yes. All casino operators should register their companies and obtain a permit
What legal business form does the Polish government allow gambling operators to open? -A joint stock company

-A limited liability company

Gambling licensing is specific to what games? -Betting


-card games

-casino games




The main problem with the polish gambling industry is monopolistic casinos. The government has licensed its casinos and other gambling venues and termed them the only legal facilities. Any other casino without a permit or offering services only the state-owned casino should provide is illegal. Foreign casinos are not explicitly illegal. They have no room in a nation where only state-owned casinos are lawful.