The new Gambling Act is full of loopholes. Reckless entrepreneurs will be able to avoid consequences while others will pay double fines.
Instead of improving the absurdities of the current regulations, the new laws will serve the needs of the state. The slot machine underground, however, will continue to bloom. This may be the effect of the amendment to the gambling law, which will come into life in April 2017. The legislative process was turbulent and it wasn’t difficult to understand the true intentions of the Ministry of Finance. Need evidence? Read on.
A bizarre form of double punishment has been adopted. Until now, this term was used in the context of executing both penal and administrative punishments for the same crime. Under the new regulations, administrative penalties will be multiplied. The new art. 89 of the Gambling Act states that operators will pay 100 000 PLN for every unregistered slot machine. It also says that the owner of the premises on which the machine stands will pay 100 000 PLN. This means that both persons could be punished for operating the same machine. Therefore, the state budget will increase by 200 000 PLN instead of a ‘mere’ 100 000 PLN.
According to lawyers, this solution may even be unconstitutional. The state should not benefit from illegal activities. It is worth reminding our readers that the Constitutional Tribunal stated on October 21, 2015 that punishments for operating illegal machines (then 12 000 PLN per machine) should be prevent crime and not be repressive or fiscal.
Experts say that there wouldn’t be any doubts if the punishment specified in the act was executed on the basis of joint and several liability. This, however, is not indicated.
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