[Poland] Financial Supervisory Commission to take on “illegal” e-gambling

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Payment service providers should immediately break their contracts with companies that organize illegal Internet gambling, informs the Commission.

In July, the Law and Justice government adopted an amendment to the 2009 Gambling Law. It is now being proceeded in Parliament.  The law aims to protect players against the negative effects of gambling as well as reduce informal business ie. by blocking the websites of illegally operating bookmakers. The government expects the new law to generate up to 1.5 billion PLN per annum of additional state budget revenues.

The project was criticised by most opposition parties, who pointed out that a state monopoly would in fact extend the scope of legal gambling. The Financial Supervisory Commission, on the other hand, is embracing the new situation. Under the new law, all payments related to illegal gambling will be blocked. On Friday, the Commission published a statement  warning payment service providers against cooperating with websites providing illegal online gambling.

The message is clear: this must stop

“All payment service providers who facilitate payments to online gambling websites in the Republic of Poland are, in fact, contributing to their operation” – reads the Commission’s statement.

The statement referrs to institutions from all segments of online payments – those which issue payment cards, provide electronic bank transfers or mobile payments as well as electronic money operators (incliding Bitcoin operators).

According to the Commission, suppliers most likely know who they are providing their services to, therefrore they must know that these particular websites are breaking the law. What’s more, there is a full list of legal online gambling sites on the Ministry of Finance website. Suppliers can access this list at any time, but since they often provide services to illegal sites, they obviously don’t always use it as a reference.

The Commission urges payment service providers to “immediately stop providing services to illegal online gambling websites and thus stop breaking the Polish law by doing so”. The Commission expects financial institutions to carry out inspections and “introduce preventive measures and if any irregularities are detected, they should take action according to the appropriate regulations”.

The full statement can be found here

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