[Poland] Minister supports return of slot machines

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A low stakes slot machine has reportedly been operating for several months in a grocery shop nearby Ikea in Bydgoszcz. There is a school and pre-school nearby – says local resident Ewa Bartusiak – the kids have been throwing pennies into it.

So what’s the deal? Weren’t these machines made illegal last December..? – she wrote in a letter to regional newspaper Gazeta Pomorska.

We don’t know how many slot machines are currently operating in the region. No one keeps any records of them. – I would estimate the number of machines at a few thousand – says a Bydgoszcz tax official.

So what’s the problem? Since December 2015 all low stakes slot machines, such as the jackpot, are illegal outside casinos.

Last year, the last permits issued for such devices by the Ministry of Finance expired. The permits were issued in 2009, before the so called gambling bill was passed. Since the bill was passed 7 years ago, the Ministry could no longer issue permits for placing slot machines in shops, off license shops and pubs. Many owners of machines with expired licenses, do not want to give up making money on them. They have found a way out of the situation. – Some machines may legally stand in certain places which are not casinos – says Mariusz Ziarnowski, spokesman for the Customs Chamber in Toruń.

-As long as they aren’t used. It’s fine to have them as decorations in shops or pubs, as long as no one is using them to make money – the spokesman adds. According to the Ministry of Finance, there are over 3,5 thousand legal slot machines in the country. These are located in the 52 casinos in Poland. However, the number of devices number may soon increase.



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