[Poland] Stanisław Matuszewski: the monopoly will destroy the gambling business

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Liberal laws and full government control help curbing informal business and addiction. The Polish government, however, wants to introduce a monopoly – says Stanislaw Matuszewski, chairman of the Commerce Chamber of Producers and Operators of Entertainment Devices.

The government is currently working on a new amendment to the Gambling Act, which would liberalise the business and limit informal business. Are changes going to be for the better? Not according to Stanislaw Matuszewski.

“Before the gambling affair of 2009, 100 % of the market was in the hands of Polish companies. By the end of 2009, the state budget earned one billion PLN from slot machine taxes. The current plans of creating a monopoly on the market, and that’s not what the industry should look like”, says the chairman.

Under the new act, the state-run Totalizator Sportowy would have a monopoly on all kinds of gambling arcades or lotteries. Matuszewski notes that the company’s current operator is GTECH, an American firm. This means that GTECH controls all decisions made by Totalizator Sportowy. Will this lead to the Americanisation of the gambling industry?

How are other European countries dealing with the problem?

Matuszewski notes that while other European countries also have gambling monopolies, many of them, such as the Netherlands, Italy Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, are changing their laws.

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