Polish Government opens advertising market to foreign bookkeeping businesses

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The Polish government wants to allow all betting companies to advertise, even those forbidden in Poland. This is due to an inconspicuous entry in the amendment to the current gambling law, which invalidates of one of the articles in the old law. No one in the government admits to making this mistake.

The lifting of the ban on advertising betting companies first drew the attention of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism. In an opinion given on October 19, it proposed that advertising gambling games should be made possible only for entities operating legally in Poland.

“The proposal to allow advertising for legal and illegal businesses is inconsistent with the provisions of the new bill, which aims to clamp down on informal business. Advertising should be restricted to entities operating legally and paying taxes in the country,” says Ireneusz Raś, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism. A group of experts, who appeared at a meeting of the parliamentary finance subcommittee, believe that this is a legal dud.

The solution first appeared when the government began work on the act. Back then, it already raised questions. In an opinion given to the Commitee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that “lifting the ban on advertising sports betting must be justified in terms of its consistency with the objectives of the state policy on gambling, especially in light of maintaining the ban on advertising other games of chance. In a letter to the PM’s office, deputy Finance Minister Wieslaw Jańczyk stressed that “the main aim of the amendment is to protect players and reduce informal business in the gaming industry. Therefore, the bill does not aim to liberalize gambling advertising. ”

The changes were pushed by Jarosław Gowin (pictured),  Minister of Science and Higher Education. In a letter sent on July 12 he wrote: “The bill still does not include changes in the regulations regarding betting advertisements […] I want to bring up the possibility of introducing limited (bearing in mind the impact on minors) advertising for betting and poker.”

According to the responses from the Ministry of Finance, received by Radio Zet, the regulation was finally submitted by the Minister of Science and Higher Education. The Council of Ministers memorandum from July 19 also states that “the Council of Ministers adopted the bill with a self-amendment, taking into account the comments of the Minister of Science and Higher Education about adding regulations allowing the advertisment of sports betting.”

Gowin has already declared that he wants to enable bookmakers to advertise on the condition of sponsoring Polish sport. Ultimately, only the demand for lifting the ban on advertising was included in the government project.

Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, blames the Ministry of Finance. In his answers to Radio ZET’s questions he assures that “the Ministry of Finance adopted a much further-reaching liberalization in the project which I disagree with. Unfortunately, not one representative of the Deputy Prime Minister was invited to work on the Ministry of Finance project. Inviting more experts could have helped to avoid this type of situation, ie a legitimate proposal being incorrectly entered in the bill.”

Our comment: This is further proof of how the carelessness and incompetence with which the new gambling act is being prepared. During its next meetings, the special subcommittee responsible for considering the government bill amending the gambling act and other acts, will probably take care of this issue and remove the inaccuracy. However, the very fact that such a document was presented to the committee should disqualify a few people from the Ministry of Finance involved in preparing the new gambling act…

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