Polish Court Says Yes to Online Gambling Blacklist
The online gambling blacklist that caused controversy in Poland has now been upheld by a local court as being permissible under the national gambling laws. According to reports published last week by the Gazeta Prawna, the Provincial Administrative Court upheld the Ministry of Finance’s plan to create and publish a blacklist containing the names of online gambling operators offering services in Poland without approval.
The blacklist had initially faced criticism from online gambling operators, who stated that such a blacklist could not be published by the Ministry without a proper court order. Currently, Polish ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are ordered to prevent local punters from accessing illegal online gambling sites.
However, some believe that this is a serious threat to the concept of freedom of speech and access to information. However, the court argued that there was no issue as such because even the European Commission found no problems with the Polish Gambling Act. In fact, the court ruled in favor of the Ministry, stating that it was authorized to go after such sites.
A long list
The blacklist contains over 2400 domains. This includes multiple variants of Casino-X, an online casino licensed in Curacao.
But, despite the stringent restrictions and the limitation of online casinos to the state-owned Totalizator Sportowy lottery, Poland is still going ahead with the issuance of sports betting licenses. Cherry AB, an operator from Norway, is one of the many big names in the business to currently secure a license.
Polish operator Totalbet also received a license to operate its Totalbet.pl site.
A slots rollout
The local lottery monopoly, Totalizator Sportowy, is currently looking to launch its online casino, which is powered by Playtech. At the same time, it is also busy launching its land-based operations involving slots parlors. This is a pilot project that will place around 50 facilities across the country, especially in Krakow, Bygdoszcz., and Warsaw. Around 1200 slots will be offered in total between all 50 units.
If the pilot project receives a favorable response, the company will eventually add over 200 more parlors by the end of 2019. This will put the installed slots base at around 38,000 machines. However, it appears as though the company isn’t sure about what it’s doing. It has even issued a notice requesting technical assistance in the monitoring of slots.