Polish online poker players may find that from August this year they can no longer indulge in their favourite pastime following the passing of a bill which prohibits online poker in Poland.
Polish President, Bronislaw Komorowski, signed the bill yesterday, which bans online poker, but still allows online sports betting. The “logic” behind this decision, according to Ministry of Finance undersecretary Jacek Kapica, is that sports betting is based on “real world” events whereas poker “is a gambling game … … leading to addiction”. Under the new bill, European bookmakers will still be allowed to maintain their sports betting sites, provided they operate on a .pl domain name, but not be permitted to offer poker to their Polish clients.
The ban on online poker has been attacked by the European Gaming and Betting Association, but there may still be a ray of hope for Polish poker players, as other EU countries are anticipated to protest against the new law (which still has to be reviewed by the European Commission) and it may be found to be in violation of EU competition and trades regulations.
Poland has long had a problem with unregulated internet gambling but this move shows how out of touch with the “real world” their government is!