Gambling Ban Passes Polish Parliament

BingoT

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Dec 16, 2004
Location
Hartford,Ct
Gambling Ban Passes Polish Parliament

Games of chance will be restricted to casinos

A new bill just passed in the Polish Parliament, which restricts gambling strictly to within the premises of casinos. The bill's passage comes after a huge scandal, dubbed "Blackjackgate", rocked Prime Minister Tusk's cabinet last month.

Following the scandal, PM Tusk began a push towards the passage of stricter legislation regarding the country's gambling industry. In a vote of 48 to three with 30 abstentions, the bill passed in the Senate. However, it still requires the signature of President Kaczy?ski, of which PM Tusk is confident, stating: "Barring any surprises, I hope the president will be able to affix his signature as of November 30".

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vinylweatherman

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Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Gambling Ban Passes Polish Parliament

Games of chance will be restricted to casinos

A new bill just passed in the Polish Parliament, which restricts gambling strictly to within the premises of casinos. The bill's passage comes after a huge scandal, dubbed "Blackjackgate", rocked Prime Minister Tusk's cabinet last month.

Following the scandal, PM Tusk began a push towards the passage of stricter legislation regarding the country's gambling industry. In a vote of 48 to three with 30 abstentions, the bill passed in the Senate. However, it still requires the signature of President Kaczy?ski, of which PM Tusk is confident, stating: "Barring any surprises, I hope the president will be able to affix his signature as of November 30".

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A rather unfortunate name for the prime minister of a parliament hit by a gambling scandal:)

The problem lies in the bill. It restricts gambling to "within the premises of a casino", but online casinos have long argued the definition of "premises", and where the gambling takes place. If the server is their premises, as they argue, then online gambling would be legal under this argument, as it would be taking place within their server. IF the argument is that gambling takes place on the user's computer, then it would probably be illegal, since the user is unlikely to hold a gaming licence for their home PC.

The USA struggled for years with this, and ended up banning the transactions, rather than continuing to try to win the "premises" argument. The Polish move will have little effect on Polish players playing at non-Polish based online casinos, unless the Polish banks cooperate by restricting the transactions, and major ewallets and casino operators pull out from offering their services to Polish residents.

The EU are pulling in the other direction, and are pressing for regulation. The Polish act is rather clever in this respect, as it seeks to regulate gambling to defined premises, so a ban on online casinos is implied through this concept of physical premises, rather than the act itself being touted as specifically against online casinos.

Other EU based online operators are likely to test this new law to see whether it works in practice as a law that unduly favours Polish casinos, opening the way to challenge it under rules relating to free exchange of goods and services within the EU.

Polish players should be on their guard lest any casinos, or especially ewallets take a "knee-jerk" action, and block/restrict accounts overnight, and then take ages to sort the mess out with players - as happened several times with US players.

The Polish player with, say, a Neteller account might wake up on Dec 1st to find deposits "don't work anymore", and when they ask what is wrong, they are told "As of today, Polish customers can no longer use their Neteller account for gambling related transactions, they are, of course, free to use their accounts for non-gambling transactions" (Now where exactly was that Dutch coffee shop which was Neteller's "token" non-gambling related merchant:rolleyes:)
 

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