Since late December, Poland has been moving forward with changes to the Gambling Act, amendments that would see new changes take place within the online and land-based gaming sectors of the country. When it comes to online gaming, international operators are to be blocked, if they are unlicensed and cater to Polish gamblers. A new set of restrictions have been put in place that will take effect on July 1st, 2017, that will see domains and payments blocked from sites that are included on the online gambling blacklist of Poland. The list is growing as the July date looms.
Operators have already begun pulling out of Poland in response to the upcoming enactment of the new legislation changes. In March, William Hill announced to players that they would no longer be offering their services in Poland and players had until before April 1st to withdraw funds. Once the 1st deadline came, players had to contact customer service in order to be able to make a withdrawal. Affiliates were encouraged to remove any material from their websites that promoted William Hill gambling options in relation to Poland.
Now, the country has continued to grow their blacklist of online gambling domains of which they intend to block beginning in July. Last Friday, the Ministry of Finance of Poland added more names to the list. Each domain on the blacklist are operators that offer iGambling services to players in Poland without having a local license in place. The list first became known in March as it was in test mode, according to CalvinAyre, but now it seems the government is becoming more serious about making it official.
The majority of the domains on the blacklist end in .com or .eu, while there is one site licensed in Curacao, 10futuriti.ru and one licensed by Kahnawake, Pankasyno.pl. Most of the names on the list are not considered major names in other countries but those that are recognizable include Vulkanbet and Marathonbet.
When the Polish Gambling Act was passed late last year, operators of online gambling sites that did not have a license in Poland were told to exit the online gambling market by the 1st of April. Most of the big operators complied, including the above mentioned William Hill.
Once July 1st rolls around, the country will begin to see local internet providers blocking access to the domains on the blacklist. ISPs of Poland will have to block access within 48 hours of the domain being placed on the list. ISPs also have to restore access to the listed domains within 48 hours of the site being removed from the list. ISPs that do not comply with these rules will have to face fines which would come to $64,500 each time a rule is broken.