While gambling in Poland is officially legal as of April 2017, there are many barriers for both players and companies that must be taken into consideration. Because of this, we here at GoodLuckMate regard the Polish market as a bit of a grey area that can be difficult to navigate, though it is perfectly possible to find a few online casinos and sports betting sites from within the country. In this short guide, then, we will be covering the full legal situation, where you can find the best Polish online casinos, and how you can sign up for some great welcome bonuses.
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Officially speaking, only casino and sports betting sites that have a license from the Ministry of Finance can operate legally within the country. However, that governing body has only granted a license to the state-run Totalizator Sportowy. In effect, this has created a monopoly, where the only legal forms of gambling such as lotteries, land-based casinos, sports betting retail stores, arcade parlors, and online casinos are all run by Totalizator Sportowy. Therefore, all other online casinos in Poland operate outside of the law.
This doesn’t affect players, as such, and many do play online from within Poland and face no legal repercussions because of this. However, sites run from outside of Poland have been blacklisted within the country and many more are being added to this list every few months. Therefore, the number of gambling sites that are still accessible from Poland and accepting of Polish players is gradually dwindling.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to find websites that offer slots, table games, and live dealer titles to players within the country, as well as bonuses and promotions in Polish zloty. The best way to find out about them is by reading through the GoodLuckMate casino reviews, where we will detail all of the accepted countries, available languages, and payment method options. So, before signing up with a new brand, be sure to do all of the following:
If you wish to proceed, click the welcome bonus banners on our reviews to get the best offers.
As stated above, any site that wants to operate legally within the country needs to obtain a license from the Ministry of Finance. However, because of certain restrictions in the 2017 update to the Polish Gambling Act, this license is only available to the state-owned Totalizator Sportowy. Therefore, even if entrepreneurs in the country or businesses based in other parts of Europe (or further afield) want to offer casino games to Polish nationals, it is impossible for them to do it in full accordance with the law. This is why Poland is considered to be a grey market.
Having said all this, there are no penalties for players who want to play slots or bet on sports, so a great many people within the country still gamble online without worry. However, businesses can and regularly are blacklisted and access to them is removed by Polish ISPs. Gradually, then, the list of casinos that can be accessed within the country without VPNs is getting smaller.
Despite the threat of being blacklisted at any moment, some of the biggest brands (and some of the smaller ones too) have indeed localized their sites to suit audiences within Poland. This includes advertising their welcome bonus deals using amounts written in Polish zloty, as well as providing the ability for the site to be switched into the language of your choice. Furthermore, there are more than a few websites that provide round-the-clock customer support in the language, and you can find live dealer games that feature Polish-speaking croupiers.
There are plenty of land-based casinos offering a range of slot machines, classic table games such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat (among others), and games of skill such as poker. By far the most likely place to find the best casinos is in the major cities of Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Wroclaw, and Poznan. Some of the most popular and well-known establishments include the Casinos Poland Wroclaw, Orbis Casino Sofitel Victoria Hotel in Warsaw, Orbis Casino Novotel Centrum Hotel in Katowice, Grand Casino City Hotel in Bydgoszcz, and Orbis Casino Marriott Hotel in Warsaw. Also, state-run lottery and sports betting stores can be found all over Poland.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.