Valued at approximately $78 billion at the time of writing and predicted to double by the middle of the decade, the global online gambling market is just unstoppable – and so is the ‘modest’ Polish segment of it. Home to over 6 million users in total and about 2 million frequenters, Polish online casinos have been nailing it for quite a while, and especially so after the notorious pandemic propelled the online gambling world to unimaginable heights.
However, the success of the Polish gambling industry – and you can’t argue with numbers after all – comes at a price that makes most punters feel uncomfortable, to say the least. Just like many other countries, Poland is trying to put the entire online gambling field in the hands of the government – which leads to some nuances that you should be aware of.
Before we elaborate, though, let’s give some credit to the co-author of the piece, Anna Rosak from KasynoHEX. A passionate gambler and a wordsmith, Anna provided us with some valuable insights as well as helped to put it all together.
Table of Contents
Centralization: Heavy Restrictions that Do Not Apply to Players
Probably the most worrisome thing about the Polish gambling market is that it’s heavily monopolized in both land-based and online forms. Regulated by the Minister of Finance through the Act on Gambling Games, Polish gambling is represented by 15 land-based venues and a single online casino called Total Casino. And it’s even worse than the most recent amendment to the Act – the one of April 1, 2017 – only tightened the chokehold on third-party casino operators.
- Only licensed online casinos – and the licenses are issued by the Minister of Finance – are allowed to provide gambling services to Poles.
- All unlicensed online casinos are illegal. Internet providers are obliged to redirect users from unlicensed online casinos to the website containing information on the Polish gambling laws.
Luckily though, the restrictions don’t apply to players themselves, which is why you can freely access any online casino. That’s good news for Polish players as a factor that they do take into account when choosing a casino is availability of their preferred payment method when playing for real money. Among the most popular ones is PayPal Casino, frequently visited by Polish audiences.
Fairness: Excluding Fraud Altogether
Now until recently was it possible to have a mathematical guarantee that your online casino would be fair to you: In the best case, you had to rely on the gambling software testing agencies like eCOGRA; in the worst case, you had to take it on trust. But blockchain technologies did change that.
Today, Provably Fair casinos take advantage of blockchain to exclude the very possibility of fraud mathematically. In a nutshell, any Provably Fair online casino works as follows:
- First, the casino generates a unique Server Seed, while the player generates a unique User Seed in turn.
- The Server Seed and the User Seed are combined to create a unique result-determining Seed Pair.
- When the gambling session is over – or when the player decides to use a new Seed Pair by changing the previously used User Seed – the casino shares the previous Server Seed, by which the player can verify the results of his gambling session.
It’s worth noting that Provably Fair casinos aren’t perfect (or at least you have to be aware of the ‘weak’ places when dealing with them, such as using a default pre-generated User Seed), but it seems like it’s only a question of time before blockchain-based gambling gets the attention it deserves.
So What Is the Best Strategy When Gambling In Poland?
Depending on whether you’re going to visit a brick-and-mortar casino (questionable given the current realities, but still) or play online, there are several equally plausible choices:
- Visit one of the 15 land-based casinos located in Warsaw, Lodz, Gdynia, Krakow, and Poznan.
- Gamble online at the only authorized website, Total Casino. Honestly, it’s not that bad – all the staples are there – but still a far cry from the selection of games at best international casinos.
- Gamble at an unauthorized online casino of your choice. Not a single restriction on online gambling applies to players, which is why the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll be refused access to the site. Players are free to take advantage of new casinos.
Last but not least, always watch your mental state and don’t forget that gambling may cause addiction. Should you feel addicted, immediately ask for help at international – BeGambleAware, Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, etc. – or local problem gambling organizations.