President Lech Kaczynski Approves Stricter Gaming Law in Poland

Polish president Lech Kaczynski gave a final approval on November 27th, 2009 to a law restricting gaming to casino establishments and removing slot machines in gaming arcades, clubs, shops, cafes and service stations across Poland. Presidential Aide Wladyslaw Stasiak said that President Kaczynski requested the constitutional court of Poland to decide whether the hastily approved law was in line with the state constitution.

Under the new gaming solution, the so-called “one-armed bandit” machines and other small-wager betting machines outside casino facilities will be phased out. Poland’s Liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk, whose government supported the hard line gaming legislation, has said that it is aimed at increasing the taxes imposed on the industry and limiting and if possible, banning highly addictive examples of gaming that threatens young individuals including children.

The law bans gambling for people below eighteen years old. It also introduces strict six-year state concessions for casino facilities with the limit of one facility per district with a population of up to 650,000. Casino establishments will be limited to operating seventy individual casino gaming tables and gaming machines.

The law also imposes higher gaming taxes as well as new taxes for the market. Casino facilities will also have to pass all ownership changes to the ministry of finance in Poland. The new gaming law was proposed after Prime Minister Tusk was forced to sack several ministers and political allies over allegations of influence peddling in the cabinet regarding the gaming proposal.

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