Poland picks Playtech as online casino tech supplier, despite links to blacklisted sites


poland-playtech-online-casino-technology-partnerUK-listed gambling technology provider Playtech has won the contract to develop an online casino platform for Poland’s state-owned gambling monopoly.

On Thursday, Playtech announced that it had been selected as the exclusive technology partner for the ‘eKasyno’ offering of Polish lottery and gaming monopoly Totalizator Sportowy. Playtech beat out an unknown number of rival bidders via a competitive tender which got underway last November.

Poland amended its gambling legislation shortly before Christmas 2016, authorizing online casino, poker and bingo products. However, unlike online sports betting, which was open to private companies willing to pay the country’s onerous 12% tax on betting turnover, the new online products are the sole responsibility of Totalizator Sportowy.

The tender for the online casino tech job was supposed to open last August, but was delayed for unspecified reasons. In January, Poland’s deputy finance minister said the delays meant that the eKasyno wasn’t likely to launch until Q3 or Q4 2018.

Regardless, Playtech CEO Mor Weizer said he was “thrilled” by Thursday’s news, which allows his company to boost its presence in regulated markets and further lessen its reliance on those Asian grey/black markets that give Playtech investors the heebie-jeebies.

Totalizator Sportowy president Olgierd Cieslik called the deal “a breakthrough moment” not only for his company “but also the entire Polish entertainment market.” Cieslik expressed confidence that the “extremely experienced” Playtech will “perfectly handle this task.”

Meanwhile, Poland’s blacklist of unauthorized online gambling sites continues to grow, adding another 250-odd domains since the year began, bringing its total to 1,550. The latest notables added to the naughty list include multiple domains associated with Betclic and its Expekt and Bet-at-home offshoots, SBObet, Astekbet, Marathonbet, 1xBet, Bookmaker.eu, Tonybet, the Kindred Group’s female-focused Maria Casino brand, lottery betting operator The Lotter and the Curacao-licensed Malina Casino.

Totalizator Sportowy claimed the Playtech deal would be “a milestone in reducing the grey area of gambling,” but one can’t help but notice that many of these blacklisted domains offer online casino or poker products provided by Playtech and its subsidiaries. Will Poland’s government put pressure on its new exclusive online casino partner to remedy this situation? Watch this space.