BUSINESS

Polish business group seeks probe of int’l online bookies’ capital

TAGs: Poland

poland-international-sports-betting-bookmaker-probePoland’s licensed online sports betting operators should be probed to see whether they operated illegally prior to the regulated market’s launch, according to a local business group.

Earlier this month, the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs (FPP) called on Poland’s Ministry of Finance to “comprehensively examine the legality of foreign bookmakers registering their business” in the country following the 2017 amendments to the country’s gambling laws.

There are currently 12 companies licensed to offer online sports betting in Poland, among them several international firms, including Betclic Everest Group, Cherry AB and Fortuna Entertainment Group. Domains affiliated with some of these operators have also earned spots on the country’s online gambling blacklist.

The FPP statement urged the government to “examine the legality of the capital” of foreign bookmakers holding Polish licenses, based on the FPP’s belief that these companies had “operated illegally over the years and moved hundreds of millions of zlotys out of Poland.” The FPP wants the government to avoid issuing any further permits to operators deemed to have been operating illegally and to rescind permits already issued to such operators.

The FPP also believes that foreign bookies who operated in Poland’s grey market had “illegally obtained data of users and are currently directing their offers directly to” these customers. In October, Polish media reported that the Kindred Group’s Unibet brand – which has yet to obtain a Polish license – was cold-calling Polish bettors, going as far as to spoof the phone number to make it look like the call was coming from inside the country.

The Ministry of Finance has yet to respond to the FPP’s requests/demands, but the Ministry has continued to expand its blacklist of undesirable online gambling domains. The blacklist featured 4,049 domains at the end of October, and this number has risen to 4,492 as of November 21.

The newly shamed blackguards include the standard assortment of Kahnawake- and Curacao-licensed online casinos, but also several domains belonging to The Stars Group, including its PokerStars and BetStars brands.

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