Poland’s licensed sports betting operators expect their rapid growth of recent years to slow in 2019 as the unauthorized betting sector’s market share grows.
On Wednesday, Polish bookmakers industry advocates Graj Legalnie (Play Legally) forecast that locally licensed sports betting operators would generate turnover of PLN6.7b (US$1.75b) in 2019, which would represent a 29% rise over 2018’s PLN5.2b turnover figure.
The 29% growth rate is significantly slower than 2018’s 53% rise or the 100% growth reported in 2017, the first year of Poland’s new online sports betting licensing regime. There are currently 17 operators licensed to offer online bets in Poland, three more than at the end of 2018.
Local betting giant STS, whose president Mateusz Juroszek is also president of Play Legally, once again claimed the lion’s share of the regulated betting market at 45.4% (down 1.7 points year-on-year), followed by Fortuna Entertainment Group at 31.3% (-2.6 points) while forBET rose to third place with a 6% share (+1.6 points).
Play Legally estimated that the local market share held by internationally licensed online gambling operators serving Polish customers without local permission hit 60% in 2019, up from 48% in 2018. As ever, Play Legally blames the government’s imposition of its punitive 12% tax on locally licensed betting operator’s turnover for this setback.
Polish-licensed bookmakers will ante up an estimated PLN806m to the government in 2019, but Play Legally maintains that this tax bill could have approached PLN2b if the government would get serious about combatting unauthorized competitors.
Poland’s blacklist of unauthorized online gambling domains hit 8,308 as of December 12 — around 3,500 more than at the end of 2018 — but Play Legally believes the blacklist can’t keep up with international operators’ ability to redirect customers to new unblocked domains. Play Legally would also like to see the government get more forceful with local internet service providers who fail to comply with their site-blocking obligations.
Unibet.com, which is not licensed to operate in Poland, placed highest among the international rogues with 747k users and 1.55m page views, while the Curacao-licensed Casino-x1.com notched 317k views from 195k users.