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An Increase in Polish Gambling

by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor

           The gambling market is growing rapidly worldwide, with Poland as the latest example of this. According to Puls Biznesu, a Polish newspaper, gambling is the cat’s pajamas of the nation. Estimates say that the country as a whole is likely to spend $7.63 billion on gambling this year, with citizens spending double the amount that was invested in gaming (twice as much as is spent on beer and medical treatment) the year before. This may be partially due to the rise of online casino gambling, and its sister facilities.

            “If the upward trend continues,” the newspaper reports, “the gambling market will be worth as much as the mobile telecommunication sector is 2009.”

            Based on figures by the Ministry of Finance, $5.35 billion was spent on gambling last year, showing a 47.5 percent increase in just one year. At this rate, the Ministry estimates that the rate will grow another 40 percent, or $2.23 billion, by the end of 2008.

            Slot machines are the game of choice in Poland, according to the newspaper, with online casino style machines in approximately 18,000 bars, pubs and gas stations. In fruit machines alone, gamers spent $2.18 billion, double the amount two years prior. The State-owned lottery, called Totalistator Sportowy, saw a revenue increase of 20 percent in 2007, amounting to $1.75 billion.

            Just one year ago, the European Court of Justice ruled to change laws regulating online casino gambling, making it so that any online gambling operator with a license would have the right to provide its service within the entire EU.