On 21 October 2014, the Council of Ministers considered a draft amendment (version as of 17 October 2014) to the Polish Gambling Act dated 19 November 2009 which envisages a new opportunity for foreign gambling operators to obtain a permit or a license for conducting gambling activities in Poland. With respect to operating on the Internet, no material changes are expected. European companies will only be able to conduct betting activities in Poland under the conditions set out in the Polish permit, in the approved betting rules, and in the Polish Gambling Act.
The government’s proposed new gambling act is leaving the protection of gamblers largely in the hands of the gambling operators. Not a very good idea, according to gaming expert Sytze Kingma, lecturer at the VU Department of Organisation Sciences.
On 12 June 2015 a new law was passed which allows the National Gambling Office to ask Internet Service Providers to block unauthorized online gambling sites. On 24 June, the National Gambling Office adopted a decision not only forcing Internet Service Providers to block access to certain websites, but also requesting them to redirect the users to a certain website hosted by the Special Telecommunications Service.
Last year, ApTI together with 5 other NGOs warned that the measures proposed by the National Gambling Office are violating fundamental rights. The message was resent today explaining that the effects of such blocking measures are technically inefficient and have a serious impact on human rights.
Dutch national gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit has handed out its biggest-ever fine to two companies behind a website that has been operating illegally in the country.
A new bill that allows blocking gambling websites without a licence in the Czech Republic has been passed through the Czech Chamber of Deputies. The bill is in now the Senate who can suggest changes but these can be overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. Besides traditional reasoning of regulation’s opponents, the bill is controversial because the black list of websites will be created and maintained by decision of the Ministry of finance and not by the order of court.
According to decisions of the Swiss Parliament taken on March 1, 2017, offline and online gambling will be regulated by limiting it to a fixed number of Swiss-based operators only. Foreign online gambling sites will be considered illegal, and Internet service providers will be obliged to block these sites based on IP addresses or domain names. This is the first law in Switzerland which foresees such measures for any purpose. Critics warn about a “slippery slope” of increasing demands for Internet blocking that could even amount to censorship.