The Warsaw Business Journal has confirmed last week's news that the Polish government is about to take a more pragmatic and positive view on the regulation of online gambling (see previous InfoPowa report)
The Journal confirms that Deputy Finance Minister Jacek Kapica has intimated that the government plans to legalise online gambling by the end of the (2008) year, a radical change in direction from the position taken by the previous conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government, which ruled against online betting after Ministry of Finance analysts argued that the cost to the state would be too great.
The analysts claimed that any budget revenues from online gambling would be lower than expected, whereas the cost of regulating the industry would be high. However, according to Merrill Lynch estimates, gross online gambling revenues could reach as high as US$48 (zł.106) billion by 2010, making it an extremely lucrative business.
Minister Kapica had previously opined: "We cannot control this process anyway and it is better that the Budget at least derives some revenue from it."
In speculating on the issue, the Polish press has suggested that the government's change of heart was influenced by last year's European Court of Justice ruling that Italy may not use criminal law to ban fellow EU member states-based online gambling companies from attracting Italian players.
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