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Polish Casino and Card Room Gaming

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the regulation of casinos and gaming machines in Poland. Until April 2003, there was no legal distinction in the Polish gaming law between slot machines and AWPs (amusement with prizes machines). The amendments to the 1992 Gaming Law define low-payoff (AWP) machines as having a maximum bet of EUR 0.07 and the maximum payout of EUR 15. A limit of three machines per location is allowed under a single license. Licenses are valid for six years and cost EUR 1,000. Slot machines with higher payouts may only be located in slot halls or casinos, and low-payout machines can only be located in designated low-payout machine outlets.

Polish casinos are required by law to have a minimum of four table games, and slot halls must have a minimum of 15 machines. A casino license costs EUR 300,000; a slot hall license costs EUR 150,000. Both licenses are valid for six years.

The number of casinos allowed in each area of Poland is determined by its population size. Towns or cities with less than 250,000 inhabitants can have one casino, with one more establishment allowed for every 250,000 residents thereafter. A town with less than 100,000 residents can have one slot hall, with the permitted number increasing by one for each 100,000 inhabitants thereafter.

In March 2007, an amendment was passed to allow up to five video lottery terminals, in addition to the three AWP machines currently allowed per location. Operators were to pay a tax of 20% until the end of 2008, when rates were to rise to 30% through 2017. AWP owners pay a flat rate of EUR 125 per machine.

In May 2008, an amendment to the Act on Games and Mutual Wagering outlawed poker in Polish casinos. Tournament poker is allowed to take place in casinos with permission from the Ministry of Finance.

In November 2009 the Polish government passed a comprehensive set of amendments to the gaming legislation. One of the main points was the plan to keep slot machines contained in casinos and eliminate slot halls and AWP machines. The government would not renew slot hall and machine licenses once they expire, the machines would disappear when the last of the licenses expired in five years. Rural locales will only be allowed to have a casino if their population is at least 650,000 for the district, non-sanctioned poker games were banned, and casino tax was raised to 50%.

Starting in 2015 and into 2016, the last of the AWP and slot hall licenses expired, resulting in AWPs being completely phased out and slot hall revenue dropping by over 95%. The last slot hall closed in June 2016.

Polish Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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