What penalties are players facing illegal gambling?

Despite various mechanisms that are used to limit the activity of operators offering illegal gambling games via the Internet, many entities still offer casino games and bookmakers without special permission. If a player is wondering whether or not to use the services of one of them, it is worth being aware of the penalties for participation in illegal gambling provided for by law. Firstly, they apply to all forms of illegal gambling, so regardless of whether a player makes illegal betting or gambling at an illegal online or land-based casino, he always faces high financial penalties. Second, a participant in illegal gambling may be punished both based on the gambling activities and the fiscal penal code.

As far as the gambling law is concerned, it provides for a penalty for all persons who participate in illegal gambling and it does not matter whether they were aware that the practice was illegal or not. If it is proved that the player, for example, has placed bookmakers on a website whose owner does not have a permit for such activity, the tipster must pay a penalty of 100% of the winning funds. The amount you have to pay is not reduced by the stake you place.

The second fine may be imposed based on the Fiscal Penal Code. Here, however, the player must be proven to act deliberately, i.e. the fact that he knew that he was breaking the law. If this is true, the fine could be very high. Illegal gambling can be fined up to 120 daily rates. The amount of the rate is determined by the court individually, as is the number of rates that will make up the fine. In the case of the maximum number of stakes with the highest possible amount, the player may receive a penalty of PLN 3.6 million (in 2019). And although the possibility of being sentenced to imprisonment disappeared with the amendment to the Fiscal Penal Code of 2017, the number of financial penalties should also effectively discourage people from “playing” illegal gambling.

Gambling game

Responsible Gaming Rules

The Gambling Act requires organizers of gambling games to prepare and implement the rules of responsible gaming. Land-based casinos, online casinos, and bookmakers – online and stationary – are required to do so. It is a mandatory point of applying for a permit to organize a given gambling game – the regulations must be presented with the application for a license or concession and be approved by the Minister of Finance. At the time of launching an activity (and of course afterward as well), it must be displayed in a prominent place and players should be able to familiarize themselves with it before starting the game. Its main task is to protect players from gambling addiction, and the act specifies exactly what type of information must necessarily be included in the regulations of this type.

The rules of responsible gaming certainly specify how the age of users will be verified by a given gambling organizer and how the registration of users will look like. It must also anticipate and describe the mechanisms by which users will be able to control their own game and automatically block those players who run out of funds for the game. There are also important issues regarding informing users, for example, about the organizer or the permit to gamble, about the ban on games for minors, the risk of becoming addicted to gambling, or institutions that help addicts.

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