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Best of Ari Last

Gaming Guru

Ari Last
 

Right2Bet calls out Poland

28 April 2010

In November last year, members of the Polish cabinet were implicated in a scandal involving the country's land-based casinos. The accused were deemed to have been opposing tax hikes on the casinos based on their connections with the owners.

Fearful of the public's response to the revelations, the government spasmed into a knee-jerk reaction of farcical proportions, choosing to rush through legislation which imposed a blanket ban on all forms of online gambling.

Incredulously, in an attempt to show stern commitment to integrity and corruption-prevention, instead of focusing their attention on the politicians in question, the authorities decided to punish the innocent consumers, who would no longer able to bet freely at their own discretion.

Unsurprisingly, the European Commission took a dim view of the proposed legislation, and despite the Poles amending the bill to allow pari-mutual sports betting, it is widely accepted that the powers at be in Brussels will reprimand Poland for the bill and demand changes are made.

Blaming an open and regulated gambling market for gambling addiction and crime has been a favourite past-time of several governments looking after their own agenda. The problem with their arguments is that there is simply no concrete evidence to support them. Several independent studies have been released highlighting that a legal online gambling market poses no more, if not less, danger to the public than a highly restricted market, which in reality pushes people into the realms of the black market.

Politicians deploying blame-shifting tactics are nothing new, but when it impacts so heavily on the freedoms of their citizens it is truly unacceptable.

There are private betting operators which have been recognized as their country's major business success stories and are run by some of the commercial world's leading lights. They, along with regular law-abiding citizens who enjoy an occasional bet, need to stop being treated like hawkish, dubious individual or institutions.

Governments like Poland using tired, old and unproven stigmas to protect their own interests at the expense of those in the gambling industry need to be halted in their tracks.

Right2bet is one organization aiming to do just that, but ultimately our first line of defence is the EU Commission. We need them to rain down on the Polish government like a tonne of bricks and let them know in no uncertain terms that their new gambling bill is unacceptable.

Sign the Petition at right2bet.net.
Right2Bet calls out Poland is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Ari Last
Ari writes and reports about European gambling issues for Right2Bet, an organization dedicated to allowing EU citizens to be able to bet with whichever EU-licensed betting company they wish, regardless of in which member state that company is based.
Ari Last
Ari writes and reports about European gambling issues for Right2Bet, an organization dedicated to allowing EU citizens to be able to bet with whichever EU-licensed betting company they wish, regardless of in which member state that company is based.