Following weeks of political scandal, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is determined to ban online gambling in the EU-member state.
The new legislation will outlaw all gambling that takes place outside land-based casinos, including online gambling, while imposing higher taxes on legal gambling operators. The first draft of the proposed reform will be ready in two weeks.
Internet gamblers may shrug off yet another crack down on their favorite past time, given that numerous countries have imposed heavy restrictions on internet gaming since its inception. The Polish prohibition, however, is no typical gaming ban, coming in the wake of a gambling scandal that has already cost the Polish prime minister the backbone of his government.
Four senior Polish officials have been forced to resign in recent weeks on suspicion of letting gaming industry lobbyists exert inappropriate influence on political decisions.
One of the newly unemployed politicians is Miroslaw Drzewiecki, the former Minister for Sport. His name featured on documentation published as part of "Operation Blackjack" — the investigation into the alleged corruption.
The incriminated minister for justice and the deputy prime minister also handed in their resignation letters.
Speculation is rife that Poland needs extra tax from land-based casinos to finance its joint hosting of the 2012 European Championship.
Critics argue that taxing a regulated online gaming industry would achieve the same revenue, but that the legalization route doesn't suit Prime Minister Tusk, who's now making a last ditch attempt to regain public confidence in his government.
"My colleagues and I want to do everything to convince Poles and also our opponents about our impartiality," Tusk said, leading some to conclude that Poland's internet gaming industry has fallen victim to petty interparty rivalries.
Thanks to Raven62 for the tip.