In Poland, horse racing emerged out of the nation’s love for the animal, which was their meaningful companion during wars and battles in ancient times. The first documented horse race in Poland dates back to 1777, when Kazimierz Rzewulski’s mare outran Sir Charles Whitworth’s horse, who was a member of the British parliament.
The Horse Racing and Livestock Exhibition Society was launched in Poland in 1841. The society started working towards organising formal horse racing events in the country. However, the plan was put on hold due to the Uprising of 1863-64 and Warsaw’s loss of autonomy.
Despite the break, horse racing popularity did not decline, and the runners only improved in terms of skill over the years. They performed well on the domestic and international front, including the 1887 Whole Russian Derby when Ruler, a Polish stallion, won the event.
Over the years, the popularity of horse racing and betting on these events gained more popularity, making it one of the most popular sports in the country. However, there have been ups and downs between, for instance, the First World War, after which the law for horse races was introduced in 1925, and the Second World War, when Russians seized most Polish horses.
Currently, Poland is home to some very popular race courses in Europe, including the Służewiec Horse Race Track in Warsaw, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful tracks in the world. The most prominent event is the Warsaw Derby which gets entrants from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia, among others.
Betting on horse racing in Poland
Betting has been a part of Polish culture for a long time. During the 80s and 90s, the government had a lax approach towards betting, due to which the industry was mainly unregulated. At the same time, the gambling industry in Poland flourished and grew manifold, crossing the 1 billion euro mark in revenues. However, local operators only accounted for 9% to 10% of the total revenue.
This prompted the government to take some action, resulting in the first Gambling Act being introduced in the country in 2009. In a bid to regulate the betting market, the government imposed hefty taxes on the punters and the operators. As a result, many bettors steered away from the local sites and turned to international bookmakers.
How can I bet online on in Poland?
As per the Gambling Act 2009, all form of gambling was banned except sports betting. Therefore, while horse race betting is allowed in the country, the law dictates that you place wagers with local bookies only.
These local operators are required to pay a tax equivalent to 12% of the total betting revenue.
To acquire a license, the operator must register as an LLC in Poland and use a local domain. They are also required to pay a collateral and license fee upfront in addition to 12% of the betting revenue.
If you want to bet online on horse racing in Poland, you need to be at least 18 years of age. If you place bets with a local bookmaker, your winnings will also be subjected to taxes.
Currently, 15 online sports betting sites operate in Poland with a local license, including Fortuna, STS, and Totolotek. Due to high taxation, these operators do not offer lucrative bonuses or good odds. The most popular international betting sites include Stake Bet, N1 Bet, 22 Bet, etc. The international bookmakers offer better odds than the local operators, and the players are not taxed on their winnings either.
Is there any taxation on winnings from betting in Poland?
If you place a wager with a local bookie, 10% of your winnings will be deducted as taxes if the winnings exceed 2280 PLN. However, if you opt for an unlicensed offshore bookie, your winnings are not subjected to any taxes.
What are the deposit options for betting online in Poland?
Polish punters have a variety of options when it comes to payment methods. You can use debit cards, bank wire, or e-wallet options like Perfect Money, LuxonPay, Jeton, and MiFinity. Some people prefer to use pre-paid vouchers, but these cannot be used for withdrawals.