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A Brief Look at Gambling in Poland Through the Ages


If you look at the current state of online gambling in Europe, there’s a thriving scene in many countries. Poland, having a rich history of gambling that many don’t know of, is among those. Gambling in Poland has a long tradition although it was banned in certain periods of the country’s history. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how the history of online gambling in this country started, today’s discussion should have everything you were looking for!

The Early Ages

Gambling in Poland is believed to have been around since medieval times with popular games like card games, dice games, sports betting events, and much more. If you hop on to Kasyno Analyzer and check any online casino reviews, you’ll see that most games are still popular in their digital versions. It’s interesting to see how the popularity of these games has remained throughout the ages. 

Poland castle

Polish nobility, known as szlachta, were key figures in promoting gambling throughout the nation. That’s why gambling symbols are found in literature, art, and popular culture. Most of the activities in the history of gambling occurred among the aristocracy. During social gatherings, wagering on card games or horse races was popular entertainment. 

However, if you peer past the aristocrats, taverns and inns were regular gathering places for the common folk to gamble on card and dice games. And just like how there’s a stigma on online gambling today, many people had a similar mindset even back then. 

During the Great Wars

Although the world was experiencing a difficult time after World War 1, gambling wasn’t affected as much in Poland. The opposite happened with the legalization of gambling. In major cities like Warsaw and Krakow, casinos and betting establishments started setting up shop. However, this wouldn’t last too long as World War 2 was soon underway. After the war ended, Poland fell under communist rule. This was a dark time in the history of Polish gambling, with heavy restrictions and bans. All casinos were shut down to control the social behavior of the Polish residents. 

But as you’d expect, this led to the formation of illegal underground gambling dens. While these places saw players regularly, such establishments also had to deal with government crackdowns. 

Post Communist Era

As communism fell, Poland was once again free to start its gambling industry. With democracy on the rise, the government felt gambling could significantly contribute to the national economy. This is why, during the 1990s, gambling regulations underwent a massive overhaul. This meant they had to take lessons from the history of gambling, monetize it and address the issues that gave it a bad reputation. It was also important to impose taxes on these new establishments to help the country’s economy. 

This started by establishing a legal authority in charge of licensing and regulating all forms of gambling. The establishments had to follow regulations to operate legally, whether in casinos, lotteries, sports betting, or slot machines. 


To bring it all under one roof, the government started monopolizing gambling activities through Totalizator Sportowy. This state monopoly is one of the many efforts to control and deal with the gambling problems that arose in the past. 

As these regulations were passed, casinos started popping up. In urban areas and tourist destinations, these gambling shops generated a lot of revenue, contributing to the country’s overall economic growth and development. So, from this, you can say that Poland was able to come a long way because the gambling sector had a hand in it. 

Dealing with the Problems in Modern Day

As there was a lot of unrest during the communist era, the Polish government had to find a way to deal with the issues to create a safe experience for interested gamblers. Looking at the state of gambling in Poland today can give us a good idea of the solutions. For instance, according to gambling regulations, physical casinos can only offer a limited number of gaming machines. There are advertising restrictions, such as not guaranteeing that players can win money directly. 


The government has also taken steps to improve the modern gambling situation. There have been attempts to restrict players from accessing offshore online casinos. Instead, the government recommends that players enjoy themselves on state-controlled online websites like Total Casino. While there’s still much to be done, the situation is improving gradually for the Polish gambling landscape. 

Finishing Up 

Hopefully, you learned a little about the history of gambling in Poland as we recounted some key highlights through the ages. With modern online gambling, there are still some issues that need to be ironed out. If these issues are addressed, it will be a much smoother experience for the next generation of Polish gamblers. 


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