Polish Century Casinos Extended Closure Because of COVID-19
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According to CasinoBeats, the Century Casinos have extended the closure of their operation till the 31st of January 2021. The Polish government has increased the restrictions in a bid to combat the pandemic.
Recently, there has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Poland. In December 2020, the company shut down temporarily, hoping to resume in early January. However, the latest figures show that Poland has recorded 1.44 million cases and 33,407 deaths.
The pandemic has crippled casino operations in Poland. Right now, it appears the Polish online gambling industry is performing much better than land-based casinos.
Overview of Century Casinos Poland Operations
The headquarters of Century Casinos is located in Colorado Springs, USA. Century Casinos was established in 1992. They are listed as CNTY in the NASDAQ capital market.
Century Casino offers games such as blackjack, roulette, EZ baccarat, four card poker, three card poker, ultimate Texas Hold’em poker, etc. Also, this casino offers hotels, showrooms, indoor-mini-golf, and hotel services.
Presently, Century Casinos controls about 66.6 percent of Casinos Poland Ltd., the owner and operator of eight casinos in Poland. The Century Casinos facilities are:
Casino Warsaw – Marriott Hotel, Warsaw
Casino Warsaw – Hilton Hotel, Warsaw
Casino Warsaw – LIM Center, Warsaw
Casino Wrocław – Hilton Hotel, Wrocław
Casino Bielsko-Biała – President Hotel, Bielsko-Biała
Casino Katowice – Park Inn by Radisson, Katowice
Casino Kraków – Dwór Kościuszko Hotel, Kraków
Casino Łódź – CH Manufaktura, Łódź
Similarly, Century Casinos controls 75 percent interest in Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Alberta, Calgary, Canada.
Polish Land-based Casino Industry
The government more or less monopolized the Polish gambling industry in the past. The Polish government was in charge of running the lotteries and other betting facilities. However, with the recent amendments to the Gambling Act of 2017, private entities now have a stake in the industry. The regulating agency is the Polish Ministry of Finance.
To operate a land-based casino in Poland, you must obtain a casino license. Furthermore, not more than one casino is allowed to operate in a particular city or village. It is easier to get other gambling licenses like bingo, betting operations than the casino.
More so, Poland has about fifteen casinos. Most of the casinos are located in Polish cities like Krakow, Lodz, Warsaw, Poznań, Gdynia, etc. Apart from casinos, other gambling activities in Poland are:
Casino or bingo operators cannot transfer their licenses to another company except with the Polish authority’s approval. In line with the Gambling Act 2017, only persons 18 years of age are allowed to gamble in Poland. Poland has strict rules regarding gambling. For instance, all the visitors to a casino, bingo, or slot venue must register before entering.
The Online Gambling Industry in Poland
Before 2010, there was no official regulation of online activities in Poland. The Gambling Act of 2011 prohibited any form of online gambling. Sports’ betting was the only online gambling activity permitted within Poland. After an amendment of the Gambling Act in 2017, the Polish government established a state-owned online casino called Totalizator Sportowy.
Although the Polish Gambling Act prohibits online casinos, it doesn’t expressly spell out any punishment for citizens that play foreign-based online casinos. Currently, most Polish citizens opt for online casinos that operate outside the country’s territory. Also, foreign-based casinos that accept Polish citizens often allow transactions in złoty currency.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Polish Gambling Industry
Like most countries, the revenue of the gambling for real money industry in Poland dwindled in 2020. The pandemic took away all the glitz and glamour enjoyed at the casinos. The Polish casino gambling lost a lot of revenue because its industry is dependent on land-based casinos.
At some point, most Polish bookmakers had to call for tax reduction because of the effect of COVID-19 on their businesses. Also, they recorded about 60 percent loss after the first lockdown in March.
A lot of operators are facing bankruptcy, and more than 500 staff may lose their jobs. The Polish government has also recorded a vast drop in gambling revenue.
The Future of Polish Gambling Industry
Frankly, it appears that the future of the gambling industry in Poland is in online casinos. The pandemic has disrupted the operations of land-based casinos. Creating an enabling environment for the online gambling industry to strive in Poland is the only way to redeem its gambling revenue.
For instance, about a few months ago, online gambling was prohibited in Switzerland. After their land-based revenue went down, the Swiss government had to legalize online gambling. There is no better time to legalize online gambling in Poland than now. It will create jobs, and the government revenue would skyrocket.