Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Poland wants ban on slot machines amid lobbying scandal

Poland wants ban on slot machines amid lobbying scandalFrom: M&C
Slot Machines: yea, this is the problem...
Poland's ruling Civic Platform party is working on a draft bill that will ban slot machines outside casinos and raise taxes on the gambling industry, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday.

'We propose de-legalizing a considerable part of the gambling industry,' Tusk told reporters in Warsaw. 'In the course of five years, locations with (slot) machines should disappear from Poland by 100 per cent.'

The announcement came weeks after a scandal hit Tusk's party and threatened its image one year before the country's presidential election.

The scandal saw four ministers depart on October 7 after a report alleged that they had unfairly lobbied on behalf of gambling companies to block provisions on a bill that would have increased the companies' taxes.

Tusk said the bill will outlaw slot machines - known as 'one-armed bandits' - anywhere outside of a casino, and will ban online gambling.

The draft bill would also raise taxes on slot machines from the current 180 euros a month to 480 euros a month, Tusk said, during the period of five years before they are banned entirely.

There are some 24,000 slot machines in Poland, local media said, which can commonly be found in shopping malls, fast food restaurants or bus and train stations.

The gambling industry made a profit of some 17 billion zloty (5.9 billion dollars) in 2008, up by some 40 per cent from the previous year, according to a survey on business website money.pl.