Poland’s regulated sports betting industry has seen its tax contribution fall 10% to PLN343.4m (£70.7m/€781.m/$92.6m) in the first six months of 2020, after the sporting calendar was significantly reduced and betting shops closed due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The struggles caused by Covid-19 were particularly pronounced in the second quarter of the year, with total gambling and lottery tax take for the three months to 30 June falling 27% to PLN188.6m.
According to Polish sports betting operator association Graj Legalnie, the second quarter period saw STS consolidate its leading position, growing its market share to approximately 50%.
This, the association said, represented a 4% improvement on Q2 2019, and showed that the business had successfully adapted to the circumstances.
For the same period, second-placed Fortuna Entertainment saw its market share decline around 7% to 25% of industry revenue. Forbet followed in third, having increased its market share by 1% to 7%.
LV Bet, Betclic Everest Group’s Betclic brand and Betfan followed with each accounting for 3% of second quarter revenue, while E-Toto, Totolotek, Totalbet, Superbet, Ewinner, Pzbuk and Noblebet collectively accounted for the remaining 9%.
Graj Legalnie said the betting industry was badly hit by Covid-19 disruption, largely through the range of betting markets being cut significantly by the suspension of sporting events.
Coupled with a 12% turnover tax – which the association is campaigning to have temporarily cut to 10% – this aggregated an industry that it describes as suffering from “chronic unprofitability”.
The pandemic is likely to accelerate the industry’s shift online, Graj Legalnie added, with some bookmakers already generating as much as 85% of revenue online.