Polish iGaming Scene: Analysis
From Warsaw and Kraków, to Poznań and Wroclaw - Polish citizens play more often than ever. This emerging online gaming market has been of high interest ever since it first stepped into the spotlight in the late 2010s. Even though Poland can hardly compare to developed iGaming titans such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, it would be foolish to ignore the impact the popular pastime has on everyday life in this Eastern European country.
Anna Rosak is a gaming expert and digital marketing consultant from Poland, who was there to witness the iGaming boom first-hand.
“Slot machines or scratch games are as popular in my homeland as they are anywhere else in the world. Young people partake in online poker tournaments, and those outside big cities have fun at online casinos in every way you can imagine”, she explains.
The Most Popular Casino Games in Poland
So, what are the most popular games in Poland? Rosak admits there is no official research, only some bits and pieces of data released by gaming companies, such as Microgaming.
“Although popular, online gaming is still not socially acceptable. Polish people are predominantly Catholics, and gambling is believed to be a sin. Very few people are willing to talk about it. It’s one of those things that is a public secret”, she laughs.
In her experience, online slots take the lead, usually spiced up with scratch cards. Rosak has a surprising theory to back up her statement: “In Poland, scratch cards are not exactly considered to be real gambling. It’s more of a fun activity and is perceived as less risky. That is why you’ll find many Polish players indulge in scratch cards over blackjack or even roulette. It’s all about the reputation the game has.”
Scratch cards might be universally popular, but it is another game that managed to captivate the imagination of young male audiences - poker. Peer-to-peer poker is the most popular game among younger males and shows no signs of leaving the throne for any reason.
“I guess scratch cards are not enough macho for them”, jokes Anna, “But I have to say, there are some scratch cards out there that are pretty rough and tough.”
“What’s important though is to always choose a licensed legal casino operator, or as we call them in Polish, polskie kasyno online legalne, that allows you to have a fair game.” There is only one official casino that has obtained a Polish license and it’s called Total. Total Casino is also a fine online spot to play your favorite slots or table games.
Keeping Up With the Demand - Rise of Polish Gaming Companies
Rosak stated how online gambling is a “public secret everyone keeps”, yet, she thinks this discourse will soon change. As the number of people employed in online gaming grows, the industry becomes more acceptable day after day.
“It is no longer something only young people who moved to Malta do. It is something a single mom who happens to be a copywriter does. Your best friend from high school might be working with gaming studios and creating new games, assisted by the girl in the wheelchair living on the first floor”, describes Anna.
The Polish Government also did its part in this, by motivating self-employment. One of the biggest freelancing hubs in Europe, Poland has over 3 million self-employed professionals from all lines of work. Rosak explains that digitalization and interconnectivity made opening a sole proprietorship a walk in the park, compared to all the paperwork citizens had to undergo only a few years ago.
“I believe the main mission of this initiative is to keep young people in Poland, as well as to bring in potential investors, such as online casinos, gaming companies, support centres, you name it”, she says.
Who Plays Casino Games in Poland
And finally, the question of all questions - who exactly plates online casino scratch cards, slots, and other games in Poland? Anna Rosak elaborates that the Polish online gambling community is pretty similar to that of other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Young men under the age of 40 are, in my opinion, most open to online casino gaming. However, they tend to play exclusively poker or blackjack. All other generations are focused on “lightweight” games such as slots and online scratch cards. They come with different themes, features and at different price points, which makes them a popular choice”, says Rosak.
The specialist believes women would partake in the iGaming community in larger measure if they had more time on their hands. She sees many women try gaming once the children leave the nest. “I guess there is still a lot of work to do, to make gaming more approachable for young women”, she concludes.
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