eSports finally allowed in Poland
The qualification of eSports as recognised sports in Poland opened the door to their offering under local regulations.
* * *
On 14 March 2017, the Polish Council of Ministers adopted a draft law amending the Act of 25 June 2010 on Sport (accessible here). The draft is currently subject to its first reading in Parliament.
The draft introduces an extension to the existing definition of sport, supplementing the solely physical activity expressed thus far in the sports law with “competition based on intellectual activity aimed at achieving a sports result“. This extension is aimed at achieving two main goals:
- to officially recognise sporting disciplines like checkers, chess or sports bridge as sports competitions; and
- to bring eSports competitions under the jurisdiction of sports law, due to the fact that such intellectual activity is widely regarded as having similar social effects to physical activity.
Given the fact that eSports are expected to expand its global fan-base to around 345 million by 2019, this change in the law seems absolutely necessary.
As a consequence of the above, As of 1 April 2017, accepting bets on virtual events (including eSport) is expressly allowed under the Polish Gambling Act.
WRITTEN BY GIULIO CORAGGIO
IT, gaming, privacy and commercial lawyer at the leading law firm DLA Piper. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.