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Competition & EU law insights

Keeping you up to date on Competition & EU law developments in Europe and beyond.

| 2 minutes read

Competition Authority investigation results in changes to Polish football betting

The Polish Football Association (“PFA”) and the Polish premier league (“PPL”) have changed their settlement model with bookmakers after an investigation by the Polish Competition Authority (“PCA”).

Previously, the PFA and PPL charged a fee based on the bookmaker's total revenue, whereas now the fee is based on the bookmaker's turnover from betting on Polish football teams only.


Under the Polish gambling regulations, bookmakers offering bets on the results of Polish sports leagues and players must have the consent of the relevant Polish sports associations, and present those consents when applying for a sports betting licence in Poland. Although the Polish gambling regulations do not regulate this issue, historically all the major Polish sports associations, including the Polish Football Association,  would charge significant fees before providing their consent.

What was the problem?

Polish bookmakers complained that the calculation of those fees was unfair.

The amount charged was 0.5% of the bookmaker’s total revenue, regardless of whether the revenue was generated from games organised by the PFA and PPL or from other events. The relationship was unequal, especially in the off-season when bookmakers do not take bets on PFA or PPL events.

The PCA initiated an explanatory investigation in 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the situation became even worse, due to there being fewer Polish football matches and match results. Bookmakers also saw their revenue fall as betting declined.

The PCA tries to solve the problem

As a result of the investigation, the PCA alleged that the PFA and the PPL were abusing their dominant position.

But recently, following the conclusion of the investigation, the PCA announced that the PFA and the PPL “have changed those practices that may have constituted an abuse of a dominant position,” and indicated that the new settlement model is satisfactory from a competition law perspective. 

As a result of the investigation, a new contract with the largest Polish bookmaker, STS, was signed in 2022, under which the fees are based on the revenue generated by betting on Polish football matches only. Since then, similar contracts have been entered into with other Polish bookmakers.

Bookmakers are not completely satisfied

The President of the Bookmakers' Association has said that, while he appreciates what the PCA has done, the solution is not entirely satisfactory, as the fees still do not reflect the value of the services provided by the sports associations and are several times higher than those applied in comparable markets.

What can bookmakers do? – private enforcement

Although the investigation by the PCA ended without a firm decision, bookmakers who were charged excessive fees before the change can still pursue claims for the harm they suffered. A PCA decision on the practice being unlawful is not necessarily needed.

The short PCA announcement contains an unequivocal assessment of the fee charging practices of PFA and the PPL, and sets out the grounds for that assessment. Bookmakers, as aggravated parties, could adopt the wording of the PCA to prove before a court that the PFA’s and the PPL’s practices were unlawful.

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Marcin AlberskiSzymon Golebiowski and Stanislaw Szymanek. 



eu law, competition law, competition authority, antitrust law, polish football association, europe, poland, competition & eu law, abuse of dominance, dominance gambling, anti competitive fees, media entertainment and sport