Gambling has become big business in Poland with players now spending twice as much as they did two years ago and more on wagers than on beer or medical services.
According to a report from Puls Biznesu, Poles will spend $7.63 billion on gambling this year, which is more than all of the casinos in Las Vegas earn annually.
“If the upward trend continues, the gambling market will be worth as much as the mobile telecommunication sector in 2009,” reported the Warsaw newspaper.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Finance, Poles spent nearly $5.35 billion on gambling last year, a rise of 47.5 percent from 2006. It predicted that this rate would increase by another 40 percent for 2008, or around $2.23 billion, to total more than the 40 million clients in Las Vegas spend every year.
The newspaper reported that slot machines are the most popular form of gambling in Poland. There are 35,000 machines in nearly 18,000 pubs, bars and service stations. Gamblers spent $2.18 billion on fruit machines last year, nearly twice as much as in 2006, while Totalizator Sportowy, the State-owned lottery company, received $1.24 billion in 2007, a rise of over 20 percent from the previous year.