The Oldest Gambling Establishments in Poland

The origins of Polish gambling go back many centuries – to the times of Polish kings, who spent their evenings with the rest of the aristocracy, playing various games of chance. 

Of course, these were not as advanced games as we can see today in the most popular casinos, which Poles call  “najbardziej wypłacalne kasyno online”. Nevertheless, gambling was great entertainment for both the nobility and the working class. Polish casinos came into being much later, offering the Poles their first real gambling den.

First Casino in Poland

It all started in the first half of the 20th century, more precisely in 1920. At that time, the first land-based casino was opened in Sopot, which at that time was part of the Free City of Gdansk. 

There Poles could try their hand at traditional casino games. Admittedly, the casino was not fully Polish-owned, but it was the first casino on Polish soil. 

It was located in Sopot’s Grand Hotel, where apart from Polish gamblers, it was also possible to meet players from Germany, Austria, Great Britain and other parts of Europe. It’s worth mentioning that the casino is still in business.

The casino was thriving until the outbreak of World War II, whose actions made it impossible to continue running this gambling hall. 

After the war ended, Polish gambling became worse and worse. When the war ended, the Polish government put forward a complete ban on gambling under the threat of imprisonment and heavy fines.

No Gambling in Poland

Interestingly, even despite the strict ban, gambling in Poland did not end at all. Instead, it went underground, where it continued to thrive in private apartments and the basements of bars and restaurants, acting as a front for Polish gambling.

There, you would usually find groups of trusted gamblers who would meet secretly for a game of poker or roulette. People from all social classes, including politicians, dignitaries, and military officers, gambled there.

Gambling in Poland was illegal not only for casinos but also for sports betting. Everything changed only in 1989. 

On July 15 of that year, there was a grand opening of a casino in the Hotel Pod Różą in Krakow, which very quickly filled its cave with players from all over Poland. The casino was owned by Casinos Poland. 

It was a chain of land-based casinos, which today still remains the leading provider of land-based casinos in the Polish gambling market.

Currently, there are about 50 land-based casinos available in Poland. They can mainly be found in exclusive hotels, where guests can try their luck at games like baccarat, roulette, poker, blackjack, or gambling machines.

The Ups and Downs of Gambling in Poland

It’s a fact that Polish gambling has had its ups and downs and has constantly been at odds with the Polish government. This has been the case since World War II, and there is no indication that things will change in the near future. 

Admittedly, many things have improved since the first Polish casino was established and gambling was banned – Poles can play at land-based casinos, and place bets at bookmakers and at one Polish online casino. 

However, the matter with the remaining online casinos is still under question. One can only hope that things will soon normalize, and the government will move with the times, opening up online casinos to Polish gamblers in a straightforward manner.

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