September 25, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — According to a report in the Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu, gambling has become big business in Poland, with Poles likely to spend $7.63 billion on gambling this year (2008) as players spend double the time they did two years ago, and double their beer and medical budgets on gambling entertainment.
"If the upward trend continues, the gambling market will be worth as much as the mobile telecommunication sector in 2009," reported the Warsaw publication.
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 will increase by another 40 percent for 2008, or around $2.23 billion.
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 Totalisator Sportowy, the State-owned lottery company, received $1.24 billion in 2007, a rise of over 20 percent from the previous year.