To understand the Polish online esports betting landscape, it's first important to understand the history of gambling in general.
Gambling in Poland can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s. In 1920, Polish citizens gambled casually until the first land casino was established in 1930. Several other casinos were established in the next few years, but World War II broke out before the industry went full throttle.
Poland was at the center of the war and was unfortunately annexed by the USSR in 1946. While before the war, Poland was a gambling-friendly country, the Soviets introduced a blanket ban on all forms of gambling, including betting.
The ban on gambling was around until 1955 when the government established the state-run Totalizator Sportowy, a gambling company that allows punters to wager on soccer.
In the 90s, after the collapse of the USSR, several gambling establishments were established, allowing gamblers to wager on casino games and even place bets. Sports betting became more popular among gamblers as other games, including horse racing, were brought into the mix.
The coming of esports Poland
As sports betting blossomed, betting sites introduced virtual sports, which were a favorite because they have plenty of betting markets, 24/7 and the games were short. But then, they lacked that human touch, something esports offers.
When esports started creeping into the sports betting scene, Poland was among the countries where punters embraced it. The country has several pro teams in the industry and top-rated pro athletes in divisions such as Dota 2 and CS: GO. This is one aspect that has shaped online esports betting in this country.