In April of last year, we pondered the legal aspects of e-sport and stated that its status in Poland is unregulated. This situation may change with the recently published proposal to amend the Sports Act, drafted by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism.
The proposed new Art. 2(1a) of the Sports Act would expand the definition of “sport” to include “competition based on intellectual activity with the aim of achieving a sport outcome.” The reference to “intellectual activity” would include e-sport within the coverage of the Sports Act. The current definition of sport is limited solely to physical activity. This raised doubts not only as to whether sport can include e-sport, but also about disciplines like chess or checkers.
Recognition of the appearance and popularity of e-sport should undoubtedly be considered in a positive light. The proposal stresses the scale of e-sport and its long-standing development, systematic form of playoffs, and sophisticated organisation. E-sport is treated in a manner similar to chess or checkers. Their similarity is underscored with regard to physical and intellectual activity. The proposal also draws attention to the positive social aspects of e-sport, asserting that it creates opportunities for intellectual development, strengthens social relations, promotes socialisation, and can have benefits comparable to physical activity.
Regulations on e-sport are increasingly appearing abroad. It is laudable that a similar initiative has been undertaken in Poland. The draft is in the course of public consultation. Subsequent steps in the matter should be expected during the next several months. We will monitor the further course of the proposal, as the inclusion of e-sport in the Sports Act may affect the future of e-sport and e-competitors in Poland.