In this article, we continue reviewing Eastern European countries in terms of their online gambling policy. Let’s find out the legislative peculiarities of the next ten of them.
The citizens of this country have easy access to online gambling websites (both local and foreign) due to the legality of their operation in Moldova.
Online gaming services were legalized in Montenegro in 2011, and since then gambling operators have significantly increased their clients’ base. The regulator represented by the Games of Chance Administration monitors the industry, provides hosting and financial services, as well as grants licenses to gambling companies. Among the prohibited types of gambling for international operators are card games, live casinos, and sports betting.
The online gambling market in North Macedonia is represented by local operators due to a state monopoly on this industry. Since its opening in 2014, this market has been expanding despite the EU’s strict supervision.
After a series of political scandals related to corruption in Poland, the online gaming activity was terminated in 2009. Since that time the regulator has softened the rules in order to grant gambling licenses to online bookmakers for a period of six years. With regard to operators violating the Polish legislation, they are usually not pursued by local authorities. The European Union insists on the government clarifying the situation with gambling business and demands to open the Polish gambling market.
The country’s gambling regulator (National Gaming Office) was established in 2013, and since then, online gaming operators have been able to obtain a license in Romania. An interesting obligatory condition (investing in local land-based casinos in order to get a license) is no longer applied to the operators due to the European Commission’s decision on this matter, so the only requirement left is the gambling license availability.
The online casino operation is prohibited in Russia, which is why the authorities are actively blacklisting gambling websites on the territory of the country. The Russian gambling policy is unlikely to be changed in the nearest future, so gambling operators had better find another market to enter.
Serbia implemented the gambling legislation in 2011, and its requirements are quite clear. Every online operator must have a presence in the country in order to obtain a Serbian license. Those operators that can not afford to have premises there, mostly operate illegally. That is why the regulator is blocking such companies.
Online gambling in Slovakia is legal, but local operators are unable to obtain a gambling license in the country. That is why using foreign online websites is the only thing left for Slovaks.
The Slovenian legislation does not regulate online gaming operation, which resulted in operators’ inability to legally provide their services. The only establishment to operate legally in Slovenia is the National Lottery. However, international online websites ignore the absence of regulation and operate without being interrupted by the authorities.
The Ukrainian casino game developers are known worldwide for their quality products, but, paradoxically, the online gambling ban in Ukraine is still on. Furthermore, the Ukrainian government is actively preventing any signs of gambling legislation violations by blocking illegal resources. However, the new Ukrainian authorities want to legalize gambling business in order to generate revenue to the local budget. For the time being, only the national lottery operation is legal in Ukraine.
Eastern Europe is a big market that is still in its formative stage. Online gambling legislation is likely to be implemented in each of these countries in the near future, so operators should monitor the situation and be ready for the new requirements to adhere to in order to legally operate there. In that case, they will be able to enter the new markets right after the online gambling ban’s lifting in a specific country.
The truth is that only the most flexible and fast-moving operators can capitalize on the situation. Therefore, the ones aware of all regulatory restrictions in the region will have that advantage.
As mentioned earlier, the European Betting and Gaming Association’s lawsuit against the Norwegian government received its first ruling.
Read more: Online Gambling in Eastern Europe – Part 1