Located in southeast Europe, Serbia attracts 3 million tourists every year who come to hike in its mountains or to ski in its winter resorts. Others visit the many historic Orthodox monasteries, Byzantine fortresses, or Soviet-era monuments. An increasing number, however, come here for the casinos. And although the local gambling industry is still in its infancy, it still has a lot to offer.
Who Regulates the Serbian Gambling Industry?
The 1962 Games of Chance Act regulates all Serbian gambling and divides the industry into two. Casino games, such as table games and slot machines, fall under special games while state-owned lotteries are classified under classical games. And although a 2004 amendment legalized online gambling, it made it a government monopoly.
The monopoly lasted until 2011 when an amendment removed while at the same time created a blacklist of offshore websites. To enforce these laws, the government uses the Games of Chance Administration, which also supervises, audits, and taxes the gambling sector.
What type of Gambling is Illegal in Serbia?
You’re not allowed to access any offshore website if the government has blacklisted it. In fact, Serbian internet service providers are mandated by law to block such websites.
Is Offline Gambling Legal in Serbia?
Offline gambling is legal here, even though the law allows only 10 casinos in the country - two in the capital Belgrade and the rest elsewhere. Fortunately, operators can open as many slot machine clubs as they please.
Bingo and the lottery, both of which fall under the State Lottery, are also popular but not as much as sports betting, the most popular gambling activity here. And finally, there’s horse and greyhound racing - the least popular gambling activity because it’s limited to only the Belgrade racetrack.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Serbia?
Online gambling is legal if you play on licensed websites of which there are three categories - sports betting sites, casinos, and online lotteries. Or, you can bet on offshore websites, even unlicensed ones, without the government intervening. However, you can’t access any offshore casino that’s on the government’s blacklist.
Are Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Accepted in Serbian Casinos?
The few casinos in the country don’t accept cryptocurrencies, and no Bitcoin casino operates here, yet. To use the currency, you must bet on offshore Bitcoin websites.
What is Serbia’s Legal Gambling Age?
If you’re under the age of 18 years, you can neither enter nor cheat your way into casinos. They enforce the minimum age requirement strictly, even demanding a national ID from citizens and a passport from foreigners.
Which Requirements Should You Meet to Enter a Casino in Serbia?
Besides meeting the minimum age requirement, you must be formally dressed to enter a casino. You’ll be denied entry if you wear anything that fully or partially hides the face or body, including trench coats, hooded tops, veils, hats, helmets, and even sunglasses. Also forbidden is casual attire, such as shorts, sleeveless tops, or sandals. And interestingly enough, women wearing shoes with open toes are also denied entry.
Although the Serbian gambling industry is growing, it’s still lagging far behind similar industries in the Balkans. Today, only two large casinos operate in the country although small slot machine clubs are booming.