Kazakhstan, officially known as the Republic of Kazakhstan is a Eurasian country. Its territory is divided between Central Asia and a small portion of Europe. It borders Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea. Western Kazakhstan is considered part of Europe and is sometimes called European Kazakhstan. It was part of the Soviet Union until the collapse of communism there in 1991. The country is experiencing strong economic growth more recently, mainly due to the high oil prices in previous years. Despite the global recession, Kazakhstan is one of the most prosperous countries in Central Asia. Gambling has been on the rise for many years and is fully legal under certain circumstances.
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Land-based casinos are fully legal in the country as long as they are located in one of the two designated gambling zones. These areas are called Kapshagay and Schuchinsk. Locals and foreign tourists can freely participate in all gambling activities, as long as they have reached the legal gambling age of 21. Online casinos are prohibited within the country. However, international operators are not blocked by the government and are generally tolerated. As a result, you can find many foreign-based casinos online that accept Kazakh players.
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Gambling in Kazakhstan is fully legal in special zones under certain circumstances. An extensive legal framework was created with the introduction of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 219 from 12 January 2007 and later on the Law On Lotteries and Lotteries Activities from 2016 and its later amendments from 2018. As a result, all land-based gambling became legal, whereas online gambling remains prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are lottery and bingo. The legal age for gambling in the country is 21. There are several bodies responsible for the regulation of gambling activities as it stands, and these are divided up into zones. Since 2007, legal casinos can be opened only in two special zones in Kazakhstan – Kapshagay, and Schuchinsk. In 2020, it was reported that the government is considering adding three new gambling zones to the country but this has not materialized yet.
Online gambling in Kazakhstan has not really been regulated up till now. Only local online casinos are prohibited but international online casinos can still be accessed without any issues. The government has not taken any steps to block these casino sites or to prosecute any citizens playing there.
If you want to play at an international online casino from Kazakhstan, you’re in luck. There are many operators out there that provide players with a localized version for the Russian market. This comes in handy as the vast majority of Kazakhs speak Russian. Please be aware that even if a Russian version of the website is available, this might not necessarily be true for customer support. If this is of particular importance to you, it is worth checking out the customer support area before signing up at a new casino. In some cases, localized websites for Kazakhstan are also offered but we have to admit that this is quite rare.
While there usually aren’t any promotions specifically designed for the Kazakh market, you can still benefit from the lucrative international bonus offers. Oftentimes, you might have access to Russian promotions on top of that. This varies from casino to casino. Common payment methods for deposits and withdrawals are credit cards, eWallets, wire transfers, and instant banking, as well as cryptocurrencies and voucher cards.
The casinos in both designated gambling zones in the country offer the majority of their games in Kazakhstani tenge. Some of the larger gambling facilities also accept Russian rubles and sometimes even US dollars and euros, too. All of them are outfitted with ATMs and usually provide an option for currency exchange at the cashier.
You can also find several international online casinos accepting Kazakhstani tenge, but they are not as common. Sometimes casinos with Russian rubles or euros are a better option, as they potentially offer a higher level of service, better games, and more lucrative bonus offers.
Across the two gambling zones of Kapshagay and Schuchinsk, you’ll be able to find more than a dozen officially licensed land-based casinos. The vast majority of them have a relatively high standard and a decent game selection including slot machines and table games like roulette, baccarat, casino poker, and blackjack. One of the most prestigious casinos in the country is the Cash Ville Casino & Poker Club located within the Rixos Borovoe Hotel near Lake Shuchie. This is one of the casinos that is also offering cash game poker on a regular basis. In 2014, they hosted the WPT National Poker Tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000, for example.
The Casino Makao, close to the Almaty Kazakhstan, is also quite popular amongst players due to its fantastic game selection, fine dining options, and a luxurious spa facility. As previously mentioned, if you prefer to play online, your options are limited to international online casinos that are commonly based and regulated in countries such as Malta, Curaçao, Gibraltar, or Kahnawake.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.