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Kosovo – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Kosovo is a state in Europe that declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. This independence is not recognized by all countries of the world. It is still seen as an autonomous province of Serbia by many countries. Kosovo borders Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, and Serbia. The area has always been marked by war. At the time of writing, it is in a relatively quiet period, but the traces of the many wars can still be found everywhere. In recent years, the country has increasingly emerged as a tourist destination. This is particularly true in the mountainous areas, which are very popular amongst many winter sports enthusiasts. Gambling, on the other hand, has come under scrutiny due to a violent incident at a local gambling hall.
Unfortunately, players from Kosovo do not have a lot of options left to try their luck in local casinos. After the sudden gambling ban in 2019, all establishments had to shut down. For that reason, your only option is to go with foreign-based online casinos that are regulated outside the country. Currently, the government does not actively block international casino sites, but you should be aware that online gambling is technically illegal as well. We will provide you with more details later on in this article. At the time of writing, we are not aware of any fines that have been issued against players. This situation might change in the future and, therefore, it is important to know about the risks involved. If you are looking for an international online casino that accepts players for Kosovo, there are certain things that you should keep in mind:
- Check the jurisdiction of the online casino
- Does the casino accept players from Kosovo?
- Do you have access to the accepted payment methods?
- Is the casino properly licensed to ensure fair gaming?
- Be aware of the legal situation and the risk involved
To find out more about the best foreign-based online casinos that are suitable options for players from Kosovo, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and reviews.
Gambling was fully legal in Kosovo between 2004 and 2019. However, it has come under scrutiny in 2019 after a violent incident in a local gambling hall, where two people got brutally murdered. The perpetrator allegedly was a corrupt cop with ties to organized crime and the gambling industry. The previously established gambling regulations were meant to eliminate all criminal elements from gambling and to protect gamblers from moral and health concerns. After the incident, the gambling legislation was seen as a failure. As a result, the government decided to outlaw all forms of gambling in the country.
The situation is even more complicated when it comes to online casinos. Technically, they are illegal as well, but there are many foreign-based casino operators that still accept players from Kosovo. Furthermore, Serbia refuses to acknowledge Kosovo as an independent country. As a result, Serbian gambling laws would still apply in Kosovo. In practice, none of this has any effect on Kosovo Albanians that choose to play online since the government has made no effort against it. Players from Kosovo can freely access international online casinos and the government does not actively prosecute such behavior.
The legal situation of online gambling in Kosovo and Serbia is relatively complicated. For that reason, online casinos do not directly advertise their games in any of the two countries. Hence, you won’t be able to find any casinos localized in the Albanian language. This is also the case for customer support. Most players from the area chose to play on international sites as English is commonly spoken as a second language. You can make deposits at the casinos using your local payment methods such as credit cards and bank transfers without any issues. Popular alternatives amongst players from Kosovo are eWallets such as Neteller and Skrill. If you want to take advantage of any welcome offers or other promotions we recommend checking out the terms and conditions first. In some online casinos, these offers are not available to players from Kosovo.
Kosovo adopted the euro as its de facto currency in 2002. Since this is one of the major currencies in the world, it can be used for gambling all across Europe. This was also the case for local casinos in Kosovo before they had to shut down in 2019. As a result, there is no legal way to gamble for euros anymore in the country. The only alternative is foreign-based online casinos that still accept players from the area. You can find an almost endless selection of casino operators on the internet where you can play in the local currency without any issues.
Prior to the gambling ban in 2019, Kosovo had more than 130 gambling establishments all across the country. These mainly consisted of slots halls and pubs with slot machines, video poker, and similar games. There was only one genuine casino in Priština. Today, the landscape has drastically changed, for obvious reasons. The only way to gamble in Kosovo is to play at foreign-based online casinos. The biggest online casino operators that provide their services to the international market are oftentimes located and regulated in countries like Gibraltar, Malta, or Curaçao. These jurisdictions enjoy a good reputation and offer provably fair games.