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.
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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:
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.
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.