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Kyrgyzstan – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Kyrgyzstan is a country in Asia bordering Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, and Tajikistan. Until 1991, it was part of the former Soviet Union. Russian influences have still been evident since the country's independence. For example in Bishkek, where huge statues of Lenin can still be found on the various squares. The country is famous for its untouched nature, with impressive mountains and flower-covered valleys. Gambling is a controversial topic in the region. This is primarily due to the fact that the majority religion of the country is Islam, with Muslims accounting for up around 75% of the population while only 25% are Russian Orthodox.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find any casinos, bookmakers, or other gambling establishments in the country of Kyrgyzstan. All land-based gambling activities have been outlawed for years. Many locals are filling this void by playing over the internet at foreign-based online casinos. This is currently not prosecuted by the government but there are definitely some risks involved. This is especially true for the Muslim population of the country. Many locals look down on gambling as the Quran describes it as "abominations of Satan's handiwork". By participating in gambling, Kyrgyz might risk falling out of favor with the predominantly Muslim population. In the worst-case scenario, these kinds of activities are also punishable under Sharia law but this is not commonly applied in Kyrgyzstan. This is less of a problem amongst the Russian Orthodox community.
If you choose to play online you should take several things into consideration:
- Check the jurisdiction of the online casino
- Does the casino accept players from Kyrgyzstan?
- Do you have access to the accepted payment methods?
- Is the casino properly licensed to ensure fair gaming?
- Always use a VPN connection to access the casino
- Be aware of the legal situation and the risk involved
- The legal age for gambling in most online casinos is 18
To find out more about the best international online casinos that accept players from Kyrgyzstan, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and reviews.
In 2012, Kyrgyzstan has banned all forms of gambling and betting. President Almazbek Atambayev signed the law in order to prevent all negative impacts of gambling on people. It is called the "Law on Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts". Next to gambling, the new legislation also tackles the negative influence of tobacco and alcohol products on the mental state and the morals of people.
In theory, the gambling ban applied to both, land-based and online casinos. Previously, gambling was mostly unregulated but there were some semi-legal casinos in the country. The bigger problems were unlicensed and illegal gambling activities that were a major headache for government officials. Many people were, therefore, in support of a total ban in order to get control over the situation. This radical stance didn’t come as a total surprise because the majority of people in the country are Muslims and actively practicing Islam. As we mentioned above, gambling is considered a sin according to the Quran. For many people, then, it was just a matter of time before the government finally pulled the plug on gambling entirely.
While online casinos are banned in Kyrgyzstan it is still possible to play at foreign-based casino sites. The government has made no active efforts to block or clamp down on international casinos so far. Fines are only issued to operators if they try to illegally establish a presence in the country itself. Players that are using foreign sites to gamble are not prosecuted.
It is easy to sign up for an international online casino from Kyrgyzstan as many of them still accept players from the area. However, you shouldn’t expect any localized versions of the websites. Generally, you can choose between several languages. The best options for players from Kyrgyzstan are English and Russian, as both of these languages are commonly spoken in the country. The same restrictions apply for customer support via live chat and email.
Furthermore, there are no specific bonuses or promotions available that cater to players from this region. But this doesn’t mean that you will have to leave empty-handed. It is possible to make use of the international welcome offers in many online casinos. At most sites, players from Kyrgyzstan are fully eligible for such promotions. However, it is worthwhile checking out the bonus term and the terms and conditions just to sure.
After the ban in 2012, all official forms of gambling have come to a halt. Therefore, it is not possible to play for Kyrgyzstani som in the country anymore. There are a few foreign-based online casinos that do offer Kyrgyzstani som as a currency but this is very rarely the case. Oftentimes, it is the better choice to resort to Russian rubles, euros, or the US dollar instead. Local payment methods, such as credit cards, can still be used to deposit at these casinos but a small currency conversion fee will apply.
As previously mentioned, there are no legal casinos or other gambling establishments present in Kyrgyzstan. There are reports that some underground gambling facilities have formed once again but not a lot of information about this topic is out in the open as one might expect. In any case, we do not recommend taking part in such activities as any form of land-based gambling is punishable by law. Many foreign-based only casinos do still accept players from Kyrgyzstan however. Commonly these casinos are based in Malta, Curaçao, or Kahnawake but there are several suitable jurisdictions.