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.
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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:
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.
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.