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Liechtenstein – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
A country that spans less than 25 kilometers long and with a population of less than 40,000, Liechtenstein is a nation that often flies below people’s radar. Quietly tucked in between Austria and Switzerland, the principality has only opened up its gambling legislation in the past decade. An attempt was made to create legislation for online lotteries, which was put into effect in 2011. Unfortunately, the resulting International Lottery Liechtenstein Foundation eventually went under due to the limited profitability that could be achieved in such a small market. Since then, not much movement has been made towards providing a fully-fledged licensing body, meaning that the nation is currently considered a gray-market.
The current state of online gambling regulations in the country means that it has become the domain of sites that operate in other jurisdictions, primarily around Europe. This means that you will still be able to gain access to plenty of gambling sites, as a resident of Liechtenstein, especially at sites that already have an established foothold on the German-speaking market. As these sites are not strictly able to legally offer their services to residents of Liechtenstein, players will not be able to look towards social support programs or legal recourse, should an issue arise.
- Is the casino fully licensed?
- Do 3rd party reviews verify the integrity of the site?
- Does it accept players from Liechtenstein?
- Can you deposit using Swiss francs?
- Will you eligible for any promotions?
For those of you who are adamant about playing online, it is important that you are aware of the increased risks inherent with playing from an unregulated market. Asking yourself some questions, like the ones above, is a great start to minimizing that risk. Another step you can take is to start reading reviews, such as the ones found here at GoodLuckMate. We provide unbiased and concise online casino reviews and articles that take all of the hard work out of keeping yourself informed.
Gambling was considered completely illegal throughout the country until the Gambling Act of 2010. This act allowed for a completely legalized market that would be able to provide its own licensing. The formation of the International Lottery Liechtenstein Foundation was supposed to be the flagship that took the nation into a new age of legal gambling, however, it quickly went under due to profitability issues. This created a complete halt in the progress being made, as although the legislation is in place, the licensing body remains largely inactive.
The government has since been very quiet about any possible changes to the current situation, which has lead numerous online casinos from around the world to start allowing registrations from Liechtenstein. While not licensed by the country’s government and therefore not legal, there are no blocks on an individual from accessing them. While the small population doesn’t exactly appeal to a lot of organizations, it doesn’t stop those already catering to German-speaking audiences to also fold Liechtenstein into the market.
Localization options at online casinos tend to be pretty good for players from Liechtenstein, simply due to current saturation occurring in its neighboring countries. Germany, Switzerland and Austria are often combined to create one German-speaking market, which allows for Liechtenstein residents to enjoy many of the benefits that come with this. German language and payment options are very common throughout the industry, as are promotions and events aimed at German-speaking customers. You may however find that your eligibility for certain promotions may be limited, due to the country still being considered a gray-market.
As Switzerland is a popular market for European based online casinos, there are quite a few establishments that are able to offer Swiss francs as a supported currency. It is more likely though that you will instead be asked to set up an account with euros instead, as this is the most widely available currency in the industry, alongside US dollars. Whatever currencies the casino is able to support, you can be sure that there will be several payment methods to choose from. Payment cards and various E-wallets are particularly prominent and are very popular with players, although cryptocurrencies are also starting to become more and more popular with players.
While the legalities of online activities remain in a relatively unfinished state, the land-based sector has been able to achieve quite a bit of success. Liechtenstein is currently home to four casinos, which were kickstarted back in 2017. While this is great news for locals, it is still a far cry from what many other Europeans currently enjoy. Other smaller nations like Malta and Curaçao have been able to adapt to the industry and create big success stories as a result. Unfortunately, any momentum that was created from the 2010 act quickly lost steam when the lottery foundation collapsed. One could therefore theorize that the online casino market of the country currently remains dormant, however that is simply not the case when overseas establishments have filled the void left by the ineffective licensing legislation in place. Until the government starts looking at alternative solutions to the current situation, it appears that Liechtenstein will remain a gray-market that sees virtually no positive benefits that regulated markets enjoy.