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Moldova – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The Republic of Moldova is a small country in the far East of Europe with a relatively small population of around three million. Formerly a part of the USSR, the country retains its ties with Russia and is not currently part of the EU. Unfortunately, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries on the continent, despite making a lot of progress to form beneficial trade deals with the EU. Despite the economic hardships, Moldovans still appear keen to be able to access gambling outlets to blow off some steam and enjoy some good entertainment.
More information about Moldova – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
There are plenty of regulated gambling establishments around the country, but there are currently no laws for online gambling. While the government doesn’t seem to have an issue with its population playing online, locals are only able to access sites operating from abroad, as no online operation can legally run from Moldova. As such, residents will need to access overseas sites to be able to play. Playing from an unregulated market has added risks though, as there is no government oversight or the ability to take legal recourse, should things go wrong. It is therefore important that you remain vigilant before registering any of your information with a site.
- Is the casino fully licensed?
- What is the reputation of the licensing body?
- Will you be able to use your preferred payment methods?
- Are you eligible for any offers or promotions?
- Does the site feature sports betting?
Asking yourself some questions about the site can be a great start to establishing its value and legitimacy. Keeping it locked in at sites like GoodLuckMate also gives you unprecedented access to complete reviews of countless online casinos from around the world. So, why not check it for yourself?
Gambling legislation in Moldova goes all the way back to 1918 when the activity was legalized. After being absorbed by the USSR gambling became illegal again, as was the case across the entire USSR. The Union’s collapse saw a lot of European countries regain their sovereignty and gambling became legal again in Moldova in 1990. Further legislation has since been made, such as the laws passed in 2017, to facilitate land-based establishments such as casinos and slot halls. This clearly showed the country’s openness to the activity and the government’s willingness to properly regulate it.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for online gambling, as this remains unregulated to this day. It doesn’t appear that there are any moral or societal reasons why the government has gone ahead with regulating this sector and it seems that locals are more than welcome to instead play at operations from abroad. This kind of libertarian attitude might appear to be ideal, but it in no way protects players nor does it directly benefit the country, as taxes and revenues are instead applied in the country the casino is based in.
As Moldova shares its language with Romania, which is a fully regulated gambling market, it does have the potential to find more localized content at online casinos than other unregulated markets. The main issue is that Moldova is unregulated, which gives little incentive for online casinos to dedicate time and resources to providing fully localized content. This goes for language options, payment methods, promotional material and even access to certain site features. Most sites will ask that you use their default localization settings, such as the site being displayed in English. So, while you may find a few sites that are much more geared to you due to them already having a Romanian market, generally speaking, you will need to make some compromises when it comes to localization.
Currencies with a limited adoption rate tend not to get represented very much online. As Leu is unique to Moldova, which has a small population size, it doesn’t make much sense for a site to commit to all of the necessities required for supporting the currency. That is why a couple of default currencies are instead used, which are primarily US dollars and euros. These currencies are used by multiple countries worldwide and are supported by a huge network of payment providers. No matter what country you are in, you can be sure that your local payment provider will have some sort of framework for handling US dollars, which is what makes it a must for casinos to include in their own services. Payment cards, e-wallets and various bank transfer methods are the standard payment options available at most online casinos, however, more and more have adopted cryptocurrency as an alternative method.
The legislation formed back in 2017 allowed the opening of five different land-based casinos across the country, with most of them being established in the capital of Chișinău. The recent hardships of COVID-19 have caused one of these casinos to close down, due to the dramatic drop in tourism. Numerous slot halls, ranging from classy establishments to dive bars. Essentially all forms of gambling is legal in the country, but online gambling remains in a gray-zone due to the lack of definitions made towards the activity. It also doesn’t appear that any changes will be coming soon, which is a great shame as we really believe that the country’s economy could really benefit from a fully regulated market.