Serbia Online Casinos : Everything You Need to Know About Playing at Online Casinos in Serbia
Gambling has always been a popular pastime in the landlocked nation of Serbia, which is situated on the Balkan Peninsula. Though this tiny country boasts a small number of online casinos, the question is whether it’s safe to play in them. Read on to get to know all about Serbia online casinos, their safety, and the best way to have fun while playing your favourite games.
- Best Serbia Online Casinos
- Overview of the Online Casino Industry in Serbia
- Legal Gambling in Serbia
- The Serbia Online Casinos Regulators and Their Responsibilities
- How to Spot the Best Online Casinos in Serbia
- Serbia Online Casinos Banking and Payment Methods
- Games Played at Serbian Casinos
- Bonuses at Serbia Online Casinos
- Serbian Mobile Casinos
- History of Gambling in Serbia
- Serbia Online Casinos Conclusion
Best Serbia Online Casinos
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Overview of the Online Casino Industry in Serbia
From 1964 to 2011, the State Lottery controlled all gambling activity in Serbia, meaning that players in the country were effectively banned from their own land-based casinos. Fast forward to today, however, and you'll find two legal land-based casinos both situated in the capital, Belgrade. In addition, you’ll find slots machines everywhere, which, along with the National Lottery and sports betting, provides plenty of gambling opportunities for Serbian nationals.
Like many other countries who enjoy gambling, bingo (TV Bingo) and lotto (Lotto 7/39) are probably the most popular games. Foreign casinos without a Serbian Gaming Licence are unable to operate in Serbia.
Here at Top 10-Casinos, we only recommend operators who are happy to accept players from Serbia. They all have international and strictly enforced gaming licences, which ensure that your deposits and withdrawals are made securely, along with protecting your personal and banking information. Do watch out for restrictions on the types of bonuses and available games, however, which stem from licensing agreements between the individual software providers and the Serbia online casinos themselves.
Legal Gambling in Serbia
As a means of stimulating industrial growth across former Yugoslavia, gambling has been legal since 1964, and in 2004, online gambling became legal. Thanks to changes in the Games of Chance Act, today all forms of gambling, from sports betting to casino games, are legal for all Serbian adults over the age of 18.
In 2020, further regulations were implemented to encourage foreign casino operators to situate themselves within the country. Presently, Serbian players have the option of playing at 12 online casinos, though looking further afield, there are over 170 offshore casinos that happily accept players from Serbia.
The Serbia Online Casinos Regulators and Their Responsibilities
All gambling activity in Serbia is regulated by the Games of Chance Administration (Uprava za igre na srecu), which is an arm of the Tax Administration (Poreska Uprava), part of the Serbian Ministry of Finance. Since the country has applied for EU membership, successive governments have moved to ensure that the whole gambling industry is regulated to EU standards.
It should be noted that all casino games are tested by third-party auditors, and the Serbian Gaming Board uses the scientific research department of the Serbian military in order to test the games. An interesting fact is that the Red Cross of Serbia receives 40% of government collected revenue from the proceeds of gambling.
Licences for Serbia Online Casinos
All licensing and gambling activities throughout Serbia are overseen by The Serbian Gaming Board. Licensing requirements are strict, with a condition that the licensee needs to have a physical presence in the country. To this end, the law states that all servers being played on by Serbian players need to be physically situated in Serbia itself as well.
As of the time of writing, there are only two licensed land-based casinos in the country. A new law passed in 2020 allows for up to 10 more casinos, but so far, no companies have stepped forward.
For both land-based and online gambling, a licence costs $2,500 and is valid for 10 years, after which the operator will need to reapply. Companies will also need to show a capital stock of $1 million, as well as a minimum deposit guarantee of $300,000, which both have to be deposited in a Serbian bank.
Other conditions are the requirement of a three-year business plan, proof of the probity of directors, five years of casino industry experience, and a schedule for tax payments. That’s because all Serbia online casinos are required to pay tax, with land-based casinos paying 10% and online casinos 15%.
Measures to Protect Players
As a way to encourage safe gambling, all staff working in customer-facing roles, whether at a land-based casino or as live dealers, are required to have training in problem gambling behaviour and knowing how to recognise gambling addiction. All land-based casinos have signed the Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming in accordance with the European Casino Association’s Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming.
Serbia has also come up with a few innovative ideas to help protect gamblers, which are very similar to those developed in other European countries, such as Germany. All words associated with casinos, like “kazino”, “casino”, and kasino” are banned from use across all media advertising, along with social media platforms.
How to Spot the Best Online Casinos in Serbia
Unfortunately, as there are only 12 licensed online casinos in Serbia, there’s not a huge number to choose from. Nevertheless, you should use the same caution that you’d use with choosing any online operator, not just the ones based in Serbia. The most basic of these checks include ensuring that the casino holds a licence issued by the Serbian Gaming Board. Other things to keep in mind are:
Read the Terms and Conditions
Take your time to read through the site’s terms and conditions, as this is where all the real information is hidden. An example might be a welcome bonus that seems generous at first glance, but on reading the small print, you might find out that you won't be able to cash out any winnings. Moreover, with other bonuses, you may need to first play a huge number of wagering requirements before having any access to the bonus itself.
Check the Game Inventory
Though we were able to find all the regular casino games at Serbia online casinos, we can’t vouch for the game variants they might be offering. We suggest you check all aspects of each game before taking the plunge. This will include such factors as the RTP rate on the games (you want this to be at least above 95%), the number of slots and live dealer games, and which games providers are in partnership.
Unfortunately, many Serbia online casinos will have licensing agreements with individual providers, meaning that not all of their itinerary of games are available to Serbian players.
Serbia Online Casinos Website Security
Only play at safe Serbia online casinos. While it's true that a site displaying a Serbian licence has already been checked for security and fairness, you should also carry out some basic due diligence, including checking that they use SSL encryption as a means of keeping your personal and banking information safe.
In addition, always confirm whether the site takes responsible gambling seriously. Part of the website security should be designed to keep minors out, as well as encouraging self-imposed gambling limits and other tools to help gamblers play safely.
Players all over the world should be able to contact casino customer support at any time of the day or night if they have a query or a question. You shouldn't expect anything less from Serbia online casinos, which are all expected to offer customer service that is professional, courteous and quick.
Serbia online casinos offer support that is available 24/7 with live chat. Other means of communication include live text, email and snail mail. Keep in mind that customer support is not just there for problem solving. You can call to ask about any aspect of the casino, such as the rules of a certain casino table game or how to go about cashing out with a particular banking method.
As this is the simplest means of increasing your bankroll, you’ll want to find the largest bonus but with the fewest restrictions. After all, there’s no point in finding a huge bonus if the terms and conditions don't allow you to cash out, or the wagering requirements are completely unreasonable.
Serbia Online Casinos Banking and Payment Methods
All the traditional ways of funding your online casino account available in Western countries are accepted in Serbia online casinos. These include both Visa and Mastercard, paysafecard, and direct bank transfers, many of which are made using Trustly or Klarna.
All locally based casinos will accept the Serbian dinar (RSD). By doing so, it means that players can avoid the additional expense of exchange fees.
We should point out that for online casinos, there was a flat business tax of just 5%; however, recent legislation saw this increase to 15% and up to 10% for the two land-based casinos. As for players, there’s zero tax on their winnings, whether they are playing at a licensed Serbian casino or offshore.
Though E-wallets are a popular form of online casino payments throughout Serbia, not all online casinos based in Serbia will accept them. For those that do, Skrill and NETELLER are commonly used, as is PayPal, which would be our preferred option thanks to its inbuilt level of safety and security and usual eligibility for bonuses.
Because the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) doesn’t recognise Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as legal tender, all casinos based in Serbia are forbidden from accepting them. Though these cryptocurrencies are unregulated, the government is slowly looking at legalisation.
In the meantime, citizens are allowed to make use of them in daily life, with five Bitcoin machines in country: four in Belgrade and one in Novi Sad. Because of this, many Serbian players choose to play with their cryptocurrencies in offshore casinos, as these foreign operators are happily accepting Bitcoin more and more frequently.
Games Played at Serbian Casinos
Way back in 2009, when all gambling was under the state umbrella lottery provider, Državna Lutrija Srbije, the game developer Playtech was able to steal a lead on the competition by teaming up with this organisation to provide their games across all casinos in Serbia.
However, today, you’ll find all the major game developers, including Evolution, NetEnt, Microgaming, Wazdan and Endorphina, providing all the casino games you know and love. These include the following: slots, roulette, blackjack, sic bo, bingo, baccarat, scratch cards, craps, keno, lottery, 3-Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Video Poker, Casino Hold’em and Texas Hold’em.
After bingo, lottery and poker, slots are the next most popular game in Serbia online casinos. One of the reasons for this was that when gambling was being legalised, a distinction was made between classical games of chance and special games of chance. The result was that, though many of the casino games were forbidden to Serbian players, the slot games were not, being one of the first games open to Serbian customers.
There are presently 19 licensed slots clubs in Serbia, having 175,000 machines between them and all being located in the capital, Belgrade. They are membership establishments and all offer slots tournaments. But you’ll find slot machines everywhere in bars and pubs, though how well these are regulated appears to be a grey area.
The other reason slots are so popular are that they are so easy to play, providing that you know the rules and set yourself a budget beforehand. Of course, we should mention the winning potential, with many progressive jackpots available along with prizes literally worth millions.
Live Casino and Table Casino
Two of the largest and best online casinos Serbia has are Circus Casino and Balkan Bet, with both offering a limited range of live dealer games, including blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. In truth, live dealer games are not as popular as they are in the West. Though all the dealers speak excellent English and Russian, you’ll be hard pushed to find the Serbian language. An upside is that the games are all optimised for your laptop, portable phone or tablet.
Poker is a big deal in Serbia as well. In 2010, a poker association called Poker Savez Srbije joined the International Federation of Match Poker. In fact, every two years, the Grand Casino Beograd holds the Danube Poker Masters Series. Well-known sites like partypoker, PokerStars and America’s Cardroom have all obtained a Serbian licence in the hope of attracting customers from existing Serbian casino sites.
Bonuses at Serbia Online Casinos
As slots are far and away the most popular casino game, it’s no surprise that free spins are the most favoured bonus across Serbia online casinos. This allows players to enjoy free play, and provided they meet the wagering requirements, then in some cases they can withdraw winnings without making any deposits.
The second most popular bonus is the welcome bonus. As you might have already guessed, these, more often than not, include free spins.
Finally, there are the cashback bonuses. Though more often seen available for sportsbooks, Serbian casino players can see some funds returned from lost wagers. The amounts will depend on the actual casino’s policies, and are often tied in with their loyalty programme. Here’s a summary of some of the main bonus terms you’ll come across.
Serbian Mobile Casinos
Due to online gambling being legalised at the same time that mobile gambling was starting to pick up, you’ll find that all Serbia online casinos will have mobile platforms up and running. Many Serbia online casinos will offer gaming via a proprietary app.
Depending on which operating system you use – Apple or Android – head over to their respective stores to download apps for portable devices.
Alternatively, more and more online casinos are turning to HTML5. This allows the player to type in the casino’s URL into the browser’s address bar, and then load the actual site for instant play. All the screen functions and game play have been optimised for the small screen, giving the player an easy to navigate and immersive casino experience.
History of Gambling in Serbia
The legalisation of gambling in Serbia was brought out in the hope was that the industry might create employment, bringing in extra tax along with free-spending tourists from the surrounding countries. Because the government had a low opinion of gambling, all Serbian nationals were forbidden to enter any casino, including the country’s largest and best known, the Grand Casino Beograd. As a result, without regulation, virtually all gambling went underground where it flourished.
Before 2011, all gambling was unregulated, with many speakeasy type gambling dens littering the country. By using a carrot (5% tax on company earnings, providing their servers are in the country) and a stick (strictly blocking offshore ISPs in 2020) the government gradually bought the industry under its thumb.
Serbia Online Casinos Conclusion
To answer the question as to whether Serbia online casinos are safe, the answer is a resounding “yes.” They’re all perfectly safe as far as your personal and banking details are concerned, as they all hold a Serbian gambling licence.
For such a small country that has relatively recently started to take the gambling industry more seriously, their licensing requirements are surprisingly stringent. And to make things even more accessible, the major Serbian sites are all available in English. All offer the usual games found in any reputable online casino in the West, along with the same deposit and cash out methods.
Very much so. Since 2011, all Serbia online casinos, whether land-based or online within Serbia, need a government-issued gambling licence from the Serbian Gaming Board, the strict conditions of which ensure that the licensee is secure for customers, and the games are fair.
It’s complicated. Both online and brick-and-mortar casinos need a physical presence and gaming licence. In 2012, the Serbian Gaming Board produced a special decree which allowed for the blocking of foreign casino IP addresses. This intensified in 2020, with a list being published of 70 major online casinos that are banned. So, strictly speaking, offshore online casinos are technically off limits for Serbian players.
There has never been any punitive action taken against either players or operators, which sends a mixed message. Though this does allow all parties the freedom to play wherever they wish.
All Serbia online casinos will require a licence which is strictly regulated by the Ministry of Finance. Licensing conditions ensure that all casinos must have enough funds to fulfil all their obligations.
The time taken to receive funds after requesting a withdrawal will depend on the cash out method used, but will be more or less the same length of time you’d experience at a Western-based casino.
This very much depends on the individual Serbia online casinos. You’ll find that most offshore casinos offer free play as a given – just remember that you can’t claim any rewards for free play, and should look at this as a means of improving your game play or simply having fun.
All currencies are welcome at Serbia online casinos, but you may have to pay hefty exchange rate fees. If you’re in Serbia and playing at an offshore casino, please check if they accept the dinar, as some may not. We suggest using an e-wallet in these cases, as you may need to change your funds to Euros, Dollars or UK Pounds before you can start playing.
You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age in order to gamble at both land-based and Serbia online casinos.
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