Serbian Legal Updates
Just a couple of days ago, we mentioned that Serbia’s Association of Gambling Providers is protesting the deal between Državna lutrija Srbije and Sportingbet. Today, we have another portion of news and updates from Serbia.
Serbia’s gaming trade association – JAKTA – actually notices a high growth trend in the legal gaming industry. This is not only about revenues increasing but also new employees being hired in this area.
JAKTA sees this as the first positive results of the new law on gambling relating to the “responsible organization of games of chance.” But they also note that black and gray market gambling is still an issue to be dealt with.
Overall, this is seen as major progress in the process of legislating and introducing an online gambling regime following the ban on 70 black-listed foreign sites that happened earlier this year.
The Serbian Government will soon publish a new draft pertaining the technical requirements of online gaming. Earlier this week, JAKTA president Mirjana Acimovic said at the IV Gaming Congress in Belgrade:
“While Serbian operators are expecting new regulations regarding technical issues for online gaming, their regulators welcome this event for new ideas and best practices.”
Ever since the new rules started to be introduced Acimovic was a big propagator of the cause, saying that both she and all of JAKTA are very optimistic about the changes.
Actually, JAKTA and their president were one of the few who have encouraged the Državna lutrija Srbije and Sportingbet deal. Saying:
“[…] despite protests from the Serbian Association of Gambling Providers (UPIS), the lottery was within its rights to select Sportingbet to provide its pre-match and in-play betting platform under the terms of the ‘Right to Organize Games of Chance over the Internet’.”
Online Gambling in Serbia
Gambling in Serbia has been pretty much controlled by the government since 1979. Overall, the gambling industry in Serbia is yet to develop into a mainstream market.
All other gambling houses in Serbia (poker clubs, lotteries, sports betting, etc.) operate under license of the Office of Games of Chance. But many venues still try to operate unlicensed, which the government fights fiercely.
While operating unlicensed in a traditional way can be hard, it’s a lot easier over the internet. That’s why most Serbian gambling sites online are hosted in various parts of the world. Those are the sites that have become the latest target of the Serbian Government.
Not many sites, however, provide their services in Serbian, which can be seen as an opportunity for businesses wanting to join the market and willing to invest in setting their sites up properly.
In the end, every new business that plans to join the Serbian market should pay close attention to all the legal chances and licensing rules before making any moves. Being an unlicensed operator will become more difficult every month.