Favorable licensing conditions, a developing economy, and a population with a hunger to play are just a few reasons operators should take a closer look at Serbia. Keep reading to learn more about a country that might be worth investing in.
Serbian market overview
The Republic of Serbia is a Balkan country that was a part of Yugoslavia until 1992 and a part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro until 2006. Currently, Serbia is a parliamentary republic on the way to European Union membership.
Though Serbia has yet to be accepted into the EU, the country’s economy is slowly but surely stabilizing and improving. In recent years, the Serbian government has implemented a range of successful economic reforms, lowered unemployment, and reduced the budget deficit.
Over 78% of Serbia’s total population of 6.9 million uses the internet. For a long time, the only legal option for online casino gaming was Victory, a site run by the state-owned Serbian Lottery Company. However, the site was closed down in 2011, as state monopolies are contrary to EU law. Currently, the Games of Chance Administration lists only 21 licensed online operators.
Gambling regulation in Serbia
Gambling has been legal in Serbia since 2006. However, the country’s desire to enter the EU provided motivation to develop its gambling regulations further. In 2011, online gambling became legal, and the full regulations appeared in 2013.
The law was further amended in 2020. Today, it also includes common rules for advertisement and responsible gaming, as well as AML policies. The Serbian Games of Chance Administration has even published a rulebook describing requirements for content of the gambling advertisements, which cannot portray or target minors and must include warnings about gambling addiction.
The latest amendment has also raised taxes: operators now 15% for online sports betting and lotteries and 10% for “other special games of chance” (casino games and slots) — and 40% of all government gambling revenue goes to the Red Cross, a very worthwhile initiative. Minimum tax payments are €10,000 per month.
The licensing process in Serbia is relatively painless.
Companies applying for a gambling license have minimum share capital of €250,000, a bank deposit or guarantee of €300,000, and a daily risk cash deposit of €10,000. The land-based casino license fee is €500,000 per year, while the online casino license costs €2,500 per month.
The license is valid for 10 years, and the number of online casino licenses is not limited — unlike licenses for land-based casinos, which are capped at 10 and are only awarded after a public consultation.
For both land-based casinos and bookmaker shops, every gambling establishment should be at least 100 meters from each other and at least 200 meters from the closest pedestrian path and educational institution.
One general rule applies to both online and offline projects: the company must be registered in Serbia or any country of the European Economic Area (EEA).
It is illegal for Serbians to play on offshore or unlicensed platforms, and though the government does not actively pursue players who do so, it does maintain an ever-growing blacklist of prohibited sites.
While casino games are popular, Serbians clearly prefer sport betting. This follows naturally from a national passion for sport — Serbians are active and play a wide range of sports themselves, so it’s no surprise they are interested in following various sport events and betting on them. Football and basketball are the most popular sports to bet on in Serbia.
There are about 1,300 betting points in the country, all of them belonging to 20 companies that also operate websites to place bets online. The only horse racing company belongs to The Konjicki Savez Srbije, a state monopoly.
How to get started?
Slotegrator begins every cooperation with a free but deeply detailed consultation, because as professionals, we know that no two projects are exactly the same. Diving into the nuts and bolts of an operator’s goals and capabilities shows us exactly what the operator needs for their business to thrive.
Slotegrator’s team of lawyers helps the client pick a market according to the project’s goals and resources and acquire a gambling license.
Our familiar to many solution APIgrator was developed for easy and quick game integration. It aggregates over 5,000 titles from more than 75 partners that are available within one contract. Sportegrator from Slotegrator is a complex solution for sports betting projects that includes data feeds, CRM systems, website design, and bonus offers.
To learn more about any of those services contact our team and arrange a call.