Serbia’s new gambling law, aimed at harmonising the country’s regulations with EU legislation, in particular combating money laundering, came into effect on March 11, 2020.
However, soon after on April 1, 2020 all gambling except for online was temporarily banned during the country’s state of emergency, which ended on April 27.
In December, 2020, a total of 21 regulations and rulebooks pertaining to the Gambling Act were published in the Serbian official gazette.
This secondary legislation came into force on various dates, with a few taking effect as early as December 26, 2020. One of the new rules means casinos must now keep a permanent database of visitors.
New tax calculations for casino games are effective from July 11, 2021.
There are two land-based casinos, the Grand Casino Beograd and the Fair Play Casino, also situated in the country’s capital.
However, under the new legislation the government has capped the total number of available casino licenses to 10 and has the right to issue a public consultation each time a new license is awarded.
The new law also prohibits the use of the words “casino” and similar variations of the word, such as “kasino”, from being used in any form of marketing.
Casino operators must be Serbian legal entities with a minimum share capital of the equivalent of €1m, which must be maintained throughout the period of validity of the licence.
Problem gambling prevention policies
Serbian legislation requires the organisation of games of chance to be socially responsible and organised in a manner that ensures the protection of minors and the prevention of addiction for players. Additionally, all player personal data is protected by law. Operators of games of chance are obligated to enforce the prohibition of participation of juvenile persons in the games of chance in the most effective way.
All staff working for the casino operators who have customer- facing roles are required to be fully trained in the recognition of problem gambling behaviour and the prevention of gambling addiction.
Leaflets addressing issues of gaming addiction, and featuring the contact data of an institution certified by the Ministry of Health for treating addiction, must be made available at each counter or window where games of chance are played, and a poster containing the same information must be displayed in the vicinity of the entrance door.
National legislation also requires customers to be a minimum of 18 years of age, with minors prohibited from entering any gambling facility.
Operators are required to maintain a permanent database of prohibited players and no publicity relating to gambling or special games of chance is permitted without the provision of a clear notice that the participation of minors is prohibited. Notices making clear that minors are prohibited from gaming must be displayed alongside all games.
Problem Gambling Prevention Policies
The organisation of games of chance has to be socially responsible and organised in a manner that ensures the protection of minors, prevention of addiction disease, as well as the protection of personal data of participants.
In September 2013 Grand Casino Beograd adopted the Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming in accordance with the European Casino Association’s Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming in the Casino Environment.
In July 2014 Grand Casino Beograd passed the audit for the ECA’s responsible gaming certification with an impressive performance and has been granted certification. The auditors from SGS Belgrade company were highly impressed with Grand Casino Beograd employees’ professionalism and superior engagement with the topic of social responsibility.
Responsible Gaming Project
In 2010, Grand Casino Beograd signed a Responsible Gambling Protocol with the Belgrade City Assembly, establishing its role as a socially responsible organisation addressing issues of problem gambling.
On the basis of the agreement, call centre-based hotlines were established for individuals with pathological gambling issues. Grand Casino Beograd also supported the research of the Masmi agency on player behaviour in games of chance, and on the emergence of indicators of pathological gambling. The gambling research showed that 3.6 percent of the adult population is gambling addicts, while another 2.5 percent belong in a high-risk group.
In 2013, a project titled “Gambling with life is not a game” was launched to deal with the prevention of pathological gambling, specifically aimed at high school children.
The programme was supported by Belgrade City Assembly, the secretariat for education and childcare and the Municipality of New Belgrade. Research on Belgrade youth gambling and life habits was conducted as a part of the project.
In April 2014, Grand Casino Beograd extended its cooperation agreement with the Belgrade City Assembly to conduct further educational workshop in Municipality of Zemun. With the signing of a new protocol, this project was continued in 2015 in Municipality of Stari Grad with the aim to inform young people about issues of problem gambling, its causes, symptoms and treatment. This new protocol will be extended throughout 2016 at the Municipalities of Vracar and Palilula.
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: No. Smoking in casinos is permitted at the discretion of casino operators.
Terrestrial: The Grand Casino Beograd is currently one of two licensed casinos in Serbia, with 220 electronic gaming positions and 29 table games. Casino gambling is licensed on the basis of a ten-year licence term. The number of available casino licences was limited to ten for the entire country.
Only two licences were ever awarded, both in the Belgrade area, although only one was provided for this area in the original act and tender. A licence can be renewed for a further period of ten years, upon request of the organiser and payment of a € 500,000 fee.
The act stipulates that a corporate entity will need to be based in Serbia to be eligible for a licence, have capital stock of € 1m, have a minimum deposit/bank guarantee of € 300,000 in a Serbian bank for each casino and have to ensure a risk deposit of a minimum of € 50,000 in the cash desk of the casino.
The Law on Games of Chance 2011 also required a three-year business plan and documents relating to the probity of officials, proof of at least five years’ experience in operating casinos, and a schedule for the licence tax payments.
Online: Serbia's new gambling act entered into force in December 2011 and ended the state lottery’s online monopoly, Serbian authorities have yet to issue licences.
Terrestrial:American roulette, blackjack, poker variants, slot machines
Online: Casino-type games including online slots
Online:Casino-type games including online slots
Terrestrial:Sector for exchange and foreign affairs and games of chance, Tax Administration, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Serbia.
Online:Sector for exchange and foreign affairs and games of chance, Tax Administration, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Serbia
Size of illegal gambling market:The Tax Administration of Republic of Serbia unofficially estimated that the loss to the Serbian state through illegal gambling was in excess of €6m in 2013. At the same time, unofficial estimations by the Tax Administration suggested that gray market gambling accounted for approximately 30 of total revenues in 2013.
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Website blocking, payment blocking and advertising restrictions are yet to be implemented in Serbia.
Currency : Serbian dinar (RSD)
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions):
Internet Penetration (Internet Users): 53.5%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 122%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):59
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019