Gambling in Luxembourg
Gambling in Luxembourg is illegal unless a specific acivity is expressly made legal under statute. Article 1 of the Gambling Law dated April 20, 1977 imposes a total ban on gambling in the country. Subsequent regulatory acts make an exception for certain establishments and trends of the gambling industry. The online gambling industry is also keen to take a significant market share. As of 2017, there is one casino and one National Lottery network operating in Luxembourg. The government, which was formed not that long ago, is planning on legalising some new casinos. Even though the amendments in this regard have been under review ever since 2012, the process has apparently been sluggish. In one year, slot machines have been yielding the revenue of 38 million EUR. The overall proceeds of the Luxembourg casino are 21 million EUR. Over 400,000 people visit the establishment each year. The online market is not regulated for the most part. Luxembourg's gambling industry is the third most profitable in the EU. The gambling industry in UK, by the way, is the fourth most profitable.
Gambling Games in Luxembourg
Below is a list of the slots that are most popular in Luxembourg: Immortal Romance, Castle Builder II,Jurassic World, Wild Toro, Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel and Shangri-La. Immortal Romance by Microgaming is a five-reel slot that features 243 ways to produce winning combinations. The bonus can make all 5 reels go totally Wild. Four types of free spins will be triggered in sequence and will feature all kinds of multipliers with bonuses. Castle Builder II by Rabcat is a five-reel slot that features a storyline. As the game progresses, you have to build a castle and travel through kingdoms. Jurassic World by Microgaming is a five-reel slot that features 243 ways to produce winning combinations. Three types of free spins feature some bonuses and multipliers. A special dinosaur bonus will multiply your reward up to 1,000 times. Wild Toro by Elk Studios is a five-reel slot that features 178 ways to produce winning combinations. The slot features two kinds of Wild symbols, re-spins and an opportunity to apply an automated betting strategy. Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel by NetEnt is a five-reel slot that comes with 10 paylines. You have a chance to get some re-spins with Wild symbols, random bonuses and three bonus games with free spins and instant rewards. Shangri-La by NextGenis a five-reel slot that comes with 15 paylines. The game features Wild reels, free spins of two types and two interactive games where you choose objects and search for treasure.
The main law that regulates the gambling industry in Luxembourg is the Gambling Law that has been in force since April 20, 1977. Its first Article explicitly prohibits all gambling because it may cause irrational and destructive behaviour. Nevertheless, there is a list of laws and regulations that cover individual trends of the gambling industry:
- The National Lottery Law that was passed May 22, 2009 sets the rules for running the National Lottery. Only the National Lottery can conduct any types of lotteries and sports betting, including online versions
- Grand-Ducal Regulation of September 7, 1987 regulates sports betting
- By Grand-Ducal Regulation of February 12, 1979 with regular amendments casinos were legalised and the list of licensed games compiled
- The Law of July 20, 2002 provides the list of rules for advertising and running the lotteries of any type
There are only two major operators in Luxembourg. One is the National Foundation of Grand Duchess Charlotte (Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte). The other one is Casino 2000 located in the spa resort Mondorf-les-Bains. In 2002 the Luxembourg casino launched an active program of protection from gambling addiction. The entire staff goes through regular training. The training program on how to spot problematic players is updated each year. Today the Casino 2000 program is considered the best in the European Union.
Ministry of Justice issues permits to private operators that provide their services on sports betting, casinos and lotteries. If the overall cost of lottery tickets issued is less or equal to 12,500 EUR, the permit is then issued by the Council of Elders (Collège des Bourgmestre et Echevins) or the municipality where the lottery is conducted. Regulation of the National Lottery is exclusively monopolised by the National Foundation of Grand Duchess Charlotte. This is a non-profit organisation subordinate to Prime Minister and Minister of State. The proceeds from the National Lottery go to charity. Casino 2000 is the only holder of the casino license. If there is another candidate for running a gambling business in Luxembourg, the Council of State will conduct an investigation and issue a permit as long as the operator meets all the necessary requirements.
Licenses are issued for a limited term. The term is determined by the issuing authority - either Ministry of Justice or local authorities. No license fees are collected. The permit includes: a list of licensed games.measures of control and monitoring of the operator, conditions for accessing the gaming establishment, work schedule and tax rates. The License will be revoked if the operator fails to comply with any of the requirements indicated above. The license application must include information about the operator, the operator's financial condition and a description of games being offered. The statement must also be enclosed that explains how the games that are being offered will be beneficial for the community. What it means is that the games will not undermine the existing balance of supply and demand in the gambling market.
Licensed varieties of gambling
These are the types of games that are allowed in Luxembourg: poker (four types - small bets, stud poker, Texas Hold'em and Omaha Poker), sport betting - any types or forms, casino games, slot machines - only allowed in casinos and lotteries and bingo games. All types of poker can only be played in casinos. The Government of Luxembourg signed an agreement with poker organisers. They are allowed to conduct any events on any sites (such as bars, for example), as long as bets go no higher than 50 EUR. Casino games include: roulette games, American roulette, English roulette, thirty and forty (Trente et Quarante), blackjack, craps, punto banco, stud poker and baccarat of three types (baccarat chemins de fer, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque limitée et l'écarté, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque ouverte) Other games are authorised by the Council of State after a proper investigation has been conducted.
As far as online gambling is concerned, the existing laws do not differentiate between land-based and online games. They are subject to the same rules that are applied to land-based operators. In practice the only legal brand in Luxembourg is the National Lottery. The lottery law directly prescribes that the National Foundation has the right to offer any forms of lotteries and sports betting including online types. So, online business is in fact a state monopoly. This situation contradicts the provisions of the European Union, but the Government of Luxembourg does little to rectify this. Still no information is available on whether there is any new bill that covers gambling, especially online. No complains have ever been filed against the Luxembourg laws, and the European Commission has no reason to launch an investigation.
Development of Gambling Market in Luxembourg
Zitro is a Spanish company based in Luxembourg. The company deals with both land-based and online slots, bingo and video bingo. The company's portfolio contains about a dozen slots that operate on two platforms. The list has a lot more bingo games - about 60 different versions, many of them featuring some extra options and bonuses. London-based iSoftBet company has its second office in Luxembourg as well. The company is a developer of slot machines, whose portfolio contains more than 70 different slots and casino games. The company has also designed its own game aggregation platform. Luxembourg has a long history of the gambling industry, which started back in 1880, when Bourgeois casino opened up in the capital of the Principality. Its successor - Casino 2000 in Mondorf-les-Bains - has had its since 1980. The modern-day gambling industry all across the world needs to pay special attention to the online segment. Luxembourg authorities have chosen a quite reasonable approach, because they cannot afford to ban or block any of the illegal resources. Foreign operators can provide an unimpeded access to their services for the people of this country. All in all, the gambling industry in Luxembourg has been undergoing a steady and successful development.