Gambling in Monaco
Gambling in Monaco is legal for visitors. Monaco is a small sovereign state located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The first casino was opened in the middle of the 19th century. However, it was not in demand because of the uncomfortable location and eventually closed. But in 1963 gambling moved to the city of Monte Carlo where Casino de Monte-Carlo was opened. The Gambling Industry began to bring revenues to the state treasury which freed the citizens of the principality from paying taxes. And even today the native inhabitants of Monaco (Monegasques) which are only about 20% of the total population do not pay taxes. They live on grants and benefits. They are also often involved in gambling business but only as working staff. The industry is focused on tourists and brings about 7% of all revenues to the state budget.
Casinos in Monaco
Currently, 4 land-based casinos operate legally in the country: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Café de Paris, Sun Casino and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino. Gaming laws provide that all these institutions are concentrated in one city - Monte Carlo. They offer players from different countries a full range of table games (about 86 tables), as well as 985 slot machines. Here you can play the following games: blackjack, craps, American and French roulette, Punto Banco and various types of poker. Casino de Monte-Carlo is the most frequented. It holds a famous poker tournament, the European Poker Tour, every year. As for online gambling, it is not regulated by the government at the moment and residents of the country visit virtual casino websites of foreign operators. Though, this may change if France extends its gambling jurisdiction in Monaco which may lead to the introduction of strict laws and licensing rules including rules applied to land-based gambling.
Gambling Games in Monaco
The following slot machines are especially sought after in Monaco: Mega Moolah by Microgaming, Starburst by NetEnt, Koi Princess by NetEnt, Game of Thrones by Microgaming and Lightning Link by Aristocrat. There is no information about the developers of gambling software based in Monaco. It is expected that the the current trend of growth and lineal adaptation and evolution of the law to provide further protections to all participants in the industry is set to continue.
The Gambling industry in Monaco is governed by Law № 1103 of 12/06/1987. According to this regulation, almost all types of gambling are allowed. In local casinos you can find:Table games - poker, roulette, Texas Hold'em, blackjack, baccarat, craps, Trente et Quarante (30/40), Punto Banco; and also Slot machines - themed slots, digital roulette, video poker. However, the law on gambling does not mention bingo, sports betting and lotteries. Therefore, these types of games are not regulated in the country. Only those who have reached the age of 18 and have identification documents with them, can visit casinos in Monaco. Casinos are prohibited for: Local citizens, Servicemen, Priests and those who belong to a religious community, people who are in a state of intoxication or under the influence of drugs. Those whose behaviour may cause a scandal or an unpleasant incident are also not allowed and other excluded personas. Excluded from gambling halls and casinos are: People who have made a written statement, incapacitated people on the written application of their legal guardians or representatives and people who are recognised as undesirable visitors Exclusions of players for more than one year come into force after the approval of the administrator. The administrative body can always exclude a specific visitor.
The regulator of gambling in Monaco is the Gambling Authority which is under the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The Gambling Authority consists of a leader, a deputy and inspectors. These officials have the right to perform the following actions: Supervise the functioning of casinos and conduct investigations for this purpose, check operations related to gambling, control access to casinos, as well as their opening and closing times and ensuring the proper conditions for games and the appropriate behaviour of employees. If officials of the Gambling Commission see violations of the legal provisions, they have the power to act under the auspices of the prosecutor.
The Criminal Code of Monaco has a paragraph which imposes imprisonment for a period of six days to one month and a fine:
- The chairmen of the board meeting of the company that owns the license, which does not notify the administrative authority of changes in its registered capital
- Administrators or managers of the company who started their activities without special permission
- Casino operators who hired an employee without the permission of the administrative body
- Any employee who has violated his duties
- A casino operator who uses unlicensed software and equipment
Those who prevent members of the Gambling Commission from fulfilling its functions are also punishable by imprisonment for a period of one to six months and a fine.
Permission to open and run a casino may be granted only under conditions as defined in Law № 1103 on gambling. The permit must include: name and qualification of the permit owner, premises where licensed games are operated and the number of allowed table games and slots. This approval is accompanied by certification. The firm that has received permission to provide gambling entertainment must notify the administrative authority about changes in the registered capital immediately. If much of the capital changes, then a new license application must be submitted (within 15 days), as the previous one becomes invalid. A director or manager of a company that has a license cannot perform duties without providing an official permit. Casino operator cannot use content and equipment other than those models that have received official authorization. Each casino operator must submit an income report to the administrative authority. Gaming Laws are set by the Cabinet. The administrative body exercises control over the compliance and implementation of the rules for recording incomes from gambling.
Online gambling in Monaco
The government of the country rather strictly regulates the activities of land-based casinos but online gambling is hardly regulated. No one issues licenses to operators of online casinos. But this does not mean that local players cannot visit the websites of foreign operators. At present, there are no consequences or legal restrictions for companies promoting their services in Monaco. There are many online casinos that gladly accept players from Monaco, even its indigenous people. Bets on such webs are accepted in the national currency of the country - EUR - as well as in US dollars. Many developers supply their licensed games for websites operating in the country. They include: Microgaming, Betsoft, NetEnt, EGT and Novomatic.
Development of the Gambling Market in Monaco
The gambling business of Monaco is quite well developed and traditional. All activities related to the provision of gambling services here are mostly focused on tourists. Casino de Monte-Carlo, which is located in the city of Monte Carlo, is famous all over the world. Annually this institution brings considerable incomes to the state budget. The citizens of the country are not allowed to visit any land-based casinos. But the law does not prohibit them from placing bets in the virtual casinos of foreign operators. It is unlikely that any legislation amendments will be adopted in the principality in the near future. Though it is quite likely that France can expand its jurisdiction, famous for its strict laws and licensing rules for casino operators, this could influence the gambling business in Monaco. If this happens, then most likely the local players will face difficulties when visiting websites of foreign online casino operators.