Gambling in Montenegro
Gambling in Montenegro has been legal since the moment the state proclaimed its independence in 2006. This is also when the gambling law was passed providing a statutory framework for laws and licenses, which allowed casinos and other gambling establishments to operate. Games of Chance Administration is in charge of the gambling business. The country has all forms of gambling entertainment available - from lotteries to bookmakers and casinos. Sound policies aimed at casino operations provide a great inflow of tourists into the country as well as substantial contributions into the country's budget. It must also be noted that profits from the gambling industry go to multiple social programs. Thanks to calm political and economic situation, Montenegro has also been piquing the interest among many foreign investors. The capital for the development of the gambling industry is coming from all over the world, which allows local gaming establishments to compete with the best casinos of Europe.
Casinos in Montenegro
Today casinos in Montenegro are in a state of rapidly developing. The state occupies leading positions at the level of the casino development among all states of the Balkan Peninsula. Several legal casinos and over 500 gambling houses are operating in the nation's territory, and their number has been steadily increasing. The largest casino is Maestral, which is located in the city of Sveti Stefan. The casino has 18 game tables, 133 slot machines and video poker. According to statistics, almost 40% of the country's adult population participate in gambling entertainment on a regular basis. As far as online gambling is concerned, here it has been legalised since 2011. Gambling administration has created favourable conditions (both legally and economically) for the successful development of this industry. A large number of foreign investors are making their contributions into the development of gambling business on the Internet. As a result, operators were given the opportunity to open the websites of their online casinos in Montenegro.
Gambling Games in Montenegro
Players in Montenegro prefer slot machines, including ones with progressive jackpots, and other entertainment of this sort. These are the slot machines that have been most played: Desert Treasure II by Playtech, Bonus Bears by Playtech, Line Deuces Wild by Playtech, A night Out by Playtech, Queen of the Pyramids by Playtech, Pharao’s Riches by Bally Wulff andAztec Secret by Amatic.
Organisation of gambling games and state monitoring on the territory of Montenegro is regulated by the 2006 Gambling Law. This is the legislative act that subdivides gambling into two major categories: lotteries and special types of gambling. Lotteries include: Lottery, Bingo, TV lotto and closed type lotto games, Lotto, Keno, Forecasts of sporting events, Bookmaking, Extra games in lotto and bookmaking, Video lotteries, Fonteau and other similar entertainment with draws. Special types of gambling include: Casino games, Wagering games and Slot machines. Acting legislation of the Republic of Montenegro performs the following functions: establishes the procedure for organising and running gambling games and outlines the list of relevant restrictions and mandatory requirements for organisers, gambling establishments and their visitors, establishes the procedure for issuing permits to perform the work related to the organising and running the gambling games and exposes, bans and suspends the activities of operators that are in violation of the legislation. According to the law, organisation of gambling entertainment is carried out for the purposes of meeting the public interests. It means that the proceeds from the gambling business will go to meeting the social and humanitarian needs, youth programs and other purposes established by the law. The state strictly monitors the gambling industry and oversees the compliance with laws on age of consent for gambling (18 years).
From the legislative standpoint, people controlling the gambling market must pay special attention to the mental state of the players. They must also spend enough time to counteract the legalisation of means that were amassed by criminal activities. This, in turn, should contribute to lessening the risk of criminalisation of the gambling industry, to protecting the players from any fraud and eliminating any negative aspects that might accompany gambling entertainment. Organisations registered as legal entities are the ones that have the right to be engaged in gambling business. They must obtain an appropriate registration by means of concession. Concession implies that the state grants the right to use gambling equipment and conduct gambling games to a limited liability company operating in the territory of Montenegro. In return, the state gives the joint-stock company a reward in the form of either a one-time payment or payments spread over a certain period of time. According to the legislation, a concession agreement must contain the following items:
- Name and location of the joint-stock company that provides gambling games
- Location and address of the premises that will be used for gambling
- Types of gambling games that may be run
- Commencement date
- Duration of concession and the conditions for its extension
- Amount and order of paying the concession fee
- Overseeing procedure
- Regulations concerning other rights and duties of the parties
With the concession mechanisms the state organises and conducts gambling games through a certain number of controlled operators.
The entire gambling industry in Montenegro is under the control of the state. The main regulating body is the Games of Chance Administration. All monitoring functions are conducted by an authorised officer in strict compliance with the gambling law. The officer's duties also include specific functions related to the control of gambling. The authorised officer must be present during the opening, settling up and closing of tables and slot machines in the casinos (or gaming clubs with slot machines), as well as during daily settlement of cash registers and other operations that involve gambling facilities.
Virtually any entrepreneur who decides to start a gaming business (whether offline or online) can qualify for a gambling license. Each form of gambling requires a separate certificate to be issued. For instance, the certificate for slot machines is issued for the period of 3 years with a possibility of extension for another 2 years. After the certificate expires, the documents are re-submitted and verified. To obtain the gambling license one has to go through several preliminary stages:
- To set up a limited liability company in the territory of the Republic of Montenegro. The company must be registered in compliance with the rules that are dictated by the legislation
- To prepare books and open the bank account. Also, a bank guarantee must be obtained in order to confirm solvency
- To develop a website and a system for processing payments - when it comes to online gambling
- To compile and submit an application for registration of a new casino in the jurisdiction of the state
Once these stages have been completed, a permit must be obtained from the Government of Montenegro. These are the conditions for obtaining and running a concession:
- The bank account must have at least 300,000 EUR - for casinos, or 75,000 EUR - for gaming clubs
- To have funds in a bank account in Montenegro of at least 30% of the amount of the company's fixed capital (or a bank guarantee that covers this amount) both during the period when the concession is valid and 30 days after its expiry
- The casino's cash registers have to have a daily intake of at least 50,000 EUR for every 5 tables, and for every 5 additional tables — 20,000 EUR (a casino cannot have less than five tables)
- Concessionary compensation must be paid into the state budget. One casino or one gaming establishment pays 50,000 EUR each year along with 10% of the facility's profits on a monthly basis
- Casinos are not liable to taxation
E-Gambling Montenegro is the gaming commission that makes decisions on issuing online gambling licenses. Although, there have been some bad rumours going around about this organisation. The organisation is being accused of issuing licenses to operators that were caught working with unlicensed software by NetEnt and Novomatic. However, the commission still continues its activities authorised by the government of Montenegro.
Licensed varieties of gambling
These are the types of gambling that can be licensed in Montenegro: Lotteries, Bingo, Keno, casino card games and table games, slt machines, bookmakers, online casino games and other games with draws.
Development of the Gambling Market in Montenegro
Today the gambling industry in Montenegro has been developing rapidly thanks to foreign investments. Investors are attracted with a successful combination of the resorts and pretty lenient laws on starting a casino. Foreign funding contributes to a more rapid development of both land-based and web-based gambling in the country. What's more, the nation's territory is interesting for the investors as well as for many tourists. The local authorities realize it and are trying to support gaming establishments in the country - the number exceeded the 500 mark a long time ago.
The current situation allows you to predict that the country's government will not resort to any radical changes in the legislation. The system of running the gambling industry is so efficient that it is considered as one of the best ones in the world. Each year land-based casinos, bookmakers, clubs with slot machines and lotteries are bringing into the nation's treasury over 8.28 million EUR of pure profit. What is remarkable is that all of these funds are eventually distributed among various social programs.
Online gambling in Montenegro
According to the acting legislation of the Republic of Montenegro, there are no limitations on running gambling games on the Internet. Players in Montenegro have access to multiple online casino websites run by both domestic and foreign operators. Casinos in Montenegro are normally characterised by their consistently high quality, guarantee of honesty and the latest models of slot machines. The servers that provide software for the casinos are located inside the country. Today there are 191 online casinos with an interface in both English and Montenegrin languages. All of them accept payments in Euros.