Today we will look at the situation with the gambling market in Belarus. We will learn about the legality of different types of gambling, as well as talk about their history. Consider the best casinos that accept players from Belarus, as well as tell you about our methodology for choosing a good gambling establishment. We will analyze the main types of bonuses that are available in the casino, and separately highlight the situation with the most popular payment systems. Let’s not forget about sports betting, poker, and various lotteries.
BEST ONLINE CASINOS FOR BELARUSSIAN PEOPLE
The online casino business is all above board in Belarus. The country has its own license under which some operators work.
A good chunk of the action, though, is under international licenses from the likes of the MGA and Curacao. That’s what most of the offshore online casinos in Belarus operate under. Picking out a decent casino from a dud can be tough, but don’t worry, we’ll give you the skinny on what to watch out for. But first, here’s a rundown of the best online casinos in Belarus:
Gambling in Belarus has a history dating back to the late 16th century. Under the reign of Sigismund III Vasa (1587-1632), gambling was at its peak, until the Catholic Church started pushing back. After the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Belarus falling under the control of the Russian Empire, Russian laws, mostly prohibitive, took hold. It was only during Catherine II’s reign (1762-1796) that gambling clubs began popping up in Belarus, offering card games and roulette.
This lasted until the early 19th century when Emperor Alexander I banned all forms of gambling across the Russian Empire, which, of course, included Belarus. This ban stayed in effect till the end of the 20th century as gambling was also outlawed in the Soviet Union.
Fast forward to the late 80s, the Minsk airport started to see its first slot machines. The first full-scale casino opened in 1992, after the collapse of the USSR, in the Jubilee Hotel. On October 16, 1991, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus passed Resolution No. 386, allowing the operation of gambling clubs, casinos, and bookmakers, as long as they obtained licenses from local authorities.
Then on February 9, 1998, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus issued Resolution No. 87, granting the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus the right to issue licenses for various gambling activities. Another key document is the Presidential Decree from January 10, 2005, which determined the legality of various sports and the licensing procedure. This was later supplemented in 2008. Since April 1, 2019, online casinos and bookmakers also fell under state regulation.
Legality and regulation of gambling
Right now in Belarus, all forms of gambling are above board. From brick and mortar casinos and betting shops, to online casinos, poker, a variety of lotteries, and a lot more. The terrestrial industry has been growing steadily since ’92, and has been fully regulated since ’98 when the first presidential decree came out.
Online gambling has been regulated since 2019, and there are both state-owned companies that provide access to sports betting and online casinos, as well as private enterprises. To score an official license, they gotta be based in Belarus, but a lot of online casinos prefer to operate from offshore jurisdictions.
Choosing the best online casinos in Belarus
As promised, in this section we’ll spill the beans on what to keep an eye on when choosing an online casino. To start with, you gotta check out the license status and whether it’s current, and also read reviews of the establishment. Then you gotta know what bonuses are on the table at the casino, and if they’ve got payment systems that work for you. Finally, take a look at the customer service hours and whether the site plays nice with mobile devices. We’ll dive into each of these aspects in more detail.
Legality and Safety
Since online casino activities need a license in Belarus, you gotta decide if you want to play on local sites, or go international. If you’re going with local sites, that’s a no-brainer, but for offshore online casinos, the licensing is worth a deeper dive. There’s a ton of ’em, but the ones with the most cred are licenses from the gaming commissions of Curacao and MGA.
Reading user reviews will give you the lowdown on how the casino treats its players. So, we’re always on the lookout for what folks are saying about different sites. And we pay special attention to how they handle disputes. A good casino will always meet the player halfway. You can read reviews on respected Belarusian resources like bookmaker-ratings.by, or Russian language sites: casino.ru/vse-otzyvy-onlajn-kazino and affgambler.ru/reviews
Bonuses & Promotions
In our reviews, we always take a hard look at the bonus policy of the selected casino. Right now, players from Belarus can get a variety of welcome bonuses and regular rewards. Worth a special mention are ranking programs and various tournaments run by the casino and the providers in it. We’ll chat more about all types of bonuses in the relevant section.
Different players have their own favorite payment systems. Some folks like to deposit from their bank card, while others prefer an e-wallet. There are no restrictions on using any type of payment methods in Belarus, and overall, e-commerce is thriving. So, every player will find a method that’s a good fit for them.
An easy way to get the scoop is to reach out to customer service. In a decent casino, they’re at your beck and call 24/7 and speak a whole bunch of languages, including Belarusian and Russian.
A ton of players from Belarus prefer to get their gamble on using mobile devices. This could be a smartphone or a tablet. So, we always give the site a once-over for compatibility with various devices, and we recommend you do the same.
Bonuses and promotions for Belarusian players
Players from Belarus can snag all the bonuses available at online casinos. This includes welcome bonuses, which is a special package of goodies, as well as various regular rewards. Worth a special shout-out are races and tournaments where any player can throw their hat in the ring and score an extra reward. And of course, don’t forget about the loyalty system that’s in just about every casino. We’ll chat about all these features in more detail now.
Straight off the bat after registration, you get access to the welcome bonus. This can be a top-up to your deposit, or a certain number of free spins. Lately, in the best online casinos, it’s a combo of both a top-up and free spins, and it applies to multiple deposits.
Regular Player Bonuses
After the welcome package expires, you get in on the regular bonus program. This can include a whole bunch of goodies, like a weekly reload, birthday bonuses, special cashback systems, loyalty systems, and a whole lot more.
Races and Tournaments
Getting in on tournaments is a great way to spice up your slot selection and score extra rewards. Most tournaments have some sort of condition you gotta meet. This could be simply the amount wagered or hitting the highest multiplier.
Sports betting in Belarus
Sports betting is totally above board in Belarus, having been in play and actively regulated since 2011. The Ministry of Taxes and Duties of the Republic of Belarus is the one handing out licenses, with over 30 different ones dished out so far.
As a result, you’ve got your brick-and-mortar bookies, as well as offshore betting websites serving the country. Some of the hot names in the betting game include Parimatch, Vbet, MarathonBet, MelBet, BetCity, among others. Belarus is actually one of the top dogs when it comes to progressive gambling legislation. The sports betting scene is booming, all thanks to low taxes, favorable operating conditions, coupled with tight oversight from the authorities. The government coffers are fattened annually with more than 50 million Belarusian rubles in taxes from betting shops.
The popularity of sports betting is a reflection of the huge love for sports in the country. Loads of folks engage in sports recreationally, and even more keep tabs on pro sports events. So, we’ve decided to roll out a quick rundown of the most popular sports in Belarus.
Football, or soccer for some, is the biggest game in town in Belarus. Back in the USSR days, Dynamo Minsk was a powerhouse team, even clinching the national championship in 1982. Post-USSR, many Belarusian footballers started playing for international clubs. The national team hasn’t yet managed to qualify for the World Cup, but football still holds a special place in the hearts of most Belarusians.
Hockey is another major player in Belarus. The national team has chalked up some pretty impressive results, regularly making the playoffs in world championships and the Olympics. There are over 50 ice arenas in the country, serving both budding stars and pro athletes.
Basketball is a team sport that’s played pretty much everywhere you turn. There’s a plethora of basketball courts in the country, and the Belarus Basketball Federation (BBF) does a bang-up job promoting the sport and organizing championships.
Tennis – The Belarusian team first hit the court in the Davis Cup way back in 1994. The most notable Belarusian tennis players are Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov, who smashed their way to the semifinals in 2004, beating a slew of teams from other countries. The most famous female player is Victoria Azarenka, who won a Grand Slam tournament in 2012.
Volleyball – Just like basketball, there are tons of volleyball courts in Belarus. Regular games are played by adults and kids alike. As a result, this sport enjoys a high level of popularity and widespread adoption.
Convenient payment systems
In Belarus, there are no hassles when making deposits in online casinos using bank cards, however, some players shy away from this method for a variety of reasons. Among these are the need to disclose card details, and then to verify it in most casinos. Consequently, alongside bank cards, e-wallets and specific e-commerce services are also popular in Belarus. These could be prepaid cards, or bank transfers. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 most popular methods.
The simplest and most popular way to top up your online casino account in Belarus. Just punch in your card number and CVV code, select the desired amount, and you’re good to go. Within minutes, your money will be credited to your account.
A popular alternative to bank cards. You can easily create an account on one of the e-wallets, top it up in any way that suits you, and then transfer money wherever you want, like to your online casino account. The top dogs among e-wallets are Qiwi, Webmoney, Skrill, Neteller, Yoomoney, PayPal.
This method of topping up an online casino account is available in every bank. To use it, you need to get the details of the online casino’s bank account, then make the transfer. It’s handy and safe, but there’s a catch – the transaction time is too long, taking from 2 to 5 days. But in Belarus, there are local commercial systems, like “Raschet” (Settlement), that speed up the process.
Prepaid Card Services
A somewhat less popular method that nonetheless has its own fan base. The plus side here is that you can buy a card for the desired amount in a single click, then use it for a deposit in an online casino, or to pay for purchases online. PaySafeCard is the best-known service, but a similar function is implemented in the Qiwi voucher system.
One of the simplest and most convenient methods of topping up an online casino account. To make a deposit, all you need to do is buy the desired amount of cryptocurrency and then send it to the casino account. Within 5-10 minutes, you’ll be ready to play.
NOTIFY Belarus is rightfully considered one of the most advanced countries when it comes to cryptocurrency legislation. It was the first in the world to legalize smart contracts and completely exempt individuals from paying taxes on all cryptocurrency transactions until 2023.
Thus, it’s perfectly legal in the country to mine cryptocurrency, buy and sell it, as well as use it to pay for goods or services online. As a result, you can easily use cryptocurrency for deposits in online casinos.
Popular gambling providers in Belarus
Given the gambling market in Belarus has been on the up and up for almost 30 years, local punters have developed quite the discerning eye for high-quality software. As a result, those providers delivering not only top-notch graphics but a heap of interesting mechanics to boot have come out on top. That’s how global market leaders have quickly earned the trust of Belarusian players. Let’s dive deeper into some of the most popular providers.
The undisputed industry heavyweight, dropping nothing but top-tier products. Their knack for understanding player needs has quickly elevated their popularity not just in Belarus but worldwide. Their slots and live games are a hit with rookies and veterans alike.
A bit of an oddball, originally starting out as a developer of land-based slot machines. Over time, they’ve moved online, crafting digital versions of their earthbound products, as well as a slew of new games. Their popularity in Belarus boils down to a simple fact: they’re local, so they’ve got a good grip on what their players want.
An old-school provider, churning out retro-styled goods. With land-based casinos having deep roots in Belarus, many players feel a wave of nostalgia for the old machines. Hence, they turn to this provider for a blast from the past.
A well-known Swedish developer that could give Pragmatic Play a run for its money in the industry top spot. Their arsenal brims with a diverse array of games, featuring a ton of unusual mechanics. Belarusian players have fallen hard for their variety and top-notch quality.
A Bulgarian developer of land-based games, which are a staple in Belarusian casinos. Recently, they’ve also started to venture into online casino games, lotteries, and scratch cards. Their recognizable design and solid odds of winning are the keys to understanding this provider’s popularity.
Land-based casinos in Belarus
As noted before, land-based casinos have been a growing industry in Belarus since 1992. They got their legal foundation in 1998, following the release of a corresponding presidential decree. Today, around 20 different casinos are actively operating in the country. Some of them are small joints with just a few dozen machines, while others could even be considered large by European standards. Let’s talk about some of the most popular establishments.
The biggest casino, located on the Russian border. It was initially geared towards Russian players, as it’s just a 6-hour drive from Moscow. And in Russia, casino gambling is currently banned. The game arsenal at M1 is a real heavy hitter, boasting over 350 slot machines from various developers, including modern electronic roulettes. The casino also houses around 30 tables for various table and card games, and a special VIP-zone for high rollers. Plus, they’ve got a hotel, a spa zone, and several restaurants on site.
Opera is a high-class joint located in the Beijing Hotel. The casino has a broad betting system; the minimum bet is a mere 0.01 Belarusian rubles. In total, there are over 120 slot machines, 6 card tables, and 3 tables for American roulette. The gaming area is a whopping 3,500 square meters. Besides the casino and hotel, there’s also the Louis XIII restaurant. Opera also regularly hosts lotto games, special slot promotions, and various artist performances.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Belarus
Currently, there are 32 different lotteries officially in operation in Belarus, run by two main companies: RUP “Belarusian Lotteries” and RUP “National Sports Lotteries“. Belarusians are pretty hot on the lotteries, often taking part and regularly raking in some pretty hefty prizes. Now, we’d like to delve into a few of the most popular lotteries a little deeper.
Superloto is the largest lottery from the National Sports Lotteries company, and has been up and running since 2004. To date, this lottery has paid out 197 apartments in Minsk, 743 cars, over 48 kg of gold bullion, and over 45 million BYN. Once you’ve bought your ticket, you need to scratch off the protective part. If you scratch off three numbers, you win their sum and your ticket goes into the main draw. There could also be three “TV-game” labels, which means you’re invited to the TV studio where Bingo-TV will be held.
Those who don’t make it to the studio can keep playing from home. If at least three numbers in the “bingo” field match combinations from Bingo-TV, you win a prize. The next round is the Lotto draw. Keep an eye on the balls that drop and fill in the “lotto” field. If you fill in one line of 8 numbers, you win a prize; if you fill in all 16 numbers, you hit the jackpot. The quicker you fill them in, the bigger the reward.
The draws are held every Sunday at 7:15 pm Minsk time on the 8 Minute TV channel. Tickets can be purchased both offline and on the lottery’s official website.
TO!Loto is a fairly new lottery, launched by Belarusian Lotteries on September 20, 2021. A ticket costs 5 BYN, and the potential win is 150,000 BYN. Draws are held weekly on Saturdays at 11:00 am, broadcast live on NTV-Belarus TV channel. Tickets can be bought either on the official website or from ground outlets at partners, such as Belagroprombank or Belpost. The draw consists of three main and several side rounds.
In the first round, the winning ticket is the one that gets a full horizontal line filled out on any game field (a combination of 5 numbers) before the rest. This ticket also advances to the second round draw.
In the second round, the champ is the ticket that gets either the top or bottom game field (a combination of 15 numbers) filled out before anyone else. After it’s filled, the ticket moves on to the next round.
In the third round, as well as all the ones following it (the max number is set by the organizer), the winners are the tickets that get the whole game field filled (30 numbers).
Speaking of popular types of gambling, poker should also get a shout out. You can play it at any brick-and-mortar casino in Belarus, or in the biggest online poker rooms. Among the hottest rooms, you’ll find names like PokerStars, GGPokerok, and 888poker.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Belarus
Belarus is a super solid country in terms of gambling, because all aspects are clearly laid out and monitored by government agencies. Some online casinos in Belarus have licenses issued by the Ministry of Taxes and Levies of the Republic of Belarus (MTL), so if you run into problems with them, you can reach out to this authority.
But still, most players prefer offshore casinos, which operate under MGA or Curacao licenses. In these cases, the player can also expect some protection if the casino has deceived them and violated the rules of the license. To get it, you need to email the relevant commission, describing the problem in detail. Usually, within a few weeks, you’ll get an answer and the commission’s decision.
In wrapping up, it’s fair to say that Belarus, unlike its neighbor Russia, chose to regulate the gambling market rather than ban it. This decision has borne fruit in the form of a flow of gambling tourists and an influx of money into the treasury. In Belarus, all types of gambling entertainment are legal, from land-based casinos and sports betting, to online casinos, poker, and various lotteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any land-based casinos in Belarus?
Yes, at the moment there are about 20 land-based casinos in Belarus. Some of them are located in Minsk and some in other major cities. The M1 casino, located on the border with Russia, is worth mentioning.
Are online casinos legal in Belarus?
Since 2019, online casinos are fully legal in Belarus. They can operate both under a local license and under the licenses of international commissions.
Can I play poker in Belarus?
You can, and both offline poker, which is available in any casino, and online, by registering with one of the largest poker rooms.
Is sports betting allowed in Belarus?
Betting on sports is completely legal in Belarus. You can place them in land-based bookmakers, or online.
Are there lotteries in Belarus?
There are 2 state-owned companies in Belarus, which conduct about 30 different types of lotteries. These are RUE “Belarusian Lotteries” and RUE “National Sports Lotteries”.