Today, we’re gonna gab about the gambling scene in Kazakhstan, touching on the nitty-gritty stuff like the legalities and regulation of the biz, not to mention the top spots to gamble. We’ll take a stroll down memory lane, looking at the history of gambling in Kazakhstan, and clue you in on the key things to keep an eye out for when choosing an online casino. We won’t forget the freebies, either – we’re talking bonuses available for Kazakhstan players – and we’ll whip up a ranking of the most popular payment methods. We’ll also shoot the breeze about different types of gambling, like sports betting and lotteries.
Best Online Casinos For Kazakhstan People
Online casinos are big news in Kazakhstan. Since there ain’t a local license, players have to take their chances in offshore joints that operate under international licenses.
No sweat, though, as long as you know how to tell a quality spot from a second-rate joint. We’ll dish out tips on how to do that in the appropriate section of the article. But for now, here’s a rundown of the best online casinos for players in Kazakhstan:
The first legit gambling games started popping up in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the 20th century. Card games and special clubs where fans could play table games like roulette became the hot ticket. When the Soviet rule took over, things changed – gambling got the boot, except for lotteries and horse racing. This ban hung around until the USSR bit the dust and Kazakhstan snagged its independence.
In the early 90s, the gambling industry started booming and spreading like wildfire. Slots parlors and small casinos sprang up all over the place, offering their services to the public. As there were no rules or regulations, these joints left a lot to be desired, hence the first attempts to get a grip on the industry. The first official casino to open its doors was the American-Kazakh joint venture ‘Mirage’ in Almaty in 1991.
The government took its sweet time to put together legislation for this sector, leaving local authorities to play by their own rules. The mayor of Almaty was one of the first to step up, announcing the need to regulate slot halls. Talk turned into action, and by 1999, a resolution was passed to define the procedure for opening slot halls, followed by a similar resolution for casinos in 2003. The first full-blown law regulating activity was the ‘Gambling Law’ of 2007. It laid out the rules for land-based casinos, bookmakers, and totalizators. The main stipulation was to move gambling spots to special zones in the Almaty region on the shores of the Kapchagay reservoir and in the Schuchinsk district of the Akmola region. The move only applied to casinos and slot clubs – bookmakers stayed put.
Legality and regulation of gambling
Today we’re gonna talk about the online casino scene in Kazakhstan, which is technically a no-go area. Just like a lot of other places, in Kazakhstan, they’ve put the kibosh on setting up servers and equipment for online casinos. That said, there’s no specific law against playing in online casinos, so punters have found a workaround with offshore joints.
Choosing the best online casinos in Kazakhstan
In this part of the article, we want to chew the fat about what you should be keeping an eye out for when you’re picking an online casino. First off, you want to make sure it’s licensed and has good player reviews. Then you need to dig into the perks on offer and whether there are convenient payment systems in place. Lastly, it’s important to find out about the customer service hours and how well the site is optimized for mobile use. We’ll get into all of this in more detail next.
Legality and Safety
Since most Kazakh gamblers are eyeballing overseas online casinos, it’s good to know what kind of licenses are out there. The big hitters when it comes to international licenses are MGA and Curacao. Most offshore casinos operate under these licenses, and they’re the ones that get the most respect. So, if a casino’s got a license from one of these bodies, you can stop sweating about safety and fairness.
If you’re feeling on the fence about picking an online casino, it’s a good idea to read player reviews. You’ll get the lowdown on how the casino treats its customers, how often conflicts arise, and how they’re dealt with. Since Kazakh punters speak Russian fluently, you might want to check out some of the big-name Russian-speaking resources. For example, casino.ru/vse-otzyvy-onlajn-kazino and affgambler.ru/reviews.
Bonuses & Promotions
Another crucial factor to consider is what the casino’s bonus policy is like. We pay a lot of attention to this in our reviews because who doesn’t love a fat bonus to play with? The better a casino’s bonus policy, the higher it ranks on our leaderboard.
Since making deposits with a bank card can sometimes be a pain, it’s important that the casino has alternative payment systems in place. This helps to keep your budget separate and makes topping up your account a piece of cake. It’s always a good idea to suss out the deposit methods before signing up to an online casino.
If you need information or run into a snag, the customer service team should be able to help you out. Round-the-clock service is pretty standard in the industry these days, so in the best online casinos in Kazakhstan, you can get in touch with the support team anytime you like. It’s a real plus if the customer service team can speak Kazakh, as it makes communication with the player a whole lot easier.
Since a lot of people prefer playing on their mobiles, top-notch online casinos will always be perfectly optimized for devices with different operating systems and screen resolutions. This includes not just game adaptation, but also an easy-to-use interface, especially for making deposits and withdrawals.
Bonuses and promotions for Kazakhs players
Now, we’d like to give you the lowdown on the different kinds of bonuses you can snag in online casinos. As a fresh-faced player, once you’ve signed up, you’ll get access to welcome packages that can help you beef up your deposit. Once you’ve tapped out the welcome bonus, you’ll get access to the whole kit and caboodle of the regular bonus program, which includes VIP systems and special races and tournaments. We’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of these bonus types with some concrete examples.
The first thing you get hit with after registration is the welcome bonus. This could be a sweet top-up to your deposit, or a handful of free spins. The best deal is a combo of these two gifts, which can even stretch across your first few deposits.
Regular Player Bonuses
For those frequent flyers of the online casino, there’s a dedicated bonus program. It includes regular reload bonuses that give your deposit a boost or dish out free spins, plus all sorts of cashback systems, VIP statuses, and more.
Races and Tournaments
A great way to spice up your gaming is to enter the races and tournaments run by the casino and its providers. Most of these are open to all players, but to get in on some of them, you’ll need a certain status in the ranking system. The rules are pretty much the same across the board – you register for the tournament, then perform the required action to score tournament points. When the tournament wraps up, you nab a prize if you’ve climbed to the top of the ranking. The higher the place, the bigger the payout.
Sports betting in Kazakhstan
Sports betting, being entirely legal, has taken off big time in Kazakhstan. Ever since the Soviet Union days, it was legal to place bets at racetracks. After gaining independence, bets on other sports also got in on the action.
At present, this industry is widespread across the country. Every city has at least one spot where it’s legal to place sports bets. The same goes for the internet, as online bookies are completely legal. Some of the most popular bookmakers in Kazakhstan include 1xBet, Parimatch, MelBet, Olimp, Winline, among others.
Sport itself is also a big deal. Traditionally, some sports enjoy particular popularity, including:
Soccer – Just like in most of the post-Soviet space, this sport tops the popularity charts. Loads of people in Kazakhstan are all over it, with just as many playing it, since there’s practically a soccer pitch in every backyard. The roots of soccer’s popularity date back to the USSR days, when well-known Kazakh footballer Evgeny Yerovenko, together with the national team, snagged the top spot at the 1988 Olympic Games.
Boxing – This contact sport has a massive fan base in Kazakhstan. The world-renowned Karaganda Boxing School has churned out more than one champ. No wonder one of the best boxers in the world, Gennady Golovkin, hails from Karaganda.
Hockey – Another mega-popular team sport which, despite Kazakhstan’s sunny weather, has earned a big thumbs up here. Kazakh hockey players are known far beyond the country’s borders. Players like Evgeny Paladiev have repeatedly clinched world championship titles.
Cycling – For many people, cycling is not just a great way to stay in shape, but also a fun pastime. A lot of Kazakhs also regularly tune in to live broadcasts of famous bike races, leading to high popularity of bets on this sport.
Weightlifting – This power sport has managed to earn a solid rep in Kazakhstan. This has been driven by the achievements of Kazakh weightlifters, who regularly bag various medals, as well as the developed sports infrastructure.
Convenient payment systems
Due to certain issues related to online casinos in Kazakhstan, some traditional deposit methods might not be a good fit for players. This primarily concerns deposits from bank cards. Some banks might knock back these transactions, but don’t sweat it, there are plenty of handy alternatives out there. That’s why we’d like to explore a few of the most popular deposit methods in Kazakhstan’s online casinos.
Most players who don’t encounter transaction issues prefer this method. It lets you top up your account at an online casino or bookmaker in just a few minutes. Many players choose it for its speedy deposit time and relative simplicity.
This is a fairly convenient method, which solves the issue of sharing your bank details. The main downside is that transactions can be slow, taking up to 5 days. The high reliability and ease of use are drawing in more and more regular players.
Recharge via SMS
This is a pretty unconventional method which, nonetheless, is used by many players. This is because a lot of people actively use mobile communications, hence often top up their mobile account. Many online casinos and bookies support this top-up method, so you can easily use it. What’s more, to carry out the operation, you just need to enter your number and confirm the transaction with an SMS code.
A handy alternative to topping up with bank cards, allowing you to not only manage your budget separately, but also to keep your bank details under wraps. Once you’ve set up your e-wallet, you can top it up using whatever method suits you, and then send money almost fee-free to anywhere in the world. The most popular e-wallets are Qiwi, WebMoney, YooMoney, Skrill, Neteller, Piastrix, and others.
Using this method will help you avoid some potential hiccups. For instance, the speed of deposit/withdrawal is extremely high, typically not exceeding 15 minutes. Plus, you’re getting complete anonymity and very low fees. Hence, more and more players are gradually shifting to depositing with cryptocurrencies.
NOTIFY Recently, cryptocurrencies got a clear definition and regulation in Kazakhstan. They’ve been classified as “property”, meaning you can own them just like any other movable and immovable property. Cryptocurrencies can’t serve as a legal means of payment, and this leads to some issues. For example, you’re unlikely to be able to buy anything in real life or online using them.
But that won’t prevent you from using cryptocurrencies for investments or topping up your online casino account. As this procedure isn’t a “purchase” in the direct sense of the word. Moreover, all online casinos in Kazakhstan are located outside the country, hence they aren’t under the jurisdiction of this law.
Popular gambling providers in Kazakhstan
Now, we’d like to chat about the most popular game providers in Kazakhstan. Being a fairly large and diverse country, many Kazakhs agree on one thing – their love for truly high-quality products. It’s hard to find providers in the list of most popular ones that just churn out copycat slots. Each provider has a serious background and develops truly unique products. Therefore, we’ve decided to compile a short list of the most popular developers:
This provider probably needs no introduction. Almost everyone who’s ever played at an online casino knows its slots. Top-notch graphics, interesting mechanics, and high winning potential – that’s why Kazakh players love this developer. And the existence of special series, such as Bonanza, only stokes players’ interest in new products.
A pretty intriguing provider that focuses on the quality of the slots it releases. At the same time, it’s a pretty productive developer, with over 300 different slots under its belt. They all share a common interface design that minimizes all “useless” elements. This greatly enhances game performance, which is especially relevant on smartphones.
A well-known Swedish developer that traditionally competes with Pragmatic Play for the title of most popular provider. In this, it’s helped by a top-tier team that carefully studies the market before launching each product. Thanks to this, the provider is largely a “trendsetter”, and many of its mechanics are actively adopted by other developers.
This is a fairly young provider, who may not boast a vast arsenal of games, but can sure brag about the great variety of ’em. Their portfolio is packed with slots beloved by many punters, as well as various table/card games, and even some unique lotteries.
This developer emphasizes the dynamism of their slots. Unique progressive mechanics come into play after a certain number of spins, bringing not just a twist to the gameplay, but some pretty sweet wins, too. All this, combined with top-notch 3D graphics, makes the gaming experience vibrant and unforgettable.
Land-based casinos in Kazakhstan
As previously noted, brick-and-mortar casinos in Kazakhstan are legal, but with a few caveats. Since 2007, all casinos have been relocated to special gambling zones located in the cities of Kapchagay and Shchuchinsk. Recently, the list of gambling zones was expanded to include Khorgos and a special zone on the Caspian Sea coast. Currently, there are over 10 licensed casinos in Kazakhstan, with the most prominent ones being:
Cash Ville Casino – This joint is the biggest casino in Kazakhstan, situated at the Rixos Borovoe Hotel & Resort in Shchuchinsk. It’s managed by the East Casino Management company and is considered a high-roller paradise. To get in, you gotta buy chips worth at least $500. Locals need to be at least 21, while foreigners can play from 18. You’ll need to flash your ID at the entrance. The gaming arsenal isn’t extravagant by global standards but it’s solid for Kazakhstan, featuring about 100 slot machines (slots from various developers, video poker) and around 50 tables for table and card games (roulette, blackjack, baccarat, oasis, Texas Hold’em, Russian poker). The casino also houses a few VIP rooms for high-stakes players, and its own poker room, where World Series Poker Tournaments have even been held.
Astoria Hotel & Casino – This casino is located in the Akmola gambling zone, specifically in the city of Kapchagay (Konaev). It’s also owned by the ECM company and is considered a high-end venue. The minimum stakes for table games are $300, and for slot machines, $50. As with the previous casino, you need to exchange at least $500 for chips to enter. The casino houses over 70 slot machines (EGT, Novomatic, Merkur) and about 35 tables for table and card games (roulette, baccarat, poker, blackjack, etc.), as well as a number of electronic roulettes from the manufacturer Alfastreet.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Kazakhstan
Lotteries are pretty popular in Kazakhstan. A good number of folks regularly take part in these draws. A standout feature of some of these lotteries are the sky-high odds of winning, although the trade-off is that the prize pots ain’t the biggest around. One of the main lottery operators is Satti Zhuldyz, which runs a few of the most popular lotteries. Let’s chat about a few of ’em now.
Lotto 5/36 – This is a popular lottery, where the odds of hitting the jackpot are a whopping 1 in 376,992 (that’s pretty high odds compared to traditional lotteries where the chances are usually 1 in several million).
After buying a ticket, which’ll set you back ₸400, you gotta pick 5 numbers between 1 and 36, or you can just let the auto-select do its thing. You can get your mitts on a ticket either at official physical locations or online. The biggest jackpot ever was a cool ₸47.14 million, won in 2020. The minimum jackpot is ₸3 million. If it ain’t won, the pot rolls over to the next draw. Draws happen thrice a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 20:55 Nur-Sultan time. There are 4 prize tiers, each getting a fixed percentage of the total prize pool.
Number of matches
> ₸3 000 000
Depends on the prize fund
Depends on the prize fund
Lotto 6/49 – This is a big lottery with a hefty prize pool. A ticket will cost you ₸300. After buying a ticket, you gotta choose 6 numbers between 1 and 49.
Besides the classic jackpot, with a minimum pot of 20 million tenge, there are other prizes up for grabs. For instance, right now there’s a Toyota Camry being raffled off – to get in on that, you need to buy at least 6 tickets in a single purchase, costing more than ₸1,800. The biggest jackpot ever was a whopping ₸110 million. Draws happen thrice a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 20:55 local time.
Compared to the previous lottery, the prize amounts here are way higher, and there are also more prize tiers.
Another popular game in Kazakhstan is poker. You can play it live in one of the many casinos located in special gambling zones. Mostly, it’s cash games on offer, but there are also regular tournaments of various sizes.
Online poker is another popular variant. It isn’t regulated by the country’s authorities, as all the poker rooms are based overseas. The government doesn’t interfere with the industry, so there are no access issues for players in Kazakhstan. The most popular rooms are PokerStars, GGpokerok, 888poker, PokerMatch, and a few others.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Kazakhstan
When we talk about the safety of online casinos in Kazakhstan, we’re really talking about the safety of international online casinos. Since setting up online casinos in Kazakhstan is a no-go, there ain’t any regulatory bodies to speak of. So, players only have offshore joints to turn to, operating under licenses like MGA and Curacao. You don’t have to sweat about the safety of these online casinos, or the fairness of the game. The licensing rules lay down the law about how the game is played and rule out any monkey business from the casino’s side.
If you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a shady deal in a licensed casino, you can take it straight to the gambling commission, just shoot ’em an email. Once you’ve sent off an email detailing what went down, you should hear back within a few weeks.
In conclusion, it’s fair to say that the gambling scene in Kazakhstan is a sort of hybrid of all the countries in the CIS. Gambling’s allowed, but there are some catches – brick and mortar casinos are only kosher in special gambling zones. Sports betting’s on offer both on-site and online, but online casinos aren’t officially regulated within the country. On the bright side, players don’t have any trouble accessing foreign poker rooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to play in online casinos in Kazakhstan?
Despite the ban on online casinos in Kazakhstan, there is no ban on playing in offshore establishments. As a consequence, any resident can play in foreign online casinos without any problems.
Are there any land-based casinos in Kazakhstan?
Yes, there are about 10 land-based casinos in Kazakhstan. All of them are located in special gambling zones.
Is sports betting legal in Kazakhstan?
Betting on sports is legal in both land-based and online formats. Almost every city has a betting shop accepting sports betting.
Is poker legal in Kazakhstan?
Offline poker can be played in any land-based casino in Kazakhstan. There are no problems with online poker either. It is not regulated, nevertheless, you will not encounter any difficulties when playing in foreign poker rooms.
Is it legal to buy cryptocurrency in Kazakhstan?
Yes, buying and owning cryptocurrency is completely legal in Kazakhstan. It is recognized as property, but not money. Therefore, you can buy it, but you can hardly use it to exchange it for any goods or services.