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The Future Of Sports Betting In Eastern Europe

The Legislation which surrounds sports betting changes all the time and this is particularly the case in Eastern Europe. In this article, we are going to take you on a whistle-stop tour across the region and see what the countries there have to offer.

The Baltic states

Initially, the Gambling Act in Estonia was only being open to private operators. However, international sports betting businesses are now joining their online market. The Vital legislation was introduced in 2012, which means that foreign bookies no longer have to have servers in the country. In Latvia, the regulation dates back to 1998. The Gambling Supervisory Inspection is currently the body that issues licenses. However, there are laws which may prevent international sports betting companies to enter their market. Several online betting sites were blacklisted because of the rules, which were implemented at the beginning of 2014.


Authorities have threatened to block several international sports betting companies. However, ultimately the laws on online wagering are not enough to agitate Russian punters in this massive market.

The Balkans

This region is the heart of Eastern Europe, and part of it is Albania. There are many limits placed on sports betting, and the current plans are to begin a system that will see non-licensed companies banned.In Bulgaria, there is also a licensing system is enforced. However, authorities have set a relaxing financial requirement from bookies to strengthen the market, which means that any international sports betting provider is allowed to apply and operate.

Bosnia and Herzegovina contains a broad range of sports betting stores, as well as a large number of international providers after their attempts to block them,  was completely unsuccessful. In Slovenia, sports betting retail shops are governed by the country’s Gaming Act, online operators have absolutely no way of obtaining a license, which leaves the sector completely unregulated.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia

The bookies that now offer online sports betting in the Czech Republic are required to pay a tax, and foreign operators are barred from the market. However, the websites are not blocked. In Slovakia sports betting is not prohibited. However, no official licenses have been made by the authorities. Moreover, this has driven the customers to use international sports betting sites by customers.

What should we expect?

Eastern Europe’s sports betting market is in a stage of transition. Where previously bookies may have had almost no encouragement to co-operate and form various groups of affiliates, now they have to work together to expand their operations. For most of the cases, this goes both for regulatory bodies and the operators.

In online sports betting, the software has to operate modern platforms. This means that the securing of licensing will be even more important later on. There is a significant potential revenue stream, we might see a larger number of Eastern European countries setting up a regulatory framework particularly for sports betting.

  • Melissa Welch
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