Gambling Business in Serbia: The Path From a State Monopoly to Foreign Investors

The gambling business in Serbia is of interest to many investors. After all, this is not a plowed field, where there are all the possibilities to create online casinos with additional functions of online betting promotions. It is known that gambling here acquired the status of legal in 1964, even during the existence of Yugoslavia. At that time, gambling was monopolized by the state. In this article, the reader will get acquainted with the Serbian gambling industry.

Legislative Regulation

Nowadays, the gambling business is under the control of the Gambling Authority (GCA), as well as the department of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Serbia, which are engaged in issuing licenses, which, in turn, makes a separate contribution to removing illegal operators from the shadows. The legalization of gambling allows you to track tax returns and payments between organizations and players, and the accounts of illegal operators are simply blocked. Also, GCA and the Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Serbia carry out monitoring, audit, regulation, and taxation tasks. The predominant part of the casino is located in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade.

As for the online sector, in 2012 a law was passed, according to which gambling operators are required to move servers to Serbia, otherwise the site will be blocked. It is known that no action has been taken against the local population for participating in gambling in online casinos with a foreign license. The main efforts of regulators are aimed at stopping the activities of offshore sites without a license.

In the same year, many obligations were removed from gambling. In the past decades, the gambling business has undergone too strict restrictions on the part of the state. The Serbian State Lottery (Državna Lutrija Srbije) was endowed with a monopoly. Only she was allowed to offer online gambling. Changes in the adopted law, which interested foreign investors, primarily affected the tax rate, which now amounts to 5% of gross income for operators with a license issued for a period of 10 years. In those same years, an active struggle against the black market began. As of 2013, the turnover from illegal gambling was 6 million euros.

Obtaining a License and Basic Conditions for Opening a Doo

To obtain a gambling license, you must fulfill the following basic conditions:

  • Make a deposit of 150 thousand euros to a bank account in Serbia.
  • Pay 2,500 euros monthly for the right to offer online gambling.
  • Register the site on a local server.
  • For land-based casinos, register the company as a limited liability company.
  • Have capital in the amount of 250 thousand euros, as well as a risk deposit in the amount of 10 thousand euros.
  • Carry out appropriate registration for subsequent monitoring of taxation processes.

It is worth clarifying separately about a limited liability company, or DOO (Drustvo sa ograničenom odgovornošću). The opening of a DOO begins with the appointment of a director and the determination of the company name, which is reserved by the future applicant by submitting an application. According to the information provided, at the moment the booking period reaches 60 days. The authorized capital of a private company with a DOO is 100 dinars, the number of shareholders is a maximum of 50.

Why Serbia Is Attractive to Foreign Investors

For most investors from other countries, the creation of gambling business in Serbia is interesting for the following reasons:

  • Low taxes.
  • The ability to create a subsidiary or branch here.
  • Serbia provides various tax incentives.
  • Country location.

The Most Popular Gambling Destinations

Today, almost all popular types of gambling (card, poker tournaments, sports betting, slot machines, roulette games) are legal. Sports betting is very popular, especially in football. A wide range of sports disciplines became available to Serbian players after the major operator, operating in the territory, signed an agreement with SBTech in 2013 to update their betting platforms.

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