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Gambling in Eastern Europe: Overview for 2023

Updated 17 march 2023
Online casino, Land-based solutions
Author: James Burton
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The region hosts a large number of gamers. Some Eastern European countries have already adopted liberal regulations. Others still preserve a conservative and cautious approach, though. In several territories, there are also rather high taxes for operators.

Gambling in Eastern Europe: overview

The more conservative Eastern European countries either ban gambling or impose severe restrictions on casinos and betting. However, some regulations may change in 2023. Although the markets in this territory may seem risky, they offer excellent opportunities to earn money.

Several Eastern European countries are especially interesting to look at. The most important ones are:

  • Ukraine;
  • Baltic countries;
  • Georgia;
  • Kazakhstan;
  • Armenia.

Casino Market experts will tell you more on the matter. We can also help you with opening a profitable gambling business in a promising region.

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The local entertainment sector is currently on the upswing. The government legalised the industry again in 2020, after about 11 years of ban. This action has attracted the interest of foreign operators.

The new laws offer great opportunities. They allow the opening of:

The requirements and taxes vary depending on the type of business. Much depends on the precise geographical location.

Legislation is, however, at a developing stage. The legalisation process has only begun. In addition, new draft laws should help resolve technical inconsistencies in the regulations.

Ukraine has always been an up-and-coming region for operators. Therefore, businessmen should closely monitor the situation in the state. After the pandemic-related crisis, the local gambling industry is becoming very profitable.

The Baltics

Gambling in the Baltics: peculiarities

The situation varies in different countries. There are 3 legislations:

  • Latvian;
  • Lithuanian;
  • Estonian.

Each jurisdiction has a fully legalised gambling sector. The local markets are carefully regulated. They attract the attention of players from neighbouring countries. Another advantage they have is the stable relationship between the governments and the gambling industries.

One downside is the limit imposed on advertising:


Allows some types of promotion


Permits few categories of marketing


Bans any similar activity

The crisis was felt in the Baltic states. In Estonia, demand dropped due to the pandemic. In Latvia, the ground-based casino sector suffered the most. Players turned their attention to online gambling platforms but a ban (later lifted) was imposed on wagering sites. For this reason, a decline in revenue of 45.5% was recorded.

In Lithuania, the profit drop was much smaller, at only 2.8%. The decrease in dividends from land-based casinos was offset by enlarged earnings from online gambling.

Before the crisis, all Baltic countries showed signs of growth in the wagering sector. For this reason, the markets will probably grow in the years to come.

To operate in the region, a company needs a licence:

  1. In Estonia, the document must be issued by its authorities.
  2. In Latvia and Lithuania, the studio can work with a certificate from the regulators of other countries.
  3. Those who try to circumvent these limits are quickly blocked.


In this country, the gambling sector has always been legal. Restrictions are a few and regulations are not strict. A local licence is required to open an entertainment business in Georgia. These conditions have led to the growth of the market. The turnover recorded in 2019 was 200 times higher than the profits made in 2009.

In the past, residents did not gamble much. According to a report provided by Transparency International Georgia in 2014, only 6% of citizens bet. But the trend has changed: in 2019, some local online casinos were among the 10 most popular sites in the country.

Web gambling has grown further thanks to allowed advertising. However, to open a digital amusement business in Georgia, a licence for ground-based venues is required.

The state attracts the attention of businessmen mainly because of its streamlined regulations and low fees. Such conditions are also helpful to members of the government who have interests in the country's casinos.

The situation remains stable. Sometimes new regulations are introduced, but they do not significantly affect the market. For example, in 2021, the government created new laws. These have:

  • updated the requirements for obtaining a licence;
  • introduced additional fines;
  • created a new type of permit for suppliers.


Gambling in Kazakhstan: features

Ground casinos and slot halls are legal only in limited territories. These are:

  • Kapchagay;
  • Shchuchinsk.

Online gambling is not entirely banned, but it is also not permitted. There is no method for opening a web casino in Kazakhstan. However, players can use the services of foreign platforms.

Concerning betting, previously the activity was not limited to special zones. However, in 2021, the situation changed. New regulations also introduced a unified register for all bets.

The jurisdictions of the following countries prohibit gambling:

  • Tajikistan;
  • Azerbaijan;
  • Kyrgyzstan;
  • Uzbekistan.

So, Kazakhstan is a highly attractive state for gamers from the Central Asian states. The demand is always high, and the offers are scarce.


The country hosts a firm-regulated gambling market. Recently, new laws have also been created to better control the wagering sector in Armenia. The government restricted gambling advertising on the Internet and TV.

Other limiting measures were added later. Prominent among these was the increase in taxes for gaming enterprises. The government also decided to restrict the operations of bookmakers. This attitude triggered protests in the sector. Subsequently, the Armenian authorities decided to create special gambling zones, as in Kazakhstan.

These are 4 cities:

  • Sevan.
  • Tsaghkadzor.
  • Meghri.
  • Jermuk.

The government is trying to make the sector more popular among foreigners. At the same time, it strives to limit the possibility of playing to Armenians. Therefore, the operators must continue monitoring the situation to see how residents react to the new regulations.

The Main Things about Gambling Laws in Eastern Europe in 2023

Predicting how the industry will perform is difficult. Eastern European markets are very dynamic and variable. Therefore, it is advisable to monitor the situation continuously.

Each regional country shows a unique approach to gambling. It has its laws and is subject to numerous economic and political factors that can influence the legislation. Those who follow the changes can also benefit from new opportunities in the industry.

If you want to better understand the regional wagering industry and its legal standards, contact Casino Market experts.

Our company can also help operators with such tasks:

  • decide what niche to invest in;
  • define the best countries to open a wagering business in;
  • avoid risks in East European jurisdictions while starting or running a project, etc.

We will assist you with licensing, marketing, software integration, and other important business tasks. Additionally, our team develops fully-functional online casinos from scratch. Contact our managers to learn more.

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