Casinos and gambling in Belarus

Popularity of Belarusian casinos began to grow when Russia banned gambling except in areas designated for this purpose. Therefore, most of the players in the Belarusian casinos are Russians who come to their neighbour to get some weekend entertainment.



History of casinos in Belarus

Gambling in Belarus began to develop after the declaration of its independence on August 25th 1991. The first piece of legislation regulating gambling “On the procedure of giving out special permits (licenses) for certain activities and state registration of enterprises conducting business without creating a legal entity”was released by the Belarusian Council of Ministers on October 16th, 1991. With the approval of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, special program on the development of the gambling industry, casinos began to spread throughout the country. Before there were proposals to create special gambling zones such as the one in Russia, but because of the fear that the industry will stop developing they were rejected. The more is that by limiting the availability of casinos in RUssia, many wealthy player from this country come to Belarus to play in casinos.

In contrast to its neighbours, Russia and Ukraine, Belarus opens another casinos and does not limit their availability. Players from Russia enjoy them during their visits.

Legal Regulations
Licenses to conduct gambling in Belarus are issued by the Ministry of Taxes and Customs of the Republic of Belarus.The current regulations on gambling are included in the Presidential Decree No. 450 “On licensing certain activities” from September 1st 2010.Prior Ministry of Sport and Tourism of Republic of Belarus was giving out licenses. In Belarus there is no monopoly when it comes to casinos. There are several casino operators, including foreign ones such as Olympic Casinos, Storm International and the company”, “Novo VR”. According to the law of casinos in Belarus people 18 years old or older may enter. Player can self-exclude oneself from a casino for a period of 6 months to 3 years.

Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, sees the development of the gambling industry as an advantage to the country’s budget. Gambling, therefore, is not restricted and casinos in the country are multiplying very fast.

Where, when and what to play in casinos in Belarus?
The number of casinos in Belarus is growing. The largest number of the is in the capital of country - Minsk. Casinos are also found in major cities across the country. Some of the casinos are in the hotels and some are operating independently. They are opened daily including weekends and holidays, the biggest ones are opened around the clock. In offers of casinos one can find games such as roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines.

The cities where land based casinos are found:

  • Baranavičy
  • Bobruisk
  • Brest
  • Grodno
  • Gomel
  • Minsk
  • Mogilev
  • Novopolotsk
  • Osipovich
  • Polotsk
  • Slonim
  • Smorgon
  • Soligorsk
  • Vitebsk


Internet Casinos in Belarus

Despite the fact that online casinos are not currently regulated in Belarus, player have access to them and play at them. So far online gambling is considered illegal, in 2013 there was a case in court in Minsk against illegal online casino which impersonated to be a bookmaker.

Legal Regulations
Online gambling is not included in the Presidential Decree from 2010. Online gambling is not regulated in Belarus yet, but officially playing at online casinos is banned. Regulation of online casinos is currently in progress.


A player fell asleep at the slot machine with money in his hand

In 2013 a 30 year old Grodno resident while returning home from night shift decided to enter a casino. He got into playing a slot machine, but because he was tired after work he fell asleep by it holding money previously won in his hand - around 700, 000 rubles (over 15 thousand euro). Another player saw it and stole the money from the man. However thanks to casino’s monitoring thief’s identity was established and robbed man regained some of the winnings.