As of 2017, Luxembourg has one casino and the National State Lottery. The government, formed not long ago, plans to legalize more casinos. Although amendments to this effect have been under consideration since 2012, things appear to be moving slowly.
During the year, land-based gaming machines bring in revenues of 38 million EUR. The total revenue of Luxembourg casino is 21 million EUR. Annually more than 400,000 people visit the institution.
Online market is mostly unregulated. Luxembourg's gambling industry holds the third largest profit in the EU. The UK, by the way, is in fourth place.
The basic law on gambling in Luxembourg is Gambling Law in force since 20 April 1977. Its first article expressly prohibits all gambling, because it can cause irrational and destructive behavior.
Nevertheless, there is a list of laws and ordinances which regulate certain areas of gambling:
The National Lottery Law of May 22, 2009 sets the rules for the National Lottery. Only it has the right to conduct any type of lottery and sports betting, including online versions;
Grand Duke Regulation (Grand-Ducal Regulation) of September 7, 1987 regulates sports betting;
Grand-Ducal Regulation of February 12, 1979, as regularly amended, legalizes casinos and establishes a list of licensed games;
a law of July 20, 2002 provides a list of rules for advertising and lotteries of all types.
There are only two main operators in Luxembourg. The first is the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-duchesse Charlotte. The second is Casino 2000, located in the spa resort of Mondorf-les-Bains.
Luxembourg casino in 2002 launched an active program to protect against gambling addiction. All employees receive regular training. Every year they update the training on how to recognize problem gamblers. The Casino 2000 program is now considered the best in the European Union.
The Ministry of Justice issues permits for private operators who offer sports betting, casino and lottery services. If the total amount of lottery tickets issued is less than or equal to 12,500 EUR, the permit is issued by the Council of Elders (Collège des Bourgmestre et Echevins) or the municipality where the lottery is held.
The National Lottery is regulated monopolistically, by the Fondation Nationale des Grand Duchesse de Charlotte. It is a non-profit organization that reports to the Prime Minister and Minister of State. Proceeds from the National Lottery go to charity.
The sole holder of the casino license is Casino 2000. If another candidate for gambling business in Luxembourg arises, by law the Council of State will investigate and issue a permit if the operator meets all the requirements.
Conditions for obtaining a license in Luxembourg
Licenses are issued for a limited period of time. The period of time is chosen by who gives the permit - the Ministry of Justice or the local authorities. There is no fee for the license. The permit includes:
- A list of licensed games;
- Measures for the control and supervision of the operator;
- conditions of access to the gambling establishment;
- mode of operation;
- tax rate.
The license is withdrawn if the operator does not meet the requirements on any of these points. The license application contains:
- information about the operator;
- His financial situation;
- A description of the games offered.
In addition, it is mandatory to include an explanation that the proposed games will be beneficial to society. This means that they will not undermine the existing balance of supply and demand in the gambling market.
Licensed forms of gambling
The following types of games are allowed in Luxembourg:
- Poker (four types - small stakes, Stud, Texas Hold'em, Omaha poker);
- Sports betting - all types and forms;
- casino games;
- Slot machines - allowed only in casinos;
- lotteries and bingo.
All types of poker can only be offered in casinos. The Luxembourg government has an agreement with poker organizers. They are allowed to hold any event at any venue (e.g. a bar) as long as the stakes do not go above 50 EUR.
Casino games include:
- American Roulette;
- English roulette;
- punto banco;
- poker stade;
Baccarat of three kinds (baccarat chemins de fer, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque limitée et l'écarté, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque ouverte.
Other games are permitted by the Council of State after due investigation.
Online gambling in the country
As far as online gambling is concerned, the available laws do not distinguish between land-based and online games. Thus, they are subject to the same rules that apply to land-based operators.
In practice, the only legal online brand in Luxembourg is the National Lottery. The lottery law explicitly states that the National Foundation has the right to offer any form of lottery and sports betting, including online. That is, in fact, the online business is a state monopoly.
This situation is contrary to the provisions of the European Union, but the Luxembourg government is doing little to remedy the situation. It is still unknown whether there is any new legislation regarding gambling, especially online gambling. However, there have been no complaints about Luxembourg's laws, and the European Commission has no reason to launch an investigation.
The best online casinos in Luxembourg
Here is a list of the most popular online casinos:
- Royal Vegas;
- 888 Casino;
- Platinum Play;
- Bob Casino.
Luxembourg has no policy regarding online casinos and does not block their sites. Therefore, operators can safely provide their services to residents.
Popular slot machines in the country.
Here's a list of the most popular slot machines in Luxembourg:
- Immortal Romance;
- Castle Builder II;
- Jurassic World;
- Wild Toro;
- Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel;
Immortal Romance by Microgaming is a five-reel slot machine with 243 ways to make combinations. Bonus turns up to 5 reels into fully "wild". Four types of freespins are unlocked in sequence and offer various multipliers with bonuses.
Castle Builder II by Rabcat is a five-reel slot machine with a story driven action. In the course of the game, the user builds a castle and travels through the kingdoms.
Jurassic World by Microgaming is a five-reel slot with 243 ways to make combinations. Three types of freespins offer bonuses and multipliers. A special bonus with a dinosaur increases winnings up to 1,000 times.
Wild Toro by Elk Studios is a five-reel slot machine with 178 ways to make combinations. It has 2 types of "wild" symbols, respins and the ability to set an automatic betting strategy.
Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel by NetEnt is a five reel slot with 10 paylines. There is a chance to get reps with "wild" symbols, random bonuses and three bonus games with freespins and instant winnings.
Shangri-La by NextGen is a five-reel slot machine with 15 lines. Available "wild" reels, freespins of two types and two interactive games with object selection and treasure hunt.
Gambling software developers
Spanish company Zitro based in Luxembourg. It deals with land-based and online slot machines, bingo and video bingo. Its portfolio includes about a dozen slot machines that run on two platforms. Bingo is much larger, with more than 60 versions of the game, many with extra bonuses and features.
The second office of London-based iSoftBet is also located in Luxembourg. It is a slot machine developer, and its portfolio contains more than 70 slots and casino games. The company has also developed its own online gaming aggregator platform.
Luxembourg has a long history of gambling, dating back to 1880 when the Bourgeois Casino opened in the capital of the duchy. Its successor, Casino 2000 in Mondorf, has held its license since 1980.
The modern gambling industry around the world demands special attention to the online sphere. The Luxembourg authorities have chosen a rather reasonable approach, because they do not have the means to ban and block illegal resources. Foreign operators can provide services to residents of the country without interference.
In general, the gambling business in Luxembourg is developing steadily and successfully.