Monaco is a small sovereign state located on the Mediterranean coast. The gambling business here is legal and well developed. The first casino was opened in the middle of the 19th century. However, due to its inconvenient location, this establishment was not in demand, and eventually closed. But in 1963, gambling moved to the city of Monte Carlo, where the Casino de Monte-Carlo was opened.
The gambling industry began to bring such revenues to the state treasury that the citizens of the principality were exempted from paying taxes. And even today, the indigenous inhabitants of Monaco (Monegasques), who are only about 20% of the total population, do not pay taxes. They live on subsidies and benefits. They also often take part in the gambling business, but only as working personnel. The gambling industry here is focused on tourists, and brings about 7% of all income to the state budget.
There are currently 4 land-based casinos legally operating in the country: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Café de Paris, Sun Casino and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino. All these institutions are concentrated in one city - Monte Carlo. They offer players from various countries a full range of table games (about 86 tables) as well as slot machines (985 slot machines). Here you can play such games: blackjack, craps, American and French roulette, Punto Banco, various types of poker, etc. Casino de Monte-Carlo is the most popular. The well-known poker tournament European Poker Tour is held here every year.
As for online gambling, at the moment it is not regulated by the government and the country's residents visit virtual casino sites of foreign operators. However, this may change if France expands its gambling jurisdiction in Monaco, which could lead to the introduction of strict laws and licensing rules.
Laws governing the gambling business of Monaco
The gambling industry in Monaco is regulated by law no. 1103 of 12/06/1987. According to this legal act, almost all types of gambling are allowed on the territory of the principality. In local casinos you can find:
table games - poker, roulette, Texas hold'em, blackjack, baccarat, craps, Trente et Quarante (30/40), Punto Banco;
slot machines - themed slots, electronic roulette, video poker.
However, the gambling law does not mention bingo, sports betting and lotteries. Therefore, these types of games are not regulated in the country. Only persons over the age of 18 and who have identification documents with them can visit gambling establishments in Monaco. Access to such establishments is prohibited:
clergy and those who belong to a religious community;
persons who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Also, persons whose behavior may cause a scandal or an unpleasant incident are not allowed;
for the excluded.
Excluded from gambling houses and casinos:
people who made a written statement;
incapacitated persons upon written application of their legal guardians or representatives;
people who are recognized as unwanted visitors.
Player exceptions that are in effect for more than one year will take effect upon approval by the administrator. The administrative body can always exclude a particular visitor.
Gambling industry regulators
The Gambling Authority, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, is the regulator of the gambling business in Monaco. The Gambling Authority consists of a leader, deputy and inspectors. These officials have the right to perform the following actions:
supervising the functioning of gambling houses and conducting investigations for this purpose;
verification of operations related to gambling;
control over access to gambling houses, as well as the time of their opening and closing;
guarantee proper conditions for the games and the appropriate behavior of the employees of the establishments.
If the officials of the Gambling Commission see violations of the provisions of the law, they have the power to act under the auspices of the prosecutor.
Punishments for violations in the field of gambling
The Criminal Code of Monaco provides for a clause according to which a sentence of imprisonment for a term of six days to one month and a fine is awarded to:
chairmen of the board of directors of the company holding the license, which does not notify the administrative body of changes in its authorized capital;
administrators or managers of the company who started their activities without special permission;
casino operators who hired an employee without the permission of an administrative authority;
any employee who violated his duties;
a casino operator that uses unlicensed equipment and devices.
Also punishable by imprisonment for a term of one to six months and a fine is the one who will prevent the members of the Gambling Commission from performing their functions.
Licensing of gambling business in Monaco
Permission to open and operate a gambling house or casino can only be granted under the conditions specified by law No. 1103 on gambling business. The permit must state:
the name and qualifications of the permit holder;
premises where licensed games are operated;
number of table games and slots allowed.
This permission is accompanied by certification.
A company that has received permission to provide gambling entertainment must notify the administrative body of changes in the authorized capital, and immediately. If the majority of the capital changes, then a new application for a license must be submitted (within 15 days), since the previous one becomes invalid.
A director or manager of a company that has a license cannot perform their duties without granting official permission. The casino operator cannot use materials and equipment other than those models that have received official permission. Each casino operator must submit an income statement to the administrative authority. These rules are fixed by the cabinet of ministers. The administrative body exercises control over the observance and application of the rules for accounting for income from the game.
Online gambling in Monaco
The government of the country regulates the activities of land-based casinos quite strictly, but online gambling is practically not regulated here. Licenses are not issued to online casino operators. But this does not mean at all that local players cannot visit the sites of foreign operators. Currently, there are no consequences and legal restrictions for companies promoting their services in Monaco.
There are many online casinos that are happy to accept players from Monaco, even its natives. Bets on such sites are accepted in the national currency of the country - the euro, as well as in US dollars.
Many popular developers supply their licensed games to sites operating in the country. These include:
The most popular slot machines in Monaco
Especially popular in Monaco are such slot machines as:
Mega Moolah from Microgaming;
Starburst from NetEnt;
Koi Princess from NetEnt;
Game of Thrones by Microgaming;
Lightning Link by Aristocrat.
There is no information about gambling software developers based in Monaco.
Prospects for the development of the gambling business in Monaco
The gambling business of Monaco is quite well developed and steeped in tradition. All activities related to the provision of services in the field of gambling here are mostly aimed at tourists. Casino de Monte-Carlo, which is located in the city of Monte-Carlo, is famous all over the world. Every year this institution brings considerable revenues to the state budget. The citizens of the country themselves are forbidden to visit any land-based casinos. But the legislation does not prohibit them from placing bets in virtual casinos of foreign operators.
It is unlikely that any changes will be made to the gambling legislation of the Principality in the near future. True, it is likely that France could expand its jurisdiction, famous for its strict laws and rules for licensing casino operators, and influence the gambling business in Monaco. If this happens, then most likely local players will encounter difficulties while visiting the sites of foreign online casino operators.