The gambling business in Luxembourg is both legally permitted and prohibited. The first article of the Gambling Law of April 20, 1977 completely prohibits gambling in the country. More recent legislation makes exceptions for certain establishments and gambling businesses.
As of 2017, Luxembourg has one casino and a National State Lottery. The recently formed government plans to legalize new casinos. Although amendments on this score have been considered since 2012, it seems that the case is moving slowly.
Over the year, land-based slot machines bring in revenue of 38 million EUR. The total revenue of the Luxembourg casino is EUR 21 million. More than 400,000 people visit the institution annually.
The online market is largely unregulated. Luxembourg’s gambling business holds the third largest profit in the EU. Great Britain, by the way, ranks fourth.
The main gambling law in Luxembourg is the Gambling Law, in force since April 20, 1977. His first article explicitly prohibits all gambling because it can cause irrational and destructive behavior.
However, there is a list of laws and regulations that govern certain areas of the gambling business:
- The National Lottery Law of May 22, 2009 sets out the rules for the National Lottery. Only she has the right to conduct any type of lotteries and sports bets, including online versions;
- the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 7 September 1987 governs sports betting;
- a decree of the Grand Duke of 12 February 1979, with regular amendments, legalizes casinos and establishes a list of licensed games;
- the law of July 20, 2002 provides a list of rules for advertising and running lotteries of any type.
There are only two main operators operating in Luxembourg. The first is the National Trust of the Grand Duchess Charlotte (Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-duchesse Charlotte). The second is Casino 2000, located in the Mondorf-les-Bains spa resort.
Luxembourg Casino in 2002 launched an active program to protect against gambling addiction. All employees are regularly trained. Every year they update the training on how to recognize problem players. Now the Casino 2000 software is considered the best in the European Union.
The Ministry of Justice issues permits for private operators that offer sports betting, casino and lottery services. If the total amount of lottery tickets issued is less than or equal to EUR 12,500, the permit is issued by the Council of Elders (Collège des Bourgmestre et Echevins) or by the municipality where the lottery is held.
The National Lottery is monopolistically regulated by the Grand Duchess Charlotte National Trust. It is a non-profit organization that reports to the Prime Minister and Minister of State. The proceeds from the state lottery go to charity.
The sole holder of the casino license is Casino 2000. Should another candidate arise to operate a gambling business in Luxembourg, the Council of State will by law 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. The time period is chosen by those who give the permission – the Ministry of Justice or local authorities. There is no license fee. The permit includes:
- list of licensed games;
- measures to control and monitor the operator;
- conditions of access to a gambling establishment;
- operating mode;
- tax rate.
The license will be revoked if the operator does not meet the requirements for any of these points. The license application contains:
- operator data;
- his financial condition;
- a description of the games offered.
In addition, an explanation must be included that the proposed games will be beneficial to society. Here we mean that they will not undermine the existing balance of supply and demand in the gambling market.
Licensed varieties of gambling
The following types of games are allowed in Luxembourg:
- poker (four types – at small stakes, stud, Texas hold’em, Omaha poker);
- sports betting – any type and form;
- casino games;
- slot machines – only allowed in casinos;
- lottery and bingo.
All types of poker can only be offered in casinos. The Luxembourg government has signed an agreement with the poker organizers. They are allowed to hold any events on any platforms (for example, in a bar), if the rates do not rise above 50 EUR.
Casino games include:
- American roulette;
- English roulette;
- thirty forty;
- black Jack;
- punto banco;
- poker stud;
- baccarat of three types (baccarat chemins de fer, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque limitée et l’écarté, baccarat à deux tableaux à banque ouverte.
Other games are allowed by the Council of State after proper investigation.
Online gambling in the country
As for the online gambling business, the existing laws do not distinguish between land-based and online games. Thus, they are subject to the same rules that apply to ground operators.
In practice, the only legal online brand in Luxembourg is the National Lottery. The lottery law explicitly states that the National Fund has the right to offer any form of lottery and sports betting, including online. That is, in fact, 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 if there is any new legislation regarding gambling, especially online. However, no complaints have been filed against Luxembourg laws, and the European Commission has no reason to open an investigation.
Best online casinos in Luxembourg
Here is a list of the most popular online casinos:
- Royal Vegas;
- 888 Casino;
- Platinum Play;
- Bob Casino.
Luxembourg does not have a 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
We present 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 5-reel slot machine with 243 ways to make combinations. The bonus turns up to 5 reels completely wild. Four types of free spins are unlocked in sequence and offer different multipliers with bonuses.
Castle Builder II by Rabcat is a five-reel, story-driven slot machine. As the game progresses, the user builds a castle and travels through the kingdoms.
Jurassic World by Microgaming is a 5-reel slot with 243 ways to make combinations. Three types of free spins offer bonuses and multipliers. The special dinosaur bonus increases your winnings up to 1,000 times.
Wild Toro by Elk Studios is a 5-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 5 reel, 10 payline slot. There is a chance to get wild symbols respins, random bonuses and three bonus games with free spins and instant wins.
Shangri-La by NextGen is a 5-reel, 15-line slot machine. Wild reels, two types of free spins and two interactive games with object selection and treasure hunt are available.
Gambling software developers
The Spanish company Zitro is based in Luxembourg. She is engaged in land and online slot machines, bingo and video bingo. Her portfolio includes about a dozen slot machines that operate on two platforms. Bingo is much more – over 60 versions of the game, many with additional bonuses and features.
The second office of the London-based company iSoftBet is also located in Luxembourg. It is a slot machine developer and has over 70 slots and casino games in its portfolio. The company has also developed its 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 the license since 1980.
The modern gambling industry all over the world requires special attention to the online sphere. The Luxembourg authorities have chosen a fairly reasonable approach, because they do not have the means to prohibit and block illegal resources. Foreign operators can provide services to the residents of the country without interference.
In general, the gambling business in Luxembourg is developing steadily and successfully.