Until the beginning of 2010, the gambling business in Andorra was banned. Then the authorities of the smallest European country developed a long-term plan to attract tourists.
Revenues from tourism are, according to various estimates, 60-90% of the total budget of the country. The legalization of the gambling business could attract more tourists and thus increase Andorra’s income.
The first step was the creation of a special agency (Agency of the Interministerial Commission of Gambling) in 2012, which later became the Consell Regulador Andorrà del Joc.
The gambling legislation of Andorra as of 2017 is being actively discussed and rewritten. At the moment, the main law is 37/2014, adopted on December 11 (Llei 37/2014, de l’11 de desembre, de regulació dels jocs d’atzar). He regulates all areas of the gambling business.
Until now, only bingo has been regulated – Law 28, which entered into force in November 1996. The government recently amended it and bingo is now regulated by law 28/2012, passed on October 18, 2012.
The new law, however, does not make any concessions. It states that: “Games of chance and wagering are not commercial activities or public services. They are subject to strict regulation, which is primarily aimed at protecting the participants in the game. Games are also a subject for international cooperation against crime and money laundering. ”
The law states that there will be constant monitoring of social risk groups. Also, the task of the authorities will be to protect health and safety.
The gambling regulator in Andorra is the Consell Regulador Andorrà del Joc, whose functions include:
- limiting supply and demand;
- control over the activity of operators;
- prevention of gambling addiction;
- detection and punishment of criminal activity.
This regulator certifies technical systems, audits equipment, controls the conduct of games and the compliance of bets and prizes made.
To discourage illegal activities, the Andorrà Regulatory Council of the Game works with other government agencies:
- Protection Agency of Data;
- Telecommunications Service Of Andorra.
To save on the number of staff, the structure of this committee is distributed throughout the Administration. Employees are on the staff:
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Health and Welfare
- Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Culture.
The work of the employees is coordinated by the director.
Conditions for obtaining a license
Andorra distinguishes between the following types of licenses:
- class A license is issued to casino operators for organizing games of chance, games requiring skill, for making bets and for using slot machines. It also gives the right to organize games on cruise ships;
- class B allows operators of the second category to organize bingo halls and video bingo areas;
- class C allows operators of the third category to organize land-based gambling sites of any kind, and class C @ – to organize online games of any kind;
- class D @ – organizing only online games of any kind;
- class E gives the right to hold competitions in which the result depends on the occasion: raffles, promo and advertising lotteries, which are organized irregularly;
- class F – license for charity games of any kind;
- class G and H – gives the right to distribute gambling equipment;
- class I – license for managerial activities in the gambling industry;
- class J – allows the sale, supply, manufacture, import and export of equipment, install and provide technical support for gambling equipment.
To obtain licenses of classes A – D @, the operator must be registered in Andorra. The main activity of the company should be focused on the gambling business. All playground workers must be licensed.
An operator receiving a class E – J license can be a natural or legal person. An application for a license is submitted to the Andorrà Regulatory Council of the Game. It contains:
- information about the operator itself;
- information about the director and the board of directors;
- accounting and financial reporting;
- how useful the operator’s activities are to the community, the company’s plans and asset depreciation rules. The operator must have data for five years of his work before the moment he applied for a license;
description of all provided games;
- personnel information: selection criteria, qualifications and training;
- data on materials and equipment.
In addition, there should be bank guarantees and a description of systems that combat money laundering.
Licensed varieties of gambling
The government of Andorra allows the organization of several types of games.
Exclusively gambling games are those based only on luck (like raffles).
The second type is games that require skill, and the outcome of which depends in part on luck. One or more players enter into an agreement in which they risk their money. If the participant loses, then his money goes to other players. Such games are divided into two types: betting and table games.
- In the case of sports bets and other bets, the victory or loss depends on the outcome of the event – the player cannot influence him, but he can use his intellectual abilities to guess the result.
- Board games that rely more on the skill and skill of the players than on randomness.
The third type is competition with an element of randomness. Games are played through TV, radio and other media. To qualify for the prize, the player communicates with the organizers via SMS or any posts in any media.
The following types of games in Andorran legislation go like this:
- raffles, quinto and promo lotteries;
- slot machines.
Only licensed games are allowed. The permission contains a description of the game, denomination, rules, value of prizes and other information.
Types of gambling operators
In Andorra there is a concept of “types of gambling operators”. The law divides game organizers and equipment distributors into 6 classes:
- a gambling operator of the first category is a legal entity that deals only with gambling: placing bets, games of skill and luck, slot machines. This also includes the organizers of the cruise ship games;
- the second category is a legal entity that deals only with bingo, video bingo and gaming machines in recreation;
- the third is a legal entity engaged in land and / or online gambling. This includes the entire range of games, from raffles to skill games;
- the fourth is a legal entity dealing only with online services: games based on skills, bets, bingo slot machines;
- fifth – a natural or legal person involved in competitions, where the result depends on the case. These are raffles, some types of lotteries, promo lotteries (land-based and online). These competitions are held irregularly and in addition to the main activity of the operator;
- sixth – a natural or legal person engaged in games of quinto or other gambling exclusively for charitable purposes.
Fifty percent of taxes paid by operators should be directed to public projects: education, health, science, culture, safety.
Online gambling in the country
A D @ class license for online operators is purchased according to the same rules as the rest. The duration of the license is determined by the results of a tender held by the Andorran Games Regulatory Council. Usually this period does not exceed five years.
The license application contains the address and description of the website, the range of games and other information about the online operator.
So far, Andorra’s online market remains almost a gray area. Market analysts, however, believe it has a good future, especially with bingo and lottery laws that came out in 2016.
The best online casinos available in Andorra are:
- Euromoon Casino;
- 888 Casino;
- Parklane Casino;
- Atlantic Casino.
They all offer flexible bonus policies with massive welcome bonuses, free spins and deposit rewards. The range of online casinos contains slot machines and casino games from leading manufacturers.
Popular slot machines in the country
Here is a list of the most popular slot machines:
- The Angler;
- Magic Shoppe;
- Mega Power Heroes;
- Trump It;
- Fa Fa Twins.
The Angler is a 5 reel slot from BetSoft with 20 pay lines, free spins and a bonus game.
Magic Shoppe is a slot machine from BetSoft with 5 reels and 25 pay lines, three types of free spins and several wild symbols.
Mega Power Heroes is a slot from Fugaso with a jackpot of x1000.
Trump It is a slot machine from Fugaso with 5 reels, 15 paylines, free spins and extra multipliers.
Fa Fa Twins is a 5 reel slot from BetSoft with bonus games, extra multipliers and a risk game.
Prospects for the development of the gambling business
In 2017, the Andorran authorities plan to start a tender to select the best company to build a land-based casino. It is argued that it will not look like the “American model” because such casinos are getting too much attention. The government wants all tourism industries to develop successfully.
As for the online market, the situation is still unclear. Most likely, Andorra will decide to unite with France and / or Spain. If successful, the opening of market boundaries will be the first such attempt at pooled cash flows in Europe.
The gambling business in Andorra is just beginning to develop. The gambling business is mainly focused on tourists. Tourism income brings up to 80% of budget revenues. The authorities of the country are making every effort to ensure that gambling develops within the proper framework and with a minimum of damage to society.