Monaco is the European capital for land-based casino gambling. Situated on the French Riviera, it is home to some of the world’s glitziest and most glamorous brick and mortar casino venues. However, while Monaco represents the heart of European offline gambling, how does the principality feel about online gaming? If you are residing in Monaco, you’ll have plenty of high-quality venues you can visit, but what if you fancy a spot of gambling from your own home? Let’s look at Monaco’s online gambling laws.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Monaco?
First and foremost, Monaco is known as the millionaire’s playground, home of the rich and famous, and one of three capitals for gambling, alongside Las Vegas and Macao. Monte Carlo is home to a surplus of world-renowned casinos, so gambling in the principality is very much legal and above board. The city-state first legalised gambling in 1854, and it was there that Francois and Louis Blanc (of roulette fame) made their first major successes. Since then, gambling in Monaco has been a reality, and there are no plans to change that.
Oddly enough, Monaco’s own citizens are not permitted to set foot inside any of the principality’s land-based casinos unless they work there. Even then, no Monégasque citizens are allowed to gamble. Of course, foreign nationals make up most of the population, and there are no such restrictions on them, or tourists for that matter. Where does online gambling fit in, though?
Monaco, perhaps bizarrely, doesn’t have any laws regarding online gambling. The laws which prevent citizens from wagering in brick and mortar casinos do not mention online casinos, as they were written quite long ago. Monaco wants to keep its tradition of land-based gambling but hasn’t made provisions for online gambling yet. In theory, then, gambling at online casinos is considered a grey area, and as such, Monégasque citizens can gamble online.
Monégasque Online Casinos
The actual law which prevents online gambling is number 1.103 of Games of Chance. It specifically states that only authorized operators can provide gambling services in Monaco. However, that law deals with land-based operations, not online gambling.
Monaco is yet to regulate its own online gambling market. Officially, there are no online casinos which are licensed out of Monaco. This also means that there are no laws to prevent players from visiting offshore casinos. If you want to gamble online and live in Monaco, this is the path that you must take.
Offshore Casino Sites for Monégasque Players
Monaco has made no effort to block access to offshore casinos, and tourists, foreign nationals and Monégasque alike are free to play at those foreign sites. There isn’t a law which says that they can. It is more down to the fact that there isn’t a law which says that they can’t. Offshore casinos (and online casinos in general) are, therefore, considered a grey area.
Citizens of Monaco have virtually all the world’s major casinos to choose from. Even so, they can afford to be picky about where they decide to play. Monégasque should only play at casinos which have reputable licenses, such as those licensed out of the UK, Malta or Gibraltar. Most casinos accept players from Monaco, and gameplay can often be had in both English and French.
At this moment in time, Monaco has made no effort to cut off access to these sites. A VPN (virtual private network) to get around ISP (internet service provider) blocks is, therefore, not necessary right now. As Monaco is something of a tax haven, banks in the country are under no obligation to block transactions involving online casino funds, either.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
Monaco really does want to protect its tradition of land-based gambling. However, it has not made any moves to prohibit offshore online casino gambling. There is a remote possibility that France may make that move for them. If, for instance, France decided to extend its own jurisdiction to Monaco, then gambling online would only consist of licensed sports betting, poker and slot gameplay, and only from sites which had obtained a French license.
That move would be quite heavy-handed, and Monaco and its citizens are quite unlikely to take it well. Moreover, most of the population of Monaco are foreign nationals, and therefore, Monaco (or France) doesn’t really have too much of a concern about what those citizens get up to. Given the small size of the native Monégasque population, expect the status quo to be maintained for the foreseeable future.
Top Monégasque Casino Sites
There are numerous top Monégasque online casinos you can choose to play at. Of course, all of them are located offshore and licensed out of the UK, Malta and other jurisdictions. Most offer gameplay using the euro currency and in both French and English. Monaco turns a blind eye to its own nationals gambling online, so Monégasque players can be exceptionally picky about where they play and should only opt to join the best casinos. Many of these can be found here on this page.
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