Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Armenia

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The interior of Shangri La Casino, Armenia. Shangri La Casino is the most luxurious casino in Armenia.

Shangri La Casino, Armenia
Source: Casino Shangri La

 

Armenia,  located in Western Asia, was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. The country gained independence in 1990, and restored its name to Republic of Armenia. Under the Soviet rule the only legal forms of gambling in Armenia were lottery and wagering on horse races.

Since then, gambling in Armenia has gained immense popularity. The country has four large casinos, several betting parlors, bingo halls, and other establishments that offer various types of games. Gambling operators are required to obtain a gambling license from the Ministry of Finance to be able to legally provide any gambling services.

Armenia being a relatively poor country (with a per capita GDP of only around $3500), the vast amounts of gamblers poses a serious problem, especially as gaming is disproportionately prevalent among the poorest of the population.* To face the grave social consequences, the Armenian government seeks to regulate the gambling market more strictly by banning players under the age of 21, as well as those who ask to be banned themselves (or by family members).

On the other hand, gambling is a great source of revenue for the government; casinos and other gambling operators pay around $20 000 in taxes and license fees.

 

*Source: Armenia: Gambling Taxing the Poor, Eurasianet.org

 

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Casino gambling in Armenia

 

Online casino gambling in Armenia: legal, requires license

 

Casino gambling in Armenia is legal and enjoyed by many Armenians. Currently there are 4 large brick and mortar casinos in the country; these casinos offer a wide array of games such as Poker, Roulette, Blackjack and slot machines. Slot machines and other games are also available in over a hundred smaller establishments all over the country.

As part of the changes to gambling regulation considered by the government for the sake of customer protection, gambling facilities would not be allowed to operate within 50 kilometers of the capital city, Yerevan, nor within 10 kilometres of any regional centre. At the moment, the casino closest to Yerevan is Casino Shangri La, at only two kilometres from the city border.*

While online casino games are not against Armenian law, so far no gambling licenses have been given out to Armenian online casino operators. Armenians may participate in online casino gambling by accessing foreign platforms.

There are several international casino gambling platforms that accept players from Armenia, and while none are available in Armenian at the moment, the majority of the Armenian population speaks Russian, which gives them easy access to platforms available in Russian.

 

*Source: Armenian gambling market, Alsart

 

Bingo in Armenia

 

Online Bingo in Armenia: legal, operators require license

 

Bingo, both offline and online, is legal in Armenia, albeit less frequently played than Poker or casino games. There are some land-based Bingo halls in the country, but none of them are available online.

As such, Armenians seeking online Bingo games need to turn to foreign online Bingo platforms. Luckily for them, several international Bingo platforms accept players from Armenia.

 

 

Poker in Armenia

 

Online Poker in Armenia: legal, operators require license

 

Poker is legal in Armenia, and – although not a traditional form of gambling in Armenia – has been steadily gaining in popularity since the country’s gained its independence. This growth can be partially traced back to the more widespread use of the internet.

Live poker games – namely Texas Hold’em and Caribbean Poker – are available in two of the country’s four largest casinos, as well as some dedicated poker clubs. Online Poker, the form of the game most popular in Armenia, is not available on any websites based in Armenia.

Armenian players are welcome on most international online Poker platforms. Most Armenian Poker players choose online Poker sites that offer games in Russian.

 

 

Sports betting in Armenia

 

Online sports betting in Armenia: legal, operators require license

 

Sports betting has been legal in Armenia since 2002, and sports betting operators have required a sports betting license issued by the Ministry of Finance since 2008. The largest sportsbook in Armenia, Vivarobet, first provided sports betting services in 2003. They have since become the largest Armenian sports betting company, offering betting opportunities on events all around the world.

Gamblers may place their bets in several brick and mortar betting shops around the country. Vivarobet and some other sports betting companies also have an online platform where wagers may be placed on sports as well as political events. Armenian players may also use international sports betting platforms.

 

 

Lottery in Armenia

 

Online lottery in Armenia: legal, operators require license

 

Lotteries are legal in Armenia, and were in fact one of the few forms of gambling allowed under the Soviet rule. As a result, lottery has quite a bit of tradition in Armenia, and is a widely popular form of gambling.

In the Soviet era the only legally available lottery was the Sportloto. Since the collapse of the Soviet regime several licenses have been given out to brick and mortar lottery operators. While the service of these lottery operators is not available online, lotteries do provide SMS lotto, which makes this form of gambling the most easily accessible for Armenians.

The status of online lotteries in Armenia is unclear; Armenian residents are not legally allowed to participate in games on foreign lottery platforms. However, such websites are not blocked and players are not prosecuted, nor do international sites restrict access for players from Armenia.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Armenia

 

Bitcoin gambling in Armenia: unregulated

 

Armenian gambling laws do not specifically regulate Bitcoin gambling. At the moment there are no licensed Bitcoin casinos hosted by Armenia.

The cryptocurrency is, in fact, largely unknown in Armenia, and Armenian Bitcoin gamblers would be hard-pressed to find a direct way to exchange Bitcoins for Armenian drams.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from Armenia

 

The following online gambling websites accept players from Armenia.

 

32_red_online_casino

32 Red casino accepting players from Armenia

free_bet_32red_banner

32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website accepting players from Armenia

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015.10. 12

 

Summary
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Armenia
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Armenia
Description
An overview of the legal status of various forms of gambling in Armenia, including casino gambling in Armenia, Bingo, Poker, sports betting and more.
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