Online casinos accepting players from Laos
Officially referred to as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Located at the heart of the Indochinese Peninsula, the country is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Thailand to the west and southwest.
Certain forms of gambling are permitted in the state, namely land-based casinos and interactive lottery products. As for the iGaming sector, there are no locally licensed online casinos, but consumers from this country play games on foreign websites.
This scenario in Laos is more or less similar to the situation in the vast majority of Asian countries, which either due to tradition or religious views classify gambling as a prohibited activity. In light of that, residents of such countries cannot gamble, but most often, tourists are excepted from those rules.
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Laws and Regulations
Gambling in Laos is prohibited outside 10 government-leased Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Licensed land-based casinos are permitted to operate slots, VLTs, table games, and sportsbooks. There’s a total of 3 legal casinos operating from the Zones- e Savan Vegas Hotel and Casino, Kings Roman Casino, and the Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort. In 2012, the local government has resisted expanding the local casino market, noting that it will no longer offer licenses within the SEZs.
Some establishments also offer interactive products, but with the exception of the state lottery, onshore interactive gambling is prohibited. However, a solid number of foreign casino operators permit players from Laos to gamble on their platforms.
The Ministry of Finance is the regulatory body in charge of governing the sector, while Laotian Penal Code is the key legislation. The minimum gambling age is 18.
As for the taxes, the government came up with suggestions to increase the tax on casinos, gaming machines, and horserace betting to 50% of the gross win. These proposals were drafted in June 2019 and were scheduled to take effect in January 2020, provided that they were approved, but the outcome is not familiar yet.
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Player Protection and Responsible Gambling Measures
If you are a local player gambling in one of the land-based casinos in Laos, you might easily end up without your winnings. Locals often have trouble collecting the money they won, but non-residents don’t have such problems. If they can prove that they are tourists/ foreigners, they can pick up their winnings from a brick-and-mortar casino.
As the country itself has no player protection measures in place, consumers are more or less on their own. That’s where we step in, guiding players on how to stay responsible and avoid any potential troubles.
First and foremost, it is extremely important to stick with casinos with licenses. Ideally, it should be a platform certified by a stringent regulator, so that players can feel safe that the place fulfills the most rigorous standards.
Furthermore, a huge plus is if a casino has approval from a test lab or seal from an independent third-party institution that verifies its RNG is fair and non-tampered with.
Other details to take into account include customer support and responsible gambling tools. If the support can be reached via many channels (live chat, e-mail, and phone), it is a signal that the customers’ voices are valued. In most cases, the team speaks English, but some operators have native-speaking support agents, for a more personalized experience.
Helpful tools include limits on transactions, reality checks, cool off, and self-exclusion. They can usually be adjusted on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
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Payment Methods and Banking
Lao kip or kip only has been the official currency of Laos since 1955. As there are no locally licensed online casinos, players cannot find offshore betting sites where this payment option is supported. On the other hand, the US dollar is widely accepted in many transactions, serving as an excellent alternative and often the #1 choice on betting sites that accept Laotian players.
Cryptocurrencies have been among the hottest topics not only in the iGaming sector but even beyond it for quite some time. Governments all over the world are exploring the possibilities of implementing it for everyday use.
In January 2022, Laos authorized two exchange platforms which provide full brokerage and exchange trading services for cryptocurrencies. LDX (Lao Digital Assets Exchange Co.), a joint venture between AIF Group and Phongsupthavy Group, and Bitqik, a subsidiary of Simuong Group signed the Agreement in Principle for Cryptocurrencies Exchange Platform with The Bank of Laos (BOL).
Although not strictly related to the entertainment sector, this step represents a significant advancement in accepting Bitcoin and other crypto options among Laotians. Over time, it will most definitely lead to an increased number of people using crypto to play casino games.
Now, regardless of the specific payment option a player prefers, there are a couple of details to take into account. Minimum and maximum limits for deposits and withdrawals, fees on transactions, processing time, and ID verification requirements also play an important role in choosing a banking method.
What Should Players from Laos Pay Attention to When Selecting a Casino?
Nowadays, online casinos look very attractive with all those fancy games and valuable bonuses. Choosing the right one can often be simple, especially if we know that beneath the shiny surface, things may not always be so promising.
This is not meant to terrify players, just to give them directions on what to take into account during the selection procedure. Aside from checking whether the casino has a license, and inspecting all the rules related to payments and the available responsible gambling tools, players should also:
- Explore the listed games and software providers, and have a couple of rounds in demo mode, if the option exists
- Take a look at the bonus offers and the accompanying Terms, in particular, the ones related to cash out and wagering requirements
- See how well the site performs on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and how easy is to navigate it
Finally, the internet is full of review pages and forums, where players share both positive and negative experiences with fellow gamblers. That could be of great help when making up your mind about where to deposit and play.
Have fun and gamble responsibly!
Is it legal to gamble online in Laos?
Onshore interactive operators are prohibited, as well as interactive gambling products, but people gamble on foreign sites. So online gambling is not illegal in Laos, but it is simply unregulated.
Can players from Laos gamble on mobile devices?
Laotian players can gamble on their mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets. In addition to playing games while out and about, they can also claim bonuses on their portable gadgets.
What are the most popular online casino games in Laos?
Players from Laos prefer slot releases and table games, but they are willing to explore other genres as well. Worth noting is that live dealer games are extremely popular in Asia.
Is demo play available in online casinos that accept players from Laos?
Demo play is available in casinos that accept Laotian players. The only thing players should know is that sometimes they need to register to be able to access this mode, while certain casinos allow even visitors to launch games in demo mode.
What kind of online casino bonuses can Laotian players claim?
Welcome bonuses and cashback bonuses are by far the most claimed ones all over the world, and Laos is no exception. Other than this, players like free spins, match bonuses, reload bonuses, and similar offers.
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