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Belarus

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Belarus is a yellow-level online gambling jurisdiction with partial regulation that's unlikely to become full regulation inside of the next several years.

Belarus is a land-locked country in eastern Europe. It border Russia to the east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania to the north-east and Latvia to the north.

Overview

The online gambling industry in Belarus is in the middle of a transitional period that's the result of several new laws coming into effect within just a few years of each other, some of which update or affect already-existing laws. On the most basic level, all online gambling is illegal outside of lottery ticket sales, but they're in the process of introducing a government-operated online gambling portal that could really be up and running at any time that would be an exception to this law.

Another law that complicates this situation was put into action in 2012, and this forbids all citizens of the country from accessing any website that doesn't use a .by web domain. This is an attempt to control access to the Internet, so it obviously affects online gambling in a major way. Along these lines, it also indicates that licensing on a larger scale probably isn't happening anytime soon.

Licensing

There is no formal licensing process for online gambling in Belarus. Instead, it appears that government-operated games are going to be the only way to go, and without a government contract to offer games through this portal, it doesn't look like foreign companies are going to have a chance to offer their games to players from this country. This type of monopoly tends to give the players a bit of a raw deal when it comes to promotions and game selection, but it's been doing well in other countries before, so we'll have to wait and see what kind of experience this offers for the players as they get things running.

Player Protections

Players are expected to have high levels of protections when it comes to the government-operated online gambling portal that's in the works now. This includes ways to escalate complaints, but it also includes the fact that the government wants to present a strong, reliable front so that people don't resort to underground gambling, since that's the only competition to this upcoming government monopoly.

Playing with foreign sites is not recommended. There are significant fines and other punishments in place for players who access sites that aren't using the .by domain, and these are imposed through a high level of enforcement.

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