Technically, you could say there are no online casinos in Luxembourg. In practice, however, players have access to every major international gambling brand in the world. Gambling laws in Luxembourg prevent people from operating casino sites on Luxembourg territory, but there are no laws that prevent us from simply visiting casino sites headquartered in other European nations.
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The online gambling situation in Luxembourg is typical of European countries that have yet to update their gambling laws. The government does not actively endorse gambling, but neither does it seek to prevent access to online casinos.
This situation works pretty well for us here in Luxembourg. The only thing we need to be cautious of is choosing a safe and reputable provider. Ideally, you should always go with major gambling sites that are licensed in a different European country such as the UK. Doing so allows you to take advantage of the various security standards that foreign (but reputable) regulators expect of their licensees.
While there are many licensing jurisdictions around the world that monitor online casinos, you will be best served by going with the major European brands. They are already equipped to accept your euro deposits, they offer a wide range of European languages and accept payment methods that are common in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg Gambling Law
Luxembourg casino sites are prohibited from operating on domestic soil due to a law passed in 1977 prohibiting nearly all gambling activities. The law of 1977 initiated a blanket ban of gambling with two exceptions: the Loterie Nationale and licensed physical casinos.
The government has so far only issued one license for a brick-and-mortar casino, the Casino 2000 in Mondorf-les-Bains. Although the law could be used to issue additional licenses, Luxembourg has only permitted that one casino to be built.
Article 1 of the 1977 lays it out plainly: the operation of a business of games of chance is prohibited. Despite the law being written well before the internet came along, the prohibition applies to the internet as well. This not one of those laws that legal scholars will be debating for decades to come. All gambling businesses are prohibited. End of story.
The good news is that nowhere does the law prohibit people from participating as players. If you choose to visit online casinos in Luxembourg, nobody is going to come knocking on your door with an arrest warrant in hand. Your primary concern should be picking a safe and reputable provider.
The closest thing Luxembourg has to actual, legal online gambling located inside our borders are the few games offered by the Loterie Nationale. These include online versions of all random number games offered by the lottery as well as a limited form of online sports betting. However, the lottery has a complete monopoly on sports betting and many people choose to visit online bookmakers in order to take advantage of more competitive odds.
On that topic, it is conceivable that someone could lodge a complaint with the EU against the sport betting monopoly in Luxembourg. EU agreements regarding the free exchange of goods and services typically restrict countries from imposing monopolies over most industries. But as Bonn Steichen & Partners note in a write-up on the issue, no one has ever bothered to file such a complaint.
The likelihood of the law changing to allow actual Luxembourg online casinos open for business seems low at this point. With a population just north of half a million people, Luxembourg would most likely not be the most attractive licensing jurisdiction for major, international operators. Furthermore, we have not heard of any news regarding possible changes to the law in recent years.
It seems most likely that the status quo will remain in effect for some time to come. Players have no issue playing online at foreign casino sites, and those operators have no issue accepting players from Luxembourg. Perhaps this will change if the government one day decides to either crack down on gambling or starts eyeing the potential tax revenue, but for now, everyone seems content to let things remain as they are.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.