Active players: 900.000
Currency: Armenian Dram (AMD)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, casino games, lottery
Operator types: Licensed online operators, offshore online bookmakers operating without a license, land-based betting shops & casinos
Designated authority: Ministry of Finance
Part of the USSR until 1991 when it declared its independence, Armenia experienced a steady development during the 90s. Even before that, sports betting in the country was pretty much alive, mostly focused on horse racetracks. However, the activity boomed after 2003 when betting became legal. Nowadays, around 30% of adult citizens place their wagers on betting sites in Armenia at least once a week.
The Ministry of Finance is the official regulator for online betting, overseeing all gambling activities and issuing licenses to operators. Currently there are only 4 licensed bookmakers in the country. Nonetheless, Armenia has an unquestionable know-how of the industry, with two of the world’s biggest sports betting providers being based in Yerevan, BetConstruct and Digitain. Bettors however often opt for international online bookies like 1xBet and 22Bet, in search of higher odds and wider betting markets.
Betting in Armenia - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age in Armenia is 21
- Licensed operators have to report any deposit or bet over 1.000.000 AMD to the authorities
- Betting winnings over 10.000 AMD deriving from licensed operators are taxed with 23%
- Armenia is the home of BetConstruct, renowned sports betting software supplier
- A person may impose a ban on himself or on a family member, to be protected from excessive gambling
Best betting sites in Armenia
When it comes to finding top-quality bookmakers, Armenia has plenty of options. We present to you those that offer the local currency, as well as the most competitive odds & wide betting markets on a great variety of sports.
Online bet Armenia: The gambling law framework
Even years after the country gained its independence, there were no laws in place regarding betting and other gambling activities. However, as sports betting started to pick up a lot of momentum in the country, the ‘Law on lotteries’ was eventually introduced by the Armenian authorities in 2003. The Ministry of Finance was named the official regulator, tasked also with the issuance of licenses for both online and land-based operators.
In terms of taxation, an initial 70% tax was imposed on operators. In 2016 though, the ‘Law on taxes’ specified that all gambling activities shall be exempt from VAT. Nowadays, however, there are new plans in place. More specifically, the Ministry intends to introduce a tax model based on each bookmaker’s revenue; or a license fee of around 1.2 million USD per year (instead of taxing them). Currently, the most popular licensed sportsbooks are TotoGaming, Vivarobet, Goodwin Armenia and Adjarabet am. With such a complicated licensing system though, it’s no wonder that the big international brands choose not to apply for a local license. Furthermore, with no measures taken against unlicensed bookies, players in Armenia continue to opt for non licensed offshore operators.
Essential information for Armenian bettors
First of all, keep in mind that when betting at the licensed operators, winnings over 10.000 AMD are subject to 23% tax. It is also worth noting that recently, the authorities tried to pass a law that would ban land-based Armenian bookmakers across the country, with the exception of the areas of Meghri, Tsakhkadzor, Sevan and Jermuk. However, this decision sparked mass protests and it’s not certain if it will be eventually applied. There are no similar plans for online bookmakers though, so players are free to bet at any online bookie they wish with no restrictions whatsoever.
With so many international bookmakers accepting players from Armenia, we focused on the ones that really stand out. These are 1xBet, 22Bet and Bet365.
1xBet is one of the international bookmakers that are very popular in Armenia. It offers 60+ sports on which you can bet on and every match of the Armenian Premier League comes with at least 150 betting markets. Furthermore, it allows you to use the AMD as your currency and navigate through its website in the Armenian language.
22Bet is another international bookmaker that has fully modified its webpage in order to fit the Armenian market. It is actually available in Armenian and AMD is among the standard currencies. It offers a 95%+ payout on sports like football and basketball. Everything is brought together by a smooth user interface making 22Bet a great bookie to bet with.
Bet365 is yet another popular international brand that accepts Armenians. New players registering an account can expect a welcome bonus that’s on average 30% better than what the licensed bookmakers offer. The 30+ sports to bet on, along with the wide list of betting markets and the competitive odds that are offered, make Bet365 one of the best bookies in the country.
With no restrictions in place for betting at international online bookies, there’s also nothing preventing Armenian punters from using all the popular payments to top-up their accounts and withdraw their winnings. Therefore, they can rely on the most used global payment methods like credit/debit cards, as well as e-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller and Qiwi. Local payment options at Armenian betting sites include Telcell and Idram, however, these are not widely available at international bookmakers.
Ever since the ‘Law on lotteries’ was passed in 2003, the local authorities go back and forth, between making the market more appealing to international bookmakers and being more strict in terms of licensing. The lack of restrictions for punters who opt for international bookmakers is positive. However, the expensive licensing fees are still keeping major global brands away from obtaining a license. At the moment, the authorities do not show intention of relaxing the licensing requirements; while at the same time, they are trying to get the gambling taxes up in order to add funds to the state treasury. To sum things up, the current situation is very convenient for punters. Nevertheless, it is practically impossible to predict how the online betting landscape will evolve, as this depends mainly on how the government will eventually choose to act.
The complete list of bookmakers in Armenia