Active players: 650.000
Currency: Convertible mark (BAM)
Regulated gambling products: Lottery in FBiH / Betting, casino games, lottery in R. Srpska
Operator types: Licensed and unlicensed online and land-based bookmakers
Designated authority: Republicka Uprava Za Igre Na Srecu (for Republika Srpska)
Status: Regulated only in Republika Srpska
Like most of its Balkan neighbors, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich history and a vibrant culture. Part of Yugoslavia until March 1, 1992, Bosnia has been experiencing development in many sectors ever since. The fact that it is the home country of many top athletes, like footballers Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and legend Hasan Salihamidzic, along with NBA players Jusuf Nurkic and Mirza Teletovic, leaves no question about Bosnians’ talent in sports.
As far as gambling is concerned, only lottery was allowed up until independence and then casinos and betting shops began to emerge. The country consists of two entities - the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska. Only in R. Srpska though, the Bosnian-Serb entity, gambling is regulated. The existing mix of a relaxed legal framework combined with a passion for sports, has helped betting sites in Bosnia to boom in recent years. Bosnian punters are free to bet on the few licensed operators in Republika Srpska, such as WWin and AM Sport; as well as on international bookmakers, like 1xBet and Bet365, who naturally attract punters from both entities.
Betting in Bosnia - 5 things to know
- Legal minimum gambling age in Bosnia is 18
- No licenses are issued in FBiH
- Over 50% of adult citizens in Bosnia engage in online or offline betting
- There are over 2,500 betting shops in the country
- A 2013 state's attempt to block access to foreign bookmakers in FBiH was eventually turned down
Best betting sites in Bosnia
We’ve thoroughly checked the available bookmakers in Bosnia and picked the ones that deliver top odds and multiple betting markets on a wide range of events. On top of that, we’ve selected those that allow you to bet on your local currency too.
Online betting in Bosnia: The gambling law framework
As previously mentioned, the country consists of two autonomous entities. Republika Srpska passed the ‘Law on Games of Chance’ in 2012, which regulated gambling in the area, appointing the Republicka Uprava Za Igre Na Srecu as the supervising authority. This law was amended in 2019, bringing more supervision and control over operators, along with increased taxes, despite protests from local bookmakers. A cost of 200.000 BAM is required for a 5 year valid gambling license, along with keeping a bank account at a local bank; where 25% of an operator’s annual planned costs need to be kept at all times as a guarantee for paying taxes and winnings to players. Land-based operators are also expected to pay a 1.000 BAM monthly fee and are taxed at 5% on their GGR. The most popular licensed local bookies are Lutrija BiH, AM Sport Kladionica, WWin and Premier Kladionica.
On the other hand, the FBiH proposed a bill in 2013 intending to block access to international bookmakers. The authorities aimed to force ISPs to ban foreign betting sites altogether and even threatened to impose fines between 1.000 and 50.000 BAM for not complying. However, public outrage led to the bill being turned down. Finally, the Law on Games of Chance was passed in FBiH in 2015, although it just oversees gambling in the area, not officially regulating it.
Essential information for Bosnian bettors
The latest law amendments in Republika Srpska brought higher taxation on punters’ winnings too. A differentiated taxation system was introduced, starting from a 10% tax on winnings between 1.000 and 10.000 BAM and reaching up to a 30% when your winnings exceed 100.000 BAM. To be able to open an account at one of the licensed bookmakers in Bosnia, have in mind that you also need to keep an account at a local bank, in order to be able to receive your winnings. However, with no real restrictions, you are free to pick the bookie that suits your needs. Opting for international bookmakers would automatically mean you don’t need to worry for any of the above.
Many international sportsbooks are available to punters from Bosnia, so we decided to present you the ones that really stand out, namely 1xBet, 22Bet and Bet365.
1xBet has a solid presence in the Balkans and the wide selection of betting markets on 44+ sports is one of the reasons it’s so popular. On average, you can find around 200 betting markets for any match in the BH Premijer Liga at very competitive odds. Another big plus is the fact that it allows players to bet using the BAM currency and their local language.
22Bet is another international bookmaker that offers BAM as a standard currency. It also offers 1000+ events on a daily basis on 48+ sports. It stands out with a 97% payout on football and a 95% payout on basketball. A great plus is that it provides bettors with a wide range of payment methods, including Skrill and Neteller.
If you’re all about a vast selection of sports and a great welcome bonus, Bet365 BiH is your destination. It offers a 97%+ payout on football and 100+ betting markets on fixtures of the BH Premijer Liga. Furthermore, the early cashout feature, together with exclusive deals for accumulator bets help you win even more at Bet365.
Many Bosnians prefer to bet on international bookmakers. Therefore, e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller, are the most popular payment methods. They offer fast transactions with low fees, but also ensure anonymity too. Even though there are practically no restrictions for punters who bet on international bookies. Locals also opt for X-Bon and X-voucher, prepaid vouchers for internet use, that are very popular when betting with local bookmakers. Moreover, 1xBet and 22Bet give players the possibility to bet in their local currency, so you won’t have to worry about any currency conversion fees that otherwise might apply.
Revenue from gambling has been steadily growing in the regulated market of Republika Srpska. Nonetheless, offshore bookies don’t apply for a local license due to a relative instability, fueled by the two entities’ different approach towards gambling. Rumor has it that taxation could see another boost in the coming years, following similar proposed amendments from state officials. To conclude, bettors in Bosnia are enjoying a rather welcoming betting environment. Not the same can be said about operators though, with uncertainty surrounding their future in the country.
The complete list of Bosnian bookmakers
No tax will apply on your winnings when you bet on international non-licensed sportsbooks. However, a 10% to 30% tax, depending on the amount you won, will apply when you place your bets on licensed operators.
1xBet offers punters the ability to bet using BAM as their currency and it also provides the Bosnian language on its website. So, along with its high odds and 200 markets on the local Premier League, it’s easy to see why it is one of the top bookmakers in the country.
The Republicka Uprava Za Igre Na Srecu, under the Ministry of Finance, oversees all gambling activities and issues licenses in the regulated gambling market of the Republika Srpska.
Nowadays it is rarer for the authorities to block any international bookmaker, as was the case back in 2013, when public outrage stopped such proposed plans. In most cases, you will feel welcomed by the vast majority of betting sites available to Bosnians.