Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It gained its independence in 1953. Nowadays, it is a single-party socialist republic under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party. The martial art of muay Lao, similar to Thailand's muay Thai, is the national sport. Football and volleyball are also very popular, and sports betting in Laos attracts many players.
As a typical southeastern Asian nation, gambling has long been part of its culture. All forms of gambling in Laos are illegal for locals; they may only participate in the state lottery. There is no specific law in place. At the same time, thousands of tourists storm the few local casinos. Moreover, the authorities do not seem to bother with the online sector at all. As a result, local bettors are placing their bets online, as most international bookies gladly accept them.
Best Betting Sites in Laos
Here we list the best Laos bookmakers for you to save you the search. They stand out for the wide coverage they offer in the major football competitions, as well as for their special bets and competitive odds.
Gambling in Laos - 5 Things to Know
- 1 No betting is allowed for locals
- 2 The state lottery is the only legal gambling option for them
- 3 Many international bookies accept Lao players
- 4 Law enforcement is not targeting the online sector at all
- 5 Casinos in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone only accept tourists
⏩Active players: 950.000
⏩Currency: Lao kip (LAK)
⏩Regulated gambling products: Casino games, lottery
⏩Operator types: Casinos, state-run lottery, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
⏩Designated authority: No respective authority is in place
Online Gambling in Laos: The Law Framework
Every form of gambling in Laos is illegal for locals, apart from the state lottery. There are no specific Laos gambling laws nor a regulatory authority in place. Only the 2001 Penal Law (that was revised in 2005) states that ‘forbidden gambling’ is illegal. However, it doesn’t clearly state which kind of gambling is considered ‘forbidden’ after all.
At the same time, some areas have been characterized as ‘Special Economic Zones’ (SEZ) since 2003. These are the only areas where players may legally gamble at the casinos, and by players, we mean tourists only. The infamous Golden Triangle SEZ is located in the Mekong River region, near the borders with Thailand and China.
The Kings Romans casino defines the whole area, attracting thousands of Chinese and Thai gamblers. The state tries to boost the economy through taxes and tourism; however, the emerging casinos in the Mekong area bring notoriety amid reports of drug trafficking and violence.
Locals are not allowed to enter the premises, yet the authorities usually turn a blind eye. Still, when locals manage to enter, they reportedly have trouble getting their hands on winnings. Besides that, there's absolutely no reference to sports betting. However, the authorities seem reluctant to apply the law.
Especially around online betting in Laos, which seems absolutely unmonitored. So, Laotians end up having absolutely no problem accessing international bookies. There aren't any Laos betting sites that hold any local license since the government hasn't issued one yet. So, sticking to reputable bookies is indeed the only viable choice.
Essential Info for Bettors
If you are a Laotian, you may not engage in any type of gambling apart from the state lottery. On the other hand, authorities do not block access to bookmakers whatsoever. Plus, no law enforcement seems to be actually apparent; especially online.
Remember that when placing a bet online, Laos local bookies are mainly scammers. And, since it is typically illegal to access them, you will not get proper support if a problem arises. In order to avoid all that, just stick to the ones we list in our analysis.
Altogether, both players and operators are practically under no scrutiny by the local authorities. Laws target just the land-based Laos gambling places. Still, using a VPN to keep your IP safe is always a good idea.
How to Deposit at Online Bookies
In Laos, online betting is as loose as it gets. Banks do not block transactions, while players can use bank wire or credit cards worry-free. There is no active blocking from the state in any form.
However, for players who want to use e-wallets, Skrill and Neteller are not available. Lastly, internet penetration is relatively high, reaching almost 50%. Thus, if you are familiar with cryptocurrencies; a rising number of the best betting sites in Laos are gradually accepting transactions with them.
Gambling Regulations in Adjacent Jurisdictions
⏩ Vietnam: Starting in 2017, casino and sports betting legalization have taken effect. A significant predicament arises as it solely mentions brick-and-mortar operators, leaving the online gambling domain without a governing body. As a consequence, local players exploit this situation by enrolling on online Vietnam betting sites.
⏩ Maynmar: Much like other countries in the area, online betting in Myanmar is technically illegal. However, since the state allows gambling for tourists, it also overlooks the activity of locals. So, in most cases, you can sign up at online operators without the fear of action against you.
⏩ Cambodia: This is another country where gambling is deemed illegal, but authorities do not usually prosecute violators. For that reason, you can engage in sports betting in Cambodia relatively freely, whether it is land-based or online bookmakers.
The Future of Laos Online Gambling
The thing is that there is still no law framework around gambling in Laos, and this is definitely not an optimistic sign for the sector altogether. The government is willing to regulate the market, and the special economic zones are a sign of that.
However, there is still a long road until -if ever- a regulated gambling environment shapes up. There is much more than just casinos, while Lao gamblers seem to be left out of the big picture. Time will only show how things are gonna shape up after all.
Every bookmaker that you come across in our analysis is checked in terms of trustworthiness and legitimacy. Sticking to them guarantees a safe betting experience. Moreover, try to avoid local bookmakers of dubious quality.
Being one of the most reputable bookmakers, 22Bet does accept Lao bettors. Don’t miss out on their extensive coverage of the world’s biggest football events. They also allow you to open an account in the local Kip currency for a localized experience.
If you are Laotian, all forms of gambling are illegal, apart from playing at the national lottery. Betting on international bookies is typically illegal; yet the authorities only seem to bother with land-based casinos, so you'll be totally fine.
A reputable bookmaker, 1xBet accepts Lao players, providing one of the widest betting arrays on sports from all major leagues and competitions. They also come with a 98%+ payout on major football leagues and allow you to keep a local currency account.
It is probably even easier than you may think. All the bookies that we list lead you step by step on their site. The usual general points are: hit the sign-up button, fill in your details, select your preferred payment method, upload an official document to prove your ID and that’s it. You’re off to start betting.