Everyone likes to gamble the world over. This means that no matter where you are, you need to get information for what you can and can't do online. As such, we are going to go in-depth and tackle the fairly enormous issue of online casinos in Sri Lanka. We will proceed to analyse the state of the gambling industry in Sri Lanka.
We will do this by looking at everything, from its history and legal status to other issues present in today's world. Additionally, in this article, we will also offer you a shortlist of some of our favourite casinos. This will be done from a uniquely Sri Lankan point of view.
Finally, we will answer all the most important and common questions a Sri Lankan player (or prospective one) could possibly have regarding everything related to casinos and online casinos in Sri Lanka.
This guide intends to be comprehensive, and we recommend that people read it in its entirety to get completely informed on the issue. It's especially something we wish prospective new players to do. This is because this guide contains valuable information a prospective new player will probably be reading for the first time.
The populace loves it, for one thing. Also, the government will have to be careful to maintain the goodwill of the people. This means specifically not causing undue unemployment or erode their tax base. Since the online gambling industry is super competitive, it's likely that, as time goes on, online casinos are likely to fight over players, more and more, at the global level.
This will also directly affect Sri Lankan players positively on many fronts. We can expect to see online casinos catering to players in a localized fashion, and this will be bound to be good for all Sri Lankan gamblers in general. Just as an obvious example, this article would have been much shorter and much harder to write even a couple of short years ago!
We are hoping and expecting a very bright future for Sri Lankan players, both new and experts, and for the online casino industry in general. And we have every reason to believe that these hopes and expectations will be duly fulfilled as time marches on and on.
How to Choose the Best Casinos for Sri Lankan Players
There are many criteria for choosing the best casino, and it can vary a lot by locality, perhaps surprisingly so. For Sri Lankan players, you will find that some things will be as important to you as there would be to players anywhere else on Earth. However, there are also a bunch of issues that are very much specific to Sri Lanka as a country.
For example, online security doesn't change much from country to country. Security, by its very nature, will be based on the same principles. On the other end of things, nobody from outside of Sri Lanka is going to be looking for casino bonuses in Sri Lankan Rupees, for example!
We believe that the criteria we are using as a review team will be of great benefit to you, the reader and current or potential new player from Sri Lanka. Here is a list of the criteria that, in our expert opinion, think should be used to determine which online casino or casinos are right for you.
Check for The Right Casino Licences
This particular subject is definitely global in nature, as it applies to everywhere on Earth equally. Similarly, the same gaming licences, although they come from specific companies, are the same ones that are of the utmost importance the world over. The two most important licences for casinos are those of the UK (put out by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or UKGC) and Malta (put out by the MGA or Malta Gaming Authority). There are many reasons for this.
These two regulatory bodies have the strictest standards and make online casinos comply with many rigorous processes in order to obtain, and maintain, a licence. These processes directly or indirectly benefit you, the player. Of course, there are also lots of other regulatory bodies dealing with online casinos. Some of them are:
UKGC (United Kingdom).
This list represents what we consider to be the most important half of the authorities out there. It should be noted that, as of this writing, Sri Lanka itself doesn't have a regulatory body. Indeed, it doesn't have any legislation dealing with the issue of online gaming whatsoever. More specific information on this will be made available later on in this article.
Generally, the more conservative and risk-averse Sri Lankans will want to stick with the best online casinos that are licenced by the UKGC and MGA, or at least one of the two. Other licences should be considered merely a bonus.
Customer Support Options
Customer Support is very important in a casino, and often not really counted as such. Of course, this is only true until a player runs into a problem and needs to make use of the customer support team. At that point, its importance becomes undeniable. Factors to ponder regarding the quality of an online casino's customer support include:
Is customer support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Is it available by email? By chat? Telephone? (hopefully, all three options are available.)
Are wait times to talk to a human being by chat or phone short?
Conversely, are email response times fast?
Is customer support personnel knowledgeable? And polite? Are they capable of solving your issues?
It's also worth mentioning that customer support for Sri Lankan players has to be eminently capable of solving problems from a Sri Lankan perspective. This means understanding the ins and outs of the Sri Lankan financial system, Sri Lankan's personal tastes in gaming, etc.
Is the Casino Secure?
As we talked about above, licences are important. One of the main reasons they are so important is that they contribute in such a meaningful way to an online casino having a tight security regimen. Naturally, apart from just verifying a couple of licences, a Sri Lankan player should also verify the following. When browsing an online casino and trying to determine its level of security be aware of:
Is its encryption strong and up to date?
Is the site audited by third parties for security (apart from the licencing bodies)
Does the site hire cybersecurity experts, like penetration testers, to regularly review the site's security?
Does the site make privacy a priority?
Does the site keep any personal data from the players? If so, specifically what data, and for how long do they keep it?
Safe Gambling Sites
The good news is that almost all this information can be found quite easily on most online casinos. Also, online casinos have been getting safer and safer on average as time goes on, and people wake up to just how important online security really is.
Generally, all you have to do is to scroll down the main page of an online casino to find most or all of the relevant information mentioned above, including licences and security schemes. If you still haven't found every bit of info you require, you may click on “About Us” or similar to find it.
Bonuses Available in Sri Lankan Rupees
It's true that many online casinos tend to ignore the Sri Lankan Rupee when giving out otherwise generous bonuses. However, things are beginning to change rapidly in this, thankfully, super-competitive industry.
Many of the top casinos, such as Jackpot City Casino, Ruby Fortune, Gaming Club, Spin Casino and Royal Vegas have now been offering very good bonuses for Sri Lankan players. These bonuses are available in their own currency. In fact, as of this writing, over 90 different casinos have now taken Sri Lanka into account and are offering casino bonuses of all kinds and types in Sri Lankan Rupees.
Good Comments of Other Players
This is another one of those criteria that are really useful pretty much wherever you are in the world. It's another often overlooked thing as well, and it's much more important than people generally think. People who take the time to give an online casino a glowing recommendation anywhere on the internet speak volumes about that casino's quality and how it treats its players. Just, please make sure to be reading these comments from a reputable source, one that makes sure to not allow any spam or shilling.
Our Favourite Sri Lankan Casinos
We have now talked at length about the criteria used to review online casinos for Sri Lankan players. At this point we'd like to recommend a shortlist of our favourites, the online casinos we think will be most amenable to Sri Lankan customers in this day and age.
Besides the above criteria, we have also thought simply in common tastes and preferences of the Sri Lankan player market, which we feel is also important. The following casinos are listed in order, starting with our most favourite of them all:
Number of Games
Most Common Sri Lanka Casino Bonuses
Generally, the bonuses most common offered by online casinos to Sri Lankan players are those of welcome bonuses. These, in turn, take the form of matching deposit bonuses more than any other type of bonus.
What this means is that, with your initial deposit (and possibly the next several deposits after that), the casino will give you free casino bonus money, up to 100 percent or sometimes even more than that in certain circumstances. There are also seasonal or other types of matching bonuses that are given out under certain circumstances, as well as free spins and loyalty-based bonuses or promotions.
Free spins work exactly like their name implies they would work. Usually, the player gets a certain amount of free spins. These free spins are generally good on only one slot or a few slots. In fact, they are often used to promote a specific slot, especially a new one. Terms and conditions almost always apply.
Loyalty-based bonuses are a bit different from an online casino to an online casino. One common method is to have a tier-based system, where customers earn loyalty points, and when they get enough points accumulated, they pass on to the next tier. These awards are often well worth it to obtain and should be sought after in general.
Seasonal bonuses are another fairly common type of bonus available to Sri Lankan players. These bonuses are usually tied to a specific event or time of the year. This means that they often have to do heavily with the theme of the online casino in question. As well, and as we mentioned briefly above, options for no deposit bonuses have started to show up for Sri Lankan players. This is surely news to be excited about, especially people who were waiting for this particular option to come up somewhere in an online casino.
Sometimes Bonuses in Other Currencies Are Good, Too
It's true that currency conversion can be expensive, and also inconvenient. However, often, bonuses in other currencies are too good to pass up. It's a good idea to keep an eagle eye out for these sorts of bonuses. Sometimes the currency conversion is worth it in order to get the bonus offer. This is, of course, especially true in the case of things like a no deposit bonus, or similar offers.
Is Gambling Legal in Sri Lanka?
The short answer to this question is: yes, gambling is legal in Sri Lanka. This includes both online gambling and brick and mortar gambling in real-life casinos. However, there are some legal caveats to the above.
Online Gambling Laws for Sri Lankan Players
Technically, online gambling is presently legal in the country of Sri Lanka because it hasn't been recognized or addressed in any way shape or form. As of the date of this writing, there is no legislation whatsoever. This means that Sri Lankan players don't have a regulatory body to appeal to at the national level yet.
In any case, international licences like the online casinos in the UK with UKGC and MGA licences will continue to be important. This is the case even in the event of some sort of Sri Lankan regulatory body being established for online gambling in the future.
Technically Legal to Operate Out of Sri Lanka
This also means, since there are no regulations to prevent it, that one could operate an online casino out of Sri Lanka. As things stand now, there would be nothing at all to prevent it from happening. Of course, to date, no casino company has decided to start up or relocate to Sri Lanka. This is perhaps due to the fact that no current regulations exist. People may be afraid of changes to the law in the future causing them to lose their investment and/or infrastructure. The online casino industry loves security, which is why most online casinos are physically located in countries with mature regulatory systems, such as Malta.
What About The Law for Land Casinos?
Unlike online gambling in Sri Lanka, land casinos are indeed regulated and controlled by the Sri Lankan national government. These laws hold the country's brick and mortar casinos to very strict standards. These standards are generally considered by the industry itself to be reasonable. Testament to the above is the fact that Sri Lanka's brick and mortar casino industry appears to be flourishing.
What Is the Minimum Gambling Age in Sri Lanka?
As was just stated in the above paragraphs, for online gambling, there are no regulations in place as yet. It should be noted that many online casinos, especially the big international ones, have their own rules.
As a matter of fact, it is very unlikely that someone under 18 years of age will even get the chance to participate in an online casino at this point. Therefore, underage gambling from Sri Lanka is not to be considered a major issue by any means. Despite the lack of laws on Sri Lanka's side, the providers tend not to allow it. For brick and mortar casinos, one must be 21 in Sri Lanka to even enter such premises, according to current Sri Lankan laws.
At any rate, this site cannot, in good conscience, recommend minors to engage in activities such as online gambling. This would be, among other things, contrary to industry best practices. It would also be illegal for most of the online casinos in question, and with very good reason.
Casino Payment Methods in Sri Lanka
There are five top payment methods we can recommend for Sri Lankan players to deposit and withdraw their money at an old or new online casino. The recommendations that follow, just like the recommendations of the casinos themselves, are in order. We have put the most favourable methods put first.
This does not mean, however, that any of these methods are less than adequate. It should be noted that all of them should serve your needs well. And, as always, your individual situation may vary, making some options better than others as to your particular situation.
Neteller, with Skrill mentioned just below, are both eWallets. This is this review team's favourite method of dealing with just about anything online, including online casinos. Honestly, Neteller and Skrill are neck and neck in most cases. We have put Neteller first simply because customer reviews are slightly more favourable with Neteller, but both systems work the same. Neteller acts as a go-between between your bank account and the merchant, in this case, an online casino, providing you with a free or low-cost extra layer of security.
Skrill and Neteller both work in a very similar fashion, and they in turn are very similar to PayPal; all of these are favourite methods when it comes to playing free online slots. PayPal is more international in scope, but it is not recommended in this article as it doesn't work well with online casinos in many cases. In fact, it is rarely even offered as an option. Skrill also links up with one or more bank accounts and allows you to transfer money back and forth from them with ease. In turn, it is used as a payment method with online casinos and is among the more popular.
A debit card issued by your bank is generally going to be a good option for doing business with online casinos. Some players will prefer this option over e-wallets simply because it's more hassle-free and easier, and eliminates a step in many cases.
The main downside to this is that transactions often take longer this way with online casinos. This is especially true as far as withdrawing your money is concerned. Often fees are higher with this method as well. In fact, many times with Neteller or Skrill, fees are minimal or non-existent.
This option will generally work the same as a debit card deposit or withdrawal, at least from the casino's point of view. This is because they work with the Visa or Mastercard systems of financial transactions, as pointed out just above.
The one word of caution here is that credit card companies are likely to treat online casino purchases as they would an advance in cash, which may subject such a transaction to increased fees and interest. Also, interest counts from day one if this is the case. There will be no grace period if your purchase is treated as a cash advance. Kindly contact your financial institution before making a deposit of this nature to avoid unnecessary surprises at a future date!
It's also important to mention one more key concept. Since these are credit cards we are talking about, you would be playing with the bank's money instead of your money. This means that you have to make sure you can back up this money with your own money at all times when playing. This applies to any type of credit instrument, like a credit card or line of credit. Never play with money you can't afford to lose; that's the golden rule!
This is still an adequate option, but one is likely to incur more fees by this method than any other, and, perhaps even worse, longer wait times. This option is last because of the two factors mentioned above. It, however, may still be the best option for some, depending on their circumstances.
Some people may worry about privacy when using a bank transfer, but online casinos these days tend to be very secure. Because of such heightened security, this should be the least of your worries. This is especially true when dealing with an MGA and/or UKGC licensed online casino.
Can I Gamble at Mobile Casinos in Sri Lanka?
Once again, the short answer to this question is: yes, you can. Mobile casinos apps, in fact, have been trending towards using browser-based versions of their games even for mobile users lately. This is mainly because both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store don't play nice with online casinos.
So, instead of having to play tricks to get an app installed on your phone, it's often easier for both the casino and the player to just build a mobile version. It's important to make sure that this will run on Safari, Chrome, etc. Statistics even show that, as of the time of this writing, more than half of all online casino gaming was done from mobile devices, worldwide. It's very likely that this is a trend that will continue along the same lines in the near future.
Live Casino Games With Sri Lankan Dealers
While this one took a little research, there are live games out there with Sri Lankan dealers. In fact, our team was able to spot three different casinos where you can participate in games with live dealers from your own country if you are Sri Lankan:
This is something that is expected to probably increase in the future. Many game providers and/or top online casinos have struck deals with brick and mortar casinos worldwide to have tables streamed live from their premises, using their staff as live dealers, croupiers etc. It's possible that such a deal could be struck in the near future with one of Sri Lanka's many excellent brick and mortar casinos as well.
Favourite Games of Sri Lankan Players
Sri Lankans tend to love gaming in general. Different versions of games where people would gamble have been around for literally millennia in Sri Lanka. This would include both local games and also games imported from parts of the Asian subcontinent. Really, game from all of Asia in general made their way to Sri Lanka eventually. In Modern Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan tastes aren't far off from world tastes. Nobody from almost anywhere on Earth is going to be surprised by Sri Lankan tastes in gaming. This is something we can say with confidence.
As stated before, sports betting has been a long-standing tradition in the country of Sri Lanka, and this continues to be a thing going all the way up to the present day. These days, the sports betting is more and more diversified, and changing rapidly, with the advent of eSports betting and such.
We can expect that in the future, eSports will soon overtake Sri Lanka as opposed to traditional sports for sports betting. We can say this with confidence because this is already starting to happen in other countries in the region. As for the best casino games, Sri Lankan tastes aren't very surprising. In fact, they are very much in line with international standards. They tend to like slots a lot, as well as table games like poker, blackjack, baccarat and roulette.
Surprisingly for many non-Sri-Lankans, the country actually has a long history of legal gambling in various forms. This is because any sort of gaming has historically been legal going back throughout the centuries. In the post-industrial world, horse racing took over the Sri Lankan gambling scene, as it was incredibly popular with the local population. Horse racing became a big deal in Sri Lanka as far back as the 1840s, in fact. The first major racetrack was built in Colombo in 1922. This track is still in use to this day., to the delight of its fans.
In fact, it dominated the scene so much, that it wasn't until the 1990's that other sports became common to bet on in the country. That is not to say it's not still popular, however. Current regulations didn't come into play until the year 2010, however. These regulations included things like taxing the sports betting industry, which allowed for increases in public spending.
Land-based Casinos in Sri Lanka
A second gambling bill was passed in 2015 after a new government came into power. Regulations were further tightened on land-based casinos. These governmental measures resulted in cancelling new constructions of casinos in resorts in Sri Lanka. The new legislation also resulted in increased taxes and licencing fees on existing brick and mortar casinos. Despite the newer more strict regulations and heavier tax burden, the brick and mortar casino scene in Sri Lanka continues to flourish and probably will continue to do so indefinitely.
In fact, it's doubtful that gambling will ever even come close to being made illegal at this point in Sri Lanka, however. This is because it has long since become an entrenched industry at this point, and to do so would mean increased unemployment, something no government wants to be responsible for forever! We believe that there is plenty of room for both brick and mortar gambling and online gambling all over the world, and Sri Lanka certainly is no exception.
The Future of Online Gambling in Sri Lanka
The future is something that's impossible to predict one hundred percent, in any case. However, it is feasible to talk about what is probably going to happen in the near future in Sri Lanka regarding online casinos. We will predict that the following will happen:
Regulations of the industry will likely be handed down by Sri Lanka's national government in the near future
These regulations will likely be in favour of taxing the industry, although there may be some provisions also made for things like responsible gambling initiatives.
The above may have a slight negative effect on Sri Lankan's return to player (RTP), especially at first, as the industry adjusts.
The industry will continue to grow in Sri Lanka, regulations or no.
The competitive nature of the industry will generally favour Sri Lankan players.
There will be more and more and better bonuses available to Sri Lankan players.
There will be more and more things like live Sri Lankan dealers for gaming at online casinos.
Do Sri Lankan online casinos offer bonuses?
Yes, they do. Many casinos now offer bonuses for Sri Lankan players. Many of these are now starting to offer them in Sri Lankan Rupees.
Is it safe to gamble for players from Sri Lanka?
The online gambling world is vast, and as such it is full of very reputable online casinos, and some which are not so reputable. It's important to do your due diligence and research things properly. These things would include especially the licences, the online casino's security credentials, and, finally, third party reviews.
Is it legal to gamble in Sri Lanka?
In a word, yes, it's legal to gamble in Sri Lanka.
Based in Valencia, Spain, Giuseppe gave up Milan for sunny shores. New licenses, new casinos, new bonuses, new games - there's always something to write about. Being so close to the action in the gambling industry, he's on top of any new developments the minute they come through the door. Aiming to deliver updates and comprehensive information to you, he does his best to thoroughly test out and rate what he reviews.
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