Monaco: Europe’s Gambling Capital
June 21, 2019
ng about Monaco, most of them start thinking of yachts, high-class society, and parties at brick-and-mortar casinos, F1 Grand Prix, and expensive hotels. That’s for a good reason, as Monaco is one of the most luxurious tourists’ destinations in the world, so you won’t find minimum deposit casino here so you either bet big time or go sightseeing. However, what else do you know about Monaco? How is gambling regulated in Monaco? What are the income taxes in Monaco? And why is Monaco worth visiting? All the answers can be found in this article, so keep reading.
The Overview of Monaco
Having an area of 2.2and a population of around 38,400, Monaco is the second-smallest country in the entire world (following the Vatican). Just imagine, Monaco has around 19 thousand people per , which is considered to be the highest population density among all European countries. Principality of Monaco (which is the official name of Monaco) is surrounded by the French borders on three sides and by the Mediterranean Sea on the fourth side.
Despite the fact that Monaco is known as the gambling capital of Europe, gambling is not the main source of the state’s revenue. As we have already mentioned, Monaco is one of the most popular tourists’ destinations, with over 11% of the total revenue coming from tourism. Each year, thousands, if not millions, of tourists flock to the world-famous gambling houses in Monte Carlo and visit the F1 Grand Prix show which is held annually in May. Many people simply come to Monaco for the weekends to see the beauty of this country. If you take a look at the photos of Monaco, you will be definitely impressed by how they’ve managed to combine modern technologies with centuries-old architecture and natural beauty.
What is also interesting, Monaco has the lowest poverty rate and the highest number of billionaires per unit of population. Once you visit Monte Carlo, you will see a lot of luxury houses and elite yachts. With the nominal GDP of around $153,130 per capita, the Monaco residents can afford any houses, cars, and yachts they want. Though Monaco is not a member of the EU, its currency is Euro – the same currency that is used in its closest partner – France.
Keeping Locals Away from Casinos
Since Monaco is associated with casinos, let’s talk about gambling in Monaco in details. As of now, there are 5 brick-and-mortar casinos in Monte Carlo. These are Casino de Monte Carlo, Sun Casino, Monte Carlo Bay Casino, Casino Cafe de Paris, and Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino. The latter was launched not so long time ago, in 2017. All the casinos in Monaco are regulated under the Gambling Act adopted in 1987 and by two regulatory bodies: the Gambling Commission and Department of Gambling Control.
As weird as it sounds, but Monegasques (local people) can’t even make a step inside any of the Monaco brick-and-mortar casinos. The only way for the locals to get into the casinos is to start working there. However, what is the reason for such a decision? There are many theories but the main reason for that lies behind the history of the very first gambling house in Monaco.
The point is that Monaco wasn’t always a luxurious and elegant country. When Princess Caroline launched the first Monaco casino, it was extremely important to save each cent that the locals could save. That’s why it was decided to ban the locals from gambling at all in exchange for exempting them from paying income taxes. One more interesting fact is that now around 80% of Monaco’s residents are foreigners. Of course, they are excluded from the prohibition and can easily gamble at any casino they want.
What about online gambling? Believe it or not, but online casinos are prohibited in Monaco, partially at least. Though the draft bill of September 2001 gave a clear definition to online gambling and defined how it should be regulated, it wasn’t adopted by the government. Since there’s nothing mentioned about online gambling in the 1987 Gambling Act, the citizens can still visit a lot of foreign gaming websites. Some experts say it’s possible that French gambling laws will extend to Monaco, which will make online gambling limited to certain forms like sports betting, slot machines, and poker.
Behind the Gambling Scene
Nowadays, Monaco is a real gambling capital, but will it always carry this title? In fact, having gambling as the second-biggest industry contributing to the countries budget is a pretty risky thing. If the government manages to keep gambling in balance while steadily developing other key industries, Monaco will only strengthen its position on the world arena. If not, the country will be at risk of losing a big part of its revenue, which can increase the unemployment rate and ruin such a perfect economy.