Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in Southeastern Europe, situated on the western edge of the Balkan Peninsula and bordered by Croatia to the north, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast.
The legal state of online gambling in the country is best described as undefined. While its residents have gone through several time periods of uncertainty over their gambling rights and the possibility to access online casinos, they have in general been able to gamble freely and where they choose since the start of the virtual era. Internet wagering has always been a matter of heated discussions both in public and in political circles, but aside from debating on its fate, nothing conclusive has been done to establish a defined and effective regulatory framework. That is, unless counting the country's political entity Republic of Srpska, which has issued several e-gaming licenses independently, with the condition that customers must register a banking account at one of the domestic financial institutions. However, standardized country-wide regulations have yet to be formed.
Currently, all forms of gambling are actively pursued and enjoyed by players. While not legal in full view of the law, they are not specifically prohibited either. In 2013, certain political parties and organizations opposing e-gaming launched a campaign to ban the activity, for what they called an ''alarming increase in the number of bets made via the Internet.'' This was partly due to brick and mortar owners demanding protection from competition coming through virtual channels. Sports betting is by far the most popular pastime in the country, with over 80% of adult population, mostly males, betting on sports events and matches several times a week, either through on-land betting shops or available websites. Without notifying the public, the Ministry of Finance ordered national banks to block all credit card transactions to and from gaming sites. Before they had the chance to order all internet service providers to restrict access to unregulated sites, nation-wide outrage erupted over night, with community forums, news and other media flooded with complaints by enraged punters, who considered this a violation of constitutional rights. Under immense pressure, the Regulatory Communications Agency (RAK) relented and withdrew the ban, and the legal climate returned to its previous ''gray zone'' state.
Since the attempted prohibition, the majority of local punters prefer prepaid cards and digital wallet services, which they use to deposit at Bet365, Bet at Home, Interwetten, Unibet, Betfair and a host of other providers who continue to solicit customers from this and neighboring regions.
The Government plans to take a dynamic approach to gambling policies and customer protection and intends to create new laws to address the pressing concerns. The first in line of priorities is to enforce additional measures to protect minors and increase social responsibility, but for now the effort remains directed at land-based venues and betting shops.
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