Most Popular Bookies in Macedonia

Sports betting in Macedonia is still growing, and punters should be keen on how the industry continues to evolve to inform their gambling. Online betting was first declared legal in 2013, although no licenses were issued until 2014. As of 2021, the industry was fully regulated, and numerous bookmakers now offer their services freely to Macedonians.

Football is the most popular sport in the nation, closely followed by basketball, while volleyball comes in third place. The Euro 2020 tournament was a breakthrough for Macedonia when the national football team qualified for the UEFA European Championship. Despite having made a debut 20 years ago, Goran Pandev scored the first goal for Macedonia in the Euro 2020.

Most Popular Bookies in Macedonia
History of betting in Macedonia

History of betting in Macedonia

Many residents started showing interest in football betting as a result. Most sportsbooks in North Macedonia come as mobile apps, allowing bettors to enjoy sports betting on the go. Such technology enables players to wager from wherever they may be as long as there is an internet connection.

Most apps are designed for Android and iOS devices, but their web versions are accessible via mobile browsers and desktop computers. The top sports betting sites listed here will help punters choose the most suitable. All that is needed is to click the available link, and it will direct the user to the bookie's homepage.

Betting outlets and bookmakers have been legal in the Republic of North Macedonia since 1991. In 1991, North Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia and began a journey toward steady economic growth. As the state continued to develop, the gambling industry gained a lot of traction. Gambling legislation was first introduced in 1997, but it was sketchy. Companies specializing in sports events first introduced their betting services in 1999. The betting market remained a gray area for a while until the Law on Games of Chance and entertainment games was proposed in 2011 and enacted in 2013.

In 2014, online gambling was legalized, but only for lotteries. With technical assistance from ISPs, the government would block specific international betting sites. But this did not prevent Macedonians from betting at those sites. They used VPNs to bypass the restriction.

Online sports betting in Macedonia was not regulated until 2020, when the authorities started issuing licenses to sportsbook sites. The Law on Games of Chance was amended the same year to curb problem gambling, especially due to the global pandemic that forced many Macedonians to remain indoors.

A state monopoly

Since 2014, online betting was a monopoly controlled by the National Videolottery, so no private operator was allowed to provide betting services over the internet. The government monopolized online gambling by entering into a business arrangement with Casinos Austria. The latter owned 49%, while the state controlled the rest (51%).

The joint venture constituted a system of video lottery terminals and online lotto networks. Their online platforms offered casino games and sports betting opportunities as well. It is worth noting that the European Union does not allow such monopolies. So, when Macedonia officially joined the EU in 2020, the National Videolottery became unwarranted.

History of betting in Macedonia
Betting nowadays in Macedonia

Betting nowadays in Macedonia

Sports betting in Macedonia is generally just called betting. A significant percentage of sports betting fans comprise young men. The male population spends a lot of time discussing athletic events in sports cafes. The Ministry of Finance recognizes 11 licensed bookmakers, most of which are situated in the capital Skopje.

Popular chains include Sports Life, Evro, and Barsa. Other betting shops operate in residential areas. They feature lounges where players can watch live sporting events on television. They also have other gambling options, such as table games and slot machines. Macedonia supports the bookmaking industry since it is a significant source of revenue, generating about 3M Macedonian Denar (MKD) every year.

Online sports betting is popular in Macedonia, particularly in football. Luckily, online bookmakers are legal even though they operate under a state monopoly that restricts players in some ways, e.g., they only allow bets on a limited number of sports. Despite their economic status, a vast number of Macedonians play games of chance regularly. Since only a few sports betting sites are licensed to operate locally, most punters opt to bet on foreign sportsbooks. Offshore sites are more appealing thanks to wider betting markets, higher odds, and generous bonuses.

Betting nowadays in Macedonia
Future of betting in Macedonia

Future of betting in Macedonia

Now that online betting is legal in Macedonia, players can gamble at any bookie. The one thing that needs improvement is the existing landscape. The government should end the monopoly and allow legal sportsbooks to incorporate more sports betting options. That way, the state will gain more revenue through taxation and encourage competition.

As sports betting sites accepting Macedonians increase, digital apps are making the mobile experience more enjoyable. As portable devices continue to give sports betting a foothold across Macedonia, they threaten physical betting shops, which might soon exit the industry. This is only a start; exponential growth awaits the industry.

Macedonia's gambling market is likely to take the course of British bookmakers in terms of bets. UK sportsbooks have a wide range of personalized sports bets whereby punters can design how to bet. For instance, they can choose a particular team, game, or outcome even if it has not been listed on the site. Hopefully, Macedonians will soon be able to stake down for precisely what they want.

Future of betting in Macedonia
Betting acts in Macedonia

Betting acts in Macedonia

All types of gambling are governed by the Law on Games of Chance and Entertainment Games. The act was published on 5 July 2017 in the national newspaper. The regulatory act allows both online and offline betting activities. Section 10 of the same law lays down a set of customer protection measures.

The protocols do not identify with the European markets, though. Any online betting operator must design rules to maintain the safety of online betting transactions, registration process, computer programs, and monitoring. They are also required to comply with KYC procedures to show the location, identity, and financial details of the bettors.

The Law on Games of Chance also requires betting operators to establish a program for responsible gambling. They have the mandate to limit the type of game, number of bets, and amount of money players can spend on their sites. Because no commercial interactive market is involved, online sports betting licenses do not exist.

The Macedonian government had previously permitted foreign sites to operate freely (on the condition that they put up €6 million as a capital investment) until the Law on Games of Chance was introduced. Later, the legislators blocked offshore websites because they were exploiting the local market.

Betting acts in Macedonia
Macedonian players' favorite games

Macedonian players' favorite games

Favorite sports betting options for Macedonians include:

  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Karate
  • Handball

Football

Football is the most bet on sports game in the Republic of North Macedonia. In 2009, Macedonia's national football team participated in an exhibition match alongside other European champions to mark the centennial year at its home ground. At that time, Goran Pandev scored two goals during the first half.

Basketball and handball

Macedonian basketball first entered FIBA in 1993, and the national teams have since competed in Eurobaskets three times. Their best performance was recorded in 2011 when they finished fourth. Handball is the other popular betting option. Its popularity rose in 2002 when Kometal Skopje, the women's team, scooped the European Cup for the Women's Championship League. Then in 2008, the European Women's Handball Championship took place in the country, whereby the national team emerged in position seven.

Swimming marathons and the Olympics

During summer, swimming marathons are held in Lake Ohrid, while skiing is the primary winter sport in the country. The Ohrid Swimming Marathon encompasses the country's top swimmers. Macedonia also has a stake in the Olympics, so any chance to bet on these games is highly appreciated by residential punters. The first Olympic medal to be won was in 1956 when the country was still under Yugoslavia. Blagoja Vidinić, the then-goalkeeper, took the silver medal.

Macedonian players' favorite games
Payment methods in Macedonia

Payment methods in Macedonia

Knowing how to load a betting account with money and withdraw winnings is fundamental to an enjoyable betting experience. To remain competitive in the industry, sports betting sites for Macedonians provide bettors with safe payment methods. Credit and debit cards of MasterCard, American Express, and Visa are accepted.

American Express is a global money transfer system that offers quick and easy transactions. MasterCard is highly secure and convenient, and so is Visa. A common thing with these cards is that they involve the input of the card number, the CVV code, and the expiry date. This means that the player's identity is exposed in the sportsbook when placing real-money bets.

Other convenient alternatives are bank wire, ecoPayz, Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller. PayPal is encrypted and easier to use. It is a perfect e-wallet for saving money. Besides the domestic platforms, many international online bookies accept MKD. Some payment methods have lower or higher transaction limits. It is, therefore, imperative to know how to use them for betting.

Payment methods in Macedonia
FAQs

FAQs

Is it possible to wager via smartphone?

Yes. Most online bookmakers have an app version for punters to download on their mobile phones. They also come in mobile-ready webpages that work perfectly on mobile browsers.

Where can one place a sports bet online?

There are numerous sites to bet on sports in North Macedonia. It is good to check the legitimacy of the operator before signing up. Only a few bookies are licensed locally, while thousands of others are regulated by foreign jurisdictions.

Is the welcome bonus cashable?

It is not cashable right away because bookies require players to fulfill specific requirements first. Once the wagering conditions are met, the bonus money can be withdrawn together with any additional winnings.

Do Macedonians get apprehended for betting on offshore sites?

No. The gambling law in Macedonia is quite liberal, and the government does not prosecute players who sign up with overseas sites. However, the legislators have put in place measures to curtail illegal gaming operators.

Must Macedonian players pay tax after winning?

Those who place bets in locally licensed sportsbooks have to pay 10% of their winnings as tax. Winnings from other bookies are not subjected to this tax.

FAQs