Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Focus EU Binary Laws & Regulations

EU Binary Laws & Regulations

05 September 2017, 12:10 CET

Binary trading was once a product of America, having been invented their and taking off in dramatic fashion. However, binary trading brokers are also very active in the European Union, and this form of trading has already proved popular in the continent.

Nevertheless, there are some questions as to whether or not binary trading is actually legal in Europe and the EU in particular, and if so, what the regulations and laws are. In order to ensure that you have peace of mind when it comes to binary trading, we're going in-depth regarding the exact regulations of binary investments when trading in Europe.

Legalities & Regulations

The short answer to whether or not binary trading is legal in the EU is a simple yes. As it stands at the moment, in European countries, the trading of binary investments is in fact legal, but in most countries, the actual practice of financial trading isn't regulated, meaning there are a number of issues that could arise from taking part in such a trade. There are currently a very limited number of countries that have any laws at all related to things like binary betting, which helps to ensure that people are generally allowed to engage in financial trading if they so please. This is very similar to other forms of trading or collecting like stamp or coin collection – where monetary transactions are involved in the trade but there are no regulations. With the absence of laws, that doesn't necessarily mean that the practice is illegal, it simply means that the entire practice is legal just not necessarily regulated.

Due to the lack of regulation in that particular sector of financial trading can make people worry about being scammed by EU brokers, but there are a number of things in place that help to ensure that you are somewhat protected. For example, in some European countries financial trading as a whole is officially legalised and somewhat regulated, and if you're concerned about whether or not you're going to be scammed if you used an unlicensed broker, you can turn to the countries that regulate their binary options and use brokers based in those particular countries. This is the safest way to practice binary trading. Some countries also offer online investing laws, meaning you can take advantage of the brokers licensed in these countries in order to remain protected.

Countries With No Regulations Or Laws

The majority of countries based within the EU do not regulate or have any laws in relation to binary betting or investments, meaning you may find that you are unprotected when placing bets. In these countries, binary trading is generally legal, but the governments currently have very little interest in these particular areas of investment and this is the reason as to why these areas are not regulated – not because they are illegal. For this reason, it is important to understand the basics behind binary options trading so you can have a clear idea where your limitations are in these unregulated countries. Nevertheless, European countries may soon decide to regulate this area of financial betting and trading, particularly in countries such as Italy, Germany, Spain and France. Other national governments are likely to follow suit and implement some form of regulation, similar to that of the United Kingdom, Malta and Cyprus.

United Kingdom

In the UK, all forms of financial trading is regulated and legalised, with the Financial Conduct Authority (formally known as the Financial Service Authority) and the Financial Policy Committee currently in charge of regulating this. Binary options brokers have to apply for some form of license if looking to set up in the UK and this will be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority or Financial Service Authority. This means you are highly likely to be protected when it comes to binary trading in the UK.


In terms of financial betting, if you are considering binary betting, Cyprus was actually the first country to legalise and regulate it. Due to its EU membership, EU financial trading regulations are implemented in the country, meaning the entire country is completely protected. This is generally conducted through the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which aims to protect investors, order markets and stabilise finances. While Cyprus is deemed to be a small country that does not have much influence in Europe, Cyprus' binary options are actually up to the same standard as UK financial regulations. With the EU at the helm of all of their financial trading laws, particularly when it comes to their domestic laws, you will be much more protected if you consider a Cypriot broker.


Malta is looking to be a hub of financial conduct in Europe, and having already made a name in Europe for its iGaming and gambling communities. Due to the fact that Malta is a full country in the European Union, it has to follow a number of strict regulations which are laid out by the EU, similar to the way Cyprus have to operate. This means that Malta is able to legalise and officially regulate any form of binary options trading. In addition to this, the Malta Financial Services Authority announced in 2013 how Binary Options are considered as financial instruments, meaning they need to be regulated.

Document Actions
EU Alerts

EUbusiness Week no. 813
Turkish repression condemned
→ EUbusiness Week archive

The Week Ahead no. 382
Informal EU summit - Greek progress - sustainable finance - EU protein plan - clean energy - global ban on cosmetics testing on animals

Subscription options