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Online Gambling in the EU: What You Need to Know

23 November 2017, 00:35 CET

Online gambling is an international phenomenon that is enjoyed worldwide. However, due to its global popularity, it is inevitable that there can be confusion about its regulation in different parts of the world.

Euro gambling

The EU, or European Union, is one of the regions of the world where online gambling is rapidly growing in popularity. Whether you are a player or represent an online casino interested in breaking into the European market, it is important to fully understand the laws and regulations of online casino play in that market.

Although the EU has some regulations that apply in all of its partner nations, legislation about EU online gambling is regulated at a national level. That means that every country within the EU has a different set of laws that apply to online gambling. Indeed, the savvy businessman would more appropriately identify a country in which he wants to establish a presence, as opposed to trying to target the entire EU. In the latter situation, one might end up advertising too broadly, alienating population cohorts that are interested in playing and catering to countries where gambling is restricted.

A Brief Country-by-Country Guide

A working knowledge of the legality of online casinos in each European country can be very useful in determining where to pursue potential business ventures. The laws in a few countries will be presented below. However, if you are interested in more details about a specific country, it would be in your best interest to look up local laws. These can also be updated quite regularly, so it is important to confirm with additional resources.

In general, the UK, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, and Belgium allow online gambling. Within each of these nations, there are specific legislations regarding the regulation of the industry. For example, there is a specific governing body, ARJEL, in France that is involved with the oversight of online gambling.

In Germany, the laws are a bit more complicated, and have undergone a number of changes in the past few years. Online gambling used to be fully banned, but subsequent legislation has re-legalized it and broken a monopoly in the industry.

There are a few countries in which online gambling is completely outlawed. These include Switzerland, Poland, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, and Cyprus. Consequently, it would be of little use for an online casino company to try to target these markets.

Regarding other EU countries, the legality of online gambling varies, and some countries have different regulations depending on the specific type of gambling. For example, in some, online poker or bingo may be legal, but online sports betting or bitcoin gambling may not be. As a result, it is important to do your research on specific countries that you have in mind.

The Future of Online Gambling in the EU

Although online casino play is still restricted in some countries, there are coordinated initiatives around the continent to fully legalize online gambling in all EU nations. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is a powerful entity that lobbies for the creation of a fair, competitive market for the online gambling industry with international regulation and licensing procedures. It was first created in 2007, and since then, it has made many strides in its goals.

As interest in online gambling continues to grow, we are sure to see a stronger push for countries to legalize and regulate online gambling. It is in your best interest to follow the latest news and updates so that you can remain aware of changes that may benefit you and your business ventures.

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