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Online Casino Laws in Europe: What Players Should Know
Are you a gambler who resides in Europe or frequently visits the continent? Discover some of the gambling laws in European countries you must follow.
21:12 16 January 2023
The gambling industry is ever-growing. The concept of gambling has experienced several controversies since its inception. While Asian countries created tile games, and America modified them, European countries enjoyed the game. It is a common phenomenon in the continent, which isn't surprising, as the earliest form of wagering started in Rome.
However, the governments had to enforce laws as Europeans' love for gambling grew. It started with the Roman government banning games of chance, and now, the legislation of more accommodating laws governing these games. The most important thing to know is that different countries have different laws regarding casino gambling in their territories.
According to Sultés Szilvia, a gaming expert, “Nincsenek specifikus online kaszinós szabályok, amelyek a játékot a kontinens egészére vonatkozóan szabályoznák. Miközben például az magyar online casino területen rendelkezik bizonyos egyedi szabályokkal, ugyanez igaz a kaszinókra Angliában, Lengyelországban, Hollandiában és más európai országokban.”
In the end, individual countries are entitled to regulate their gaming services as their parliament sees fit. However, if you're in a European country and aren't sure about the laws in that country, this article will discuss several gambling laws in European countries to give you a clear understanding.
Online Casino Laws in European Countries
One thing is sure; while European governments are friendly to gaming houses and players, they frown against illegality. Players should get accustomed to these laws as it applies to their locations:
1. The United Kingdom
Gambling is legal in the United Kingdom. The country's online and physical gaming is regulated by the United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) — one of the strictest gaming commissions in the world. This means that UKGC governs most operators, and you have nothing to worry about concerning safety.
If you're wondering what games fall under the jurisdiction of UKGC, it's generally all popular casino games, poker, blackjack, slots, and others. The primary function of UKGC is to ensure these games don't promote crime, that operators aren't cheating players, and that all activities are carried out under the laws of the land.
Before 2013, there were strict laws prohibiting wagering in Hungary. However, this has changed since new legislation legalizing the act was passed in 2013.
Now, besides the legalization of gambling in Hungary, the country has become more accommodating toward gaming operators. In fact, the Hungarian government recently slashed the casino tax rate to encourage smaller operators to get into the mix.
Italy has always been liberal regarding online casino laws in Europe. Unlike its neighboring countries, Italy already legalized casino games in 2011. The Agenzia Dogane e Monopoli di Stato oversees gambling laws in Italy. This commission regulates casinos and bookmakers to ensure fair play and prevent violations of gaming rules.
If you're playing in an Italian house, the Agenzia Dogane e Monopoli di Stato oversees all casino games, poker, bingo, lottery, and many more. The good part is that you don't have to pay taxes on your winnings, but if you're looking to establish a casino in the country, the tax and excess fees fall on you.
It's almost unbelievable that casino gaming is illegal in France, considering many games allegedly started in the country. The government argument is that these games, except poker, are addictive and shouldn't be allowed. However, if you're open to trying other forms of wagering, the French government supports horse race betting and online poker.
The accepted forms of gambling are regulated by Francaise des Jeux for lottery, the Pari Mutuel Urbain for horse racing wagering, and the ARJEL for online games.
The Slovakia gambling market has experienced decent growth, despite being a late bloomer until 2016. In 2016, the country passed a strange legislation forbidding foreign and international online casinos from operating in Slovakia.
This was an attempt to monopolize their gambling market to boost revenue. It didn't last. In 2019, the Slovakian government welcomed foreign operators back to their country. As a consequence, players can now access local and international online casinos without stress.
While gambling is easy in Spain, establishing a platform is hard. Spain says, 'come, but you must be licensed.' The Spanish government requires an operator to get a general license — that allows the site to use accepted game modes — before getting the single and essential license. The good part is that most houses in the country are licensed; you can walk into any casino, and they'd be legit.
While there are strict online casino laws in Europe, several European countries are lenient towards gambling. Ultimately, the goal of these countries is to give you entertainment without putting you at risk of fraud and cyberattacks. You can use this article as a guide to know the gambling status of each country and follow it accordingly.