The Changing Gambling Legislation Landscape in Europe

The Changing Gambling Legislation Landscape in Europe

To cover all of Europe’s gambling legislation as thoroughly as possible, we’ll probably need an encyclopedia. This is because Europe is a large territory with over 50 different countries, each of which has its own set of gaming legislation. Furthermore, certain nations are divided into smaller regions, each of which is governed by its own set of laws.

Let’s begin by looking at the big picture in Europe before delving into some of the more significant gaming markets there. This will provide a very accurate picture of the gaming environment across Europe. Following that, we recommend that you thoroughly research the laws that govern your specific country.

The Evolution of Gambling in Europe

Although people in Europe have been gambling for a long time, the first types of wagering seen in Europe were simple dice competitions. The games became so popular during the Middle Ages that the King of England issued a royal order prohibiting gambling among his soldiers in the year 1190. People in Europe have grown accustomed to betting on cockfights, as well as chess tournaments and bird races, over the last three centuries. The current obsession with sports betting and horse racing can be traced back to European settlements in the United Kingdom in the 14th century.

Gambling in the style of a casino, as it is now known, first appeared in the latter half of the 18th century, and some establishments from that era are still in operation today. The Casino de Spa in Belgium, which first opened its doors in 1769, is a good example of this. The only difference between 18th century18th-century games and those played today is that the games played today are different.

Online gambling is legal in European countries

It is difficult to generalize the online gambling that occurs across the entire European continent. In comparison to countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, European nations generally take a more relaxed approach to the process of awarding licenses for legal online gambling and regulating such gambling. Three categories determine the legitimacy of poker, online casinos, and sports betting in Europe:

  • Licensing Without Restrictions
  • A license will be granted if every one of the specific licensing criteria is met (Malta)
  • Restrictions on Licensing
  • Under this category, people can place bets on websites that have been authorized and regulated by the government in their home countries.

The State’s Monopoly

A license can be granted to only one company that is completely controlled by the government. Scandinavian nations (Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, Poland, and Sweden)

European Gambling and Betting Industries Association

The European Gaming and Betting Association, with its headquarters in Brussels, began operations in 2017. The primary goal of this organization’s formation was to create an open, regulated, and competitive market for online gambling companies looking to do business in Europe. Despite the fact thatEven though it has yet to achieve its primary goal, the EGBA has had some success during its existence. Although only a small number of members are currently registered with EGBA, it is expected that this number will grow as more gambling service providers recognize the importance of regulation and legislation.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Europe’s most important gaming markets to get a better understanding of the regulations that govern gambling in the region:

England’s Kingdom

The gaming market in the United Kingdom remains the largest in Europe. The United Kingdom’s government passed the Gambling Act in 2005, granting the UK Gambling Commission the authority to manage and oversee gaming operations throughout the country. Private operators in the United Kingdom who want to run lotteries, casinos, or online betting can apply for a license from the commission, which issues them.


Mr. Green, Microgaming, Betsson, and elk studios are among the gaming industry’s powerhouses with headquarters in Sweden. With the passage of the Gaming Act in January 2019, the country made significant strides toward its goal of legalizing online gaming.

The Swedish market is certain to be one of the most appealing spaces for businesses that offer online gambling due to its uniform tax rate of 18 percent on gross gaming revenue (GGR). You can rely on Casino Piloten to help you find and compare the best casinos in Sweden, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player.

Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy are the countries involved

The aforementioned major European countries all have well-defined policies governing online gambling. The main disadvantages are that they have high taxation rates, which can reach 44% in France, and ring-fencing, which means that participants can only compete within their own country.

Thankfully, these countries reached an agreement on the sharing of online liquidity in October of 2017, resulting in a significant increase in the number of participants and prizes.


Throughout the past few years, significant amendments have been made to Germany’s laws governing gambling. Even though it was illegal to participate in any form of internet gambling in Germany (except betting on horse racing), the vast majority of Germans did so anyway, and as a result, the unregulated gambling sector generated a significant amount of revenue.

Gambling was made illegal nationwide in Germany by federal legislation in the year 2008, making it illegal in the entire country. The ruling, on the other hand, was contested by EBGA, which asserted that the rule was in breach of the regulations of the European Union. The European Court of Justice issued a ruling in 2010 asserting that the gambling industry in Germany was monopolized and recommending that the country adopt legislation that was more open-minded.

As a direct consequence of this, the Interstate Gambling Treaty (ISTG) came into existence in the year 2012, making it possible for private businesses to offer services connected to gambling. It is important to point out that even though Schleswig has legalized online gambling and is in the process of issuing licenses to operators, the Interactive Sports and Wagering Act (ISTG) has not been put into effect in the state. In the latter part of that year, the ISTG was repealed, and ever since then, many people have questioned whether or not the legislation was successful in preventing the monopolization of online gambling in Germany.

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