Explore Gambling legislation in Western European countries

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Gambling has always been an essential part of the Western European cultural background, and the betting of the French Riviera or Venice has forced everyone to create spectacular casino locations, high quality gamblers and insane money that is spent as if there is no tomorrow Is.

As the Western European region has been developed in a slightly different way from the Eastern European countries, traditionally under various historical influences, we have decided to focus on these countries in a separate article. At the same time, due to their similar evolution and common roots, the Scandinavian countries have been analyzed in another piece.

As our company manifests a strong interest in regulated markets from Europe and we are driven by our common interest to help operators with the necessary gambling licenses for the target areas, we should emphasize that each specific gambling legislation is recognized and understood by all interested parties.

Gambling in the UK

Britain is the largest gaming market in Europe and its legislation can be used as an example for other countries from the west of the old continent.

Online gambling activities in the United Kingdom are governed by the 2005 Gambling Act, which gives the UK Gambling Commission legislative powers for controlling and controlling gambling activities throughout the Kingdom.

The Gambling Commission offers a number of gambling licenses to operators offering remote controls, casino games and lotteries. All types of gambling, offline and online, are regulated and the current gaming laws are quite easy to understand.

The United Kingdom is recognized as one of the adult gambling districts in Europe and the model can be followed by other countries for the transparency of their technical standards and the emphasis on protecting players.

The latest regulatory changes from 2014 require that a gambling operator in the United Kingdom need a Gambling Commission license before gaining access to the single market.

Popular bets include horse and greyhound races and various lotteries. In addition, we must emphasize that betting on sports in the UK grew to provide the largest amount of gambling options, from regular to in-play events.

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Gambling in France

Gambling activities are always popular on the French soil and some of the most popular gambling institutions are scattered throughout the country.

France is famous for finding the roulette game in the 17th century and the par-mutuel betting in the 18th century. The French gambling industry is the largest gambling market in Europe, and the numerous casinos from the southern part of the country are known worldwide.

Although gambling in France is legal and brick-and-mortar operators offer legal casino, racing and sports betting, for online operators, the situation is a bit different. As land users maintain a strong pressure on the current status quo, internet operators are not allowed to provide casino games.

In addition to this difficulty for online betting, current current legislation has imposed high taxes, making life difficult for any online operator. This is a reason why many major operators have chosen to leave the country, while a large number of players have gone to betting on unlicensed gambling sites.

One of the last legislative bills related to online gaming activities was launched by the government in 2009 to legalize three online gambling activities: poker, sports betting and betting betting. Finally, in 2010, under the strong influence of the institutions of the European Union, a new law has established the French Online Games or ARJEL regulatory body.

ARJEL deals with online gambling legislation and provides licenses to companies interested in offering gambling services in France. It is clear that no gambling licenses have been issued for casino games and most gambling licenses are awarded for a period of 5 years for sports, poker and horse racing activities.

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Most online bets are in Spain regulated and legal in Spain.

Under Spanish law, the legislative power to regulate gambling activities is shared by the state and the authorities in each individual region. As far as online activities are concerned, national legislation is regulated for all operators across the country.

One of the most important steps in regulating the gambling market in Spain took place in 2011 with the introduction of the Spanish Gambling Act, which has all weddings activities in all 17 regions of the country under surveillance.

The Spanish Gambling Act regulates national gambling operations through electronic, interactive and technological systems and is designed to limit the advertising and promotion of operators who have the right gambling licenses.

The regulatory authority responsible for the gambling control that is capable of issuing gambling licenses is the General Board for Gambling Activities. The main types of gambling activities are sports betting, betting, betting, betting, betting, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, bingo, slots, etc. It is clear that the main market is represented by football betting Popular in Spain, home to world famous teams , Such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

One of the most important issues arising from the current gambling law is that operators must obtain gambling licenses, so that they must conduct their online business activities through the .es domain.

In recent years, the Spanish Gambling Authority has continued to develop a legal framework for online bets to increase revenue from the state budget.

Gambling in Italy

The history of gambling in Europe begins in the ancient days of the Roman Empire, probably the most important regional power in spreading various games throughout the region. Soon ahead of the future, we discover the first gambling houses in Europe based in Venice, where wealthy people involved in trade or from the world of aristocracy could spend their money.

As the game of baccarat is invented in Italy, in addition to other games, it is not difficult to understand why gambling has been associated with criminal activity since the last century and thus it was thus forbidden under Italian criminal law until recently.

Italian laws make a difference between happiness and games of skill. For this reason we currently find sports matches, lotteries and other bets to be considered games of skill and thus legally regulated activities.

Italian gambling laws begin to change in 2006 due to the stronger pressure of the European Commission, which demanded an open market for both local and foreign gaming operators. In the following years, Italy has gradually opened its market to include poker, cash games, video poker to ultimately include casino games.

An important step forward that brought significant benefits to the market took place in 2009 when Italian lawsuits were amended to meet the requirements of the European Commission.

Under the law, foreign gambling operators and providers must obtain an Italian license from the AAMS (Autonomous Monetary Administration) to offer the following games: skills, poker games, casino games, sports and horse games, bingo, etc.

Although gambling legislation has significant benefits to the Italian market, operators and stakeholders continue to work in the online gambling industry to improve current gambling legislation.

Gambling in Germany

Gambling legislation from Germany is quite difficult to understand by operators and players, with several changes that have taken place in recent years.

Although initially all online gambling and sporting activities were not allowed except horse racing, many Germans were involved in legal bets and high income caused by unregulated industry.

Furthermore, from 2008 to 2012, the current federal legislation has declared illegal in Germany. However, it is interesting to note that during this period the state of Schleswig-Holstein legalized online gambling and licensed operators.

The legislative complexity arises from the fact that in Germany we have two types of laws that regulate industry. We have Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, which is the German Interstate Treaty, and Glückspeilgesetz.

As we noted, the state of Schleswig-Holstein was an exception because it initially chose not to sign Glücksspielstaatsvertrag and draw up its own laws. However, by the end of 2012, the state has decided to sign the German Interstate Treaty (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag), but before signing the treaty, they have issued 23 licenses for operators running online sites that are valid for 6 years (2018).

Although the treaty prohibits mainly online gambling activities, federal authorities are likely to choose to wait until 2018, rather than block its operation.

Among the most popular types of betting we can say that sports matches are more popular than poker or casino games, horse racing and football, which remain the best choices of players.

Indeed, it is difficult to anticipate the future of gambling in Germany as the gambling licenses issued by the state of Schleswig-Holstein continue to allow online operators to offer spell services in a country where online gambling is not permitted.

In addition, we have the pressure of the EU that still opens for an open market to allow competition between local and foreign operators.

Gambling in Ireland

Sports gambling activities have always taken part in the lives of Irish citizens, as they are connected to the country’s historical background. Over the years, Ireland has been recognized for organizing and betting on horse and greyhound racing.

Regarding the betting laws, until recent developments from 2015, Irish gambling items are governed by the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act. The previous game legislation has made illegal casino gambling and some forms of betting.

At the moment, the Gambling Act adopted in 2015 new taxes for online gaming activities between Irish residents and foreign operators. That’s why all types of gambling – offline and online – are regulated and legal at this time in Ireland. The internet gambling legislation in Ireland is quite liberal and the Irish government is the main authority to issue licenses to operators who want to run their gambling activities in this country.

Some of the most popular gaming markets in the country are Pokeris, a game based on the preference of players for online poker rooms and poker sites. Bingo is another popular game among Irish bettors. Finally, the racing game continues to be greyhound and horse racing as one of the most popular bets. Football is of course preferred by many gamblers bet on sports.

Gambling in Portugal

Online gambling activities have recently been regulated in Portugal. Until 2015 online gambling under the Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML) monopoly, although the foreign players who lack a license are not blocked and offer deployment opportunities to Portuguese citizens.

Since the online gambling framework has been created, foreign operators can now accept players from Portugal, provided they get a gambling license from the Portuguese authorities.

However, the new gaming legislation has led to a number of complaints from multiple operators who are not satisfied with the high taxes they need.

The regulatory authority in Portugal that controls gambling and transmits gaming licenses to interested operators is “The Serviço de Regulação and Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal” (SRIJ). At this time, the following gambling activities are considered: gambling, such as baccarat, blackjack, slots, poker, roulette, bingo and sports betting and horse racing.

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Although current legislation has imposed higher taxes and has taken the opportunity to execute ISP bans on operators who do not have the necessary gaming licenses, Portugal continues to attract gambling companies that are interested in running online businesses.

Gambling in Austria

Gambling activities of all kinds are legal on casinos in Austria, although the government has taken measures to control all land and internet based gambling activities.

In Austria we have a number of unique circumstances, as gambling legislation defines ‘proper’ gambling involving large amounts of money and ‘small gambling’, with players placing 50 cents or less.

To simplify things, we can say that good gambling is allowed in casinos in the country, while “small gambling” can occur anywhere.

Current current legislation allows the state to offer licenses for companies based in the country looking for an online website, although they can only accept Austrian citizens.

The state manages the gambling phenomenon in this way, although they provide free access to the international gambling sites in Austria.

Among the most popular betting options we can mention the local football, but also the German Bundesliga and poker games. Some of the biggest gambling companies come from Austria, such as Casino Austria, which has 40 casinos in eight countries in 16 countries. Another example is Bwin, an Austrian company that is spread around the world.

Gambling in Belgium

Gaming activities are linked to the historical past of the Middle Ages to the present days. As far as online gambling is concerned, the relevant legislation was approved in 2002 and the principles of free trade and the competitive market are met.

In order to protect the players from gambling addiction and to exercise some kind of control, the Belgian authorities introduced a new Gambling Act in 2009. One of the most important rules of the law requires operators who want to offer online gambling activities in Belgium. At the same time, a license for a physical gambling site or casino.

Even more, in order to better control gambling in the country, government agencies limit the number of gaming licenses, making things even more difficult for those interested in being on the local market.

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For companies trying to offer gambling services without the right license, the Belgian Gaming Commission has organized and edited a blacklist sent to the Internet Service Providers of the country, in addition to large fines.

Although the need to have a land-based casino seems difficult to circumvent for online operators who want to be present in Belgium, it is possible to work with an existing land user.

Gambling in the Netherlands

Most gambling activities in the Netherlands are legal, but strictly controlled by the government.

Although the Dutch authorities have tried to maintain a monopoly on the local market and block foreign sites by placing them on different blacklists or by contacting banks to refuse deposits, the Dutch citizens remained free to access international bets .

The Dutch gambling scene is dominated by Holland Casino, which has a real monopoly on the single market with 14 casinos in the countryside. In the online atmosphere, De Lotto and Scientific Games offer a range of sports and equestrian sports.

Online gaming activities are under the supervision of the Dutch Gambling Authority and the latest development in the online gambling spectrum from a legal point of view occurred in July 2016 when a new external gambling bill has ended.

The bill manages online gaming activities and provides the regulatory framework with which government can spend gaming licenses to local and international operators.

Among the most popular betting options, we need to announce football matches of major European championships that attract a lot of points.

Gambling in Switzerland

Gambling is quite popular in Switzerland, with more than 50% of citizens participating in lottery, sports betting, poker and casino games.

From 1921 to 1993 all gambling activities in the country were banned. In 1993, the “Federal Law on Chances of Casinos and Casinos” changed to allow limited-use casino gambling and then, in 2000, all boundaries were removed from the casino in the countryside.

Legislation is divided into two areas: games of skill and gambling. The gambling games can only be played in stone and mortar casinos from the country.

As far as online gambling is concerned, things do not look so great. At this time, internet gambling activities are banned by the state and no legislation has been created for this industry.

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Nevertheless, the Swiss citizens put bets on foreign gambling sites, especially from Germany, France and Italy, which do not try to block the authorities.

In the following years, the Swiss authorities will look at the right regulation to support the online gambling market in the country.


The countries of Western Europe seem to be able to organize in a uniform space, especially from historical point of view, but each of them has approached the online gambling phenomenon in a different way.

Of countries that do not have transparent legislation or have an internal monopoly to protect their gaming markets, to states that accept both local and foreign operators, the West European area is not a continuous legislative area.

The western European countries are still connected by the efforts of their citizens to gamble and are aware of the new gaming sports books and casinos that anyone can open online. Not to mention that no country may ignore the growing financial revenues that can run the online gambling industry in the economy.

Although most countries have not introduced a fast pace in the legislative area to create coherent gambling laws for online space, the current trend to regulate online gambling is constantly anticipating positive trends in the coming years.

Keep in mind that changes in the above countries are continually taking place, and stakeholders should always check for the latest developments in the targeted jurisdictions.

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