Last Updated: June 3, 2024

In Europe, online gambling is regulated differently in each country. Some countries have legalized and regulated online gambling, while others have strict laws that make it illegal.

European countries have different approaches to regulating online and crypto gambling. While some countries have strict laws prohibiting these activities, others have embraced them by implementing specific regulations.

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) plays a vital role in regulating the casino industry and promoting a sustainable iGaming sector in Europe. EGBA sets industry standards that complement licensing guidelines across European nations.

This post provides a detailed overview of online and crypto gambling regulations across Europe, covering the legal status, tax rates, and proposed legislation in each country.

Overview of Gambling Regulations in EU Countries

Alderney

Alderney, part of the British Channel Islands, has its own separate commission called the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). The AGCC reviews gaming licenses and ensures compliance with laws and regulations.

Austria

Online gaming companies in Austria are regulated at the state level, with licenses issued by individual states. Regulations mainly cover sports events, but some jurisdictions allow bets on other types of events as well. The Austrian Ministry of Finance plans to reform the gambling regulatory framework by raising taxes on gambling revenues.

France

In France, gambling is regulated by several bodies, such as Francaise de Jeux for betting games and lotteries and ARJEL for online gambling. Licensees are required to verify players’ identity, address, age, bank information, and other relevant data. Technological solutions like AI applications can be used for player verification.

Cyprus

Cyprus made online and land-based sports betting legal in 2012 through the establishment of the National Betting Authority (NBA). The Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission oversees casino operations on the island.

Germany

Germany has complex gambling regulations that have undergone recent changes. The new Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021 distinguishes between online casino games and virtual slots. Sports betting operators must provide safe services in line with anti-money laundering measures and ensure all players are authorized while excluding minors.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is internationally recognized as an innovator in the iGaming industry. The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) issues licenses to operators, ensuring compliance with regulations. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) supports licensed gaming companies while certifying their responsible operations.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man promotes both land-based and online gambling, offering a robust regulatory environment for operators. The Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) oversees the licensing and regulation of all iGambling activities, providing a secure platform for players.

Malta

Malta is a leading remote gambling jurisdiction within the European Union, offering various online gaming services. The Malta Gaming Authority regulates land-based and online gambling activities, ensuring compliance with industry standards and providing a secure gaming environment.

Switzerland

Switzerland has federal and cantonal levels of gambling laws. The Swiss Federal Casino Commission (ESBK) handles casino licenses, while the Swiss Lottery and Betting Board oversees sports betting, lotteries, and fixed odds. To ensure fair taxation, the Money Gaming Act was passed to block offshore gambling sites from operating within the country.

Spain

Gambling in Spain is regulated at both the national and regional levels, resulting in a complex legal landscape. However, certain forms of gambling are legal in all 17 regions of Spain.

United Kingdom

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulates gambling activity in the region with stringent regulations. The Commission has imposed limits on fixed bets in betting shops to prevent excessive gambling. Players can now only wager up to £2 per bet.

Operators must verify customers’ age before allowing them to deposit funds into a gambling account. Non-compliance can result in severe financial consequences or even revocation of gambling licenses.

Cryptocurrency and Online Gambling Regulations in Europe

Albania

Online gambling is illegal in Albania, including crypto gambling. The only form of legal gambling is casino gambling in land-based casinos located at 5-star hotels. All gambling activity is controlled by the AMLF.

Online Gambling Status: Illegal
Crypto Gambling Status: Illegal

Andorra

Andorra is in a transitional phase for regulating online gambling but has a strong tradition of land-based gambling.

Online Gambling Status: In transition
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

Armenia

Armenia has legalized online gambling but has not yet developed a legislative framework for cryptocurrencies in the country.

Online Gambling Status: Legal
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

Austria

Austria has a state-controlled monopoly over certain forms of online gambling but allows cryptocurrencies for online wagering.

Online Gambling Status: State-controlled monopoly
Crypto Gambling Status: Allowed

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has legalized both online and land-based gambling but does not have specific laws regarding the use of cryptocurrencies for gambling.

Online Gambling Status: Legal
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

Croatia

Croatia allows online and land-based sportsbooks and casinos but does not support cryptocurrency payments.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (limited)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Cyprus

Cyprus allows limited forms of online sports betting under its Betting Law. However, it currently prohibits both online casinos and cryptocurrency gambling due to money laundering concerns.

Online Gambling Status: Limited
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Denmark

Denmark has a well-developed market for regulated online gambling, with licenses issued by the Danish Gambling Authority. However, crypto gambling is not allowed.

Online Gambling Status: Legal and regulated
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Estonia

Estonia regulates both offline and online games of chance under its Gambling Act. While it was the first country to issue crypto licenses, there are no licensed operators that accept cryptocurrency payments for gambling purposes.

Online Gambling Status: Legal and regulated
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

France

France legalized online sports betting, casino gambling, and lotteries in 2010. However, online casinos are not yet legal, and the use of cryptocurrencies for gambling is prohibited.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (limited)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Germany

Germany recently legalized online gambling under the State Treaty on Gambling. However, cryptocurrency gambling is still illegal in the country.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (recently)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Greece

Greece has legalized various forms of land-based and online gambling but does not allow cryptocurrency as a means of payment.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (various forms)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Hungary

Hungary ended its state-run monopoly over gambling in 2023. While it allows online casinos operated by land-based casinos, it does not support cryptocurrency payments.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (recently)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Iceland

In Iceland, all forms of gambling except for state-approved lotteries and sports pools are illegal. Online gambling is also prohibited.

Online Gambling Status: Illegal
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Italy

Italy allows various forms of regulated gambling, both offline and online. Cryptocurrency gambling is legal but not yet available through licensed operators.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (various forms)
Crypto Gambling Status: Allowed

Lithuania

Lithuania recently amended its gambling legislation to legalize online-only operators. However, licensed operators do not accept cryptocurrency payments.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (recently)
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

Malta

Malta is one of Europe’s main hubs for online gambling and allows the use of cryptocurrencies for gambling purposes.

Online Gambling Status: Legal
Crypto Gambling Status: Allowed

The Netherlands

The Netherlands recently introduced a licensing regime for remote gambling, allowing licensed operators to provide online services. However, crypto-assets are not allowed for funding gambling accounts.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (recently)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Norway

Norway has a state-controlled monopoly over certain forms of gambling and does not allow cryptocurrency for online or offline wagering.

Online Gambling Status: State-controlled monopoly
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Portugal

Portugal has legalized various forms of land-based and online gambling but does not currently support cryptocurrencies for betting purposes.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (various forms)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Romania

Romania allows various forms of regulated land-based and online gambling. Crypto regulations in Romania are yet to be formulated.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (various forms)
Crypto Gambling Status: Unspecified

Spain

Spain regulates both land-based and online gambling but does not allow the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (various forms)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Sweden

Sweden has a well-regulated market for land-based and online gambling but does not support cryptocurrency payments for betting purposes.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (regulated)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Switzerland

Switzerland allows regulated land-based and online gambling but prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies for betting purposes.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (regulated)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has comprehensive legislation on both land-based and remote gambling. While it recognizes cryptocurrencies as digital assets, licensed operators do not accept them for gambling.

Online Gambling Status: Legal (regulated)
Crypto Gambling Status: Prohibited

Final Notes

European countries have varying regulations regarding online and crypto gambling. While most EU member states permit some form of online gambling, each has its own approach. Albania and Andorra have different stances. Regulations in Europe’s gambling landscape continue to evolve and differ by country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online gambling legal in all European countries?

No, online gambling regulations vary across European countries, and some countries have strict laws that prohibit online gambling.

Can I use cryptocurrencies for gambling in Europe?

The use of cryptocurrencies for gambling purposes depends on the specific regulations of each country. While some countries allow it, others prohibit cryptocurrency payments for betting.

What are some reputable licensed operators for online gambling in Europe?

There are several reputable licensed operators for online gambling in Europe, such as recognized casino brands and sports betting platforms. It is important to choose operators that are licensed and regulated by the appropriate authorities.

Are there any specific tax implications when using cryptocurrencies for gambling?

Tax implications related to using cryptocurrencies for gambling vary by country. It is advisable to consult with a tax professional or refer to the specific regulations in your country of residence.

How can I ensure a safe and secure online gambling experience?

To ensure a safe and secure online gambling experience, it is important to choose licensed and regulated operators. Additionally, individuals should practice responsible gambling by setting limits on their spending and being aware of the potential risks associated with online gambling.

Are online gaming companies required to verify players’ identities?

Yes, online gaming companies are required to verify players’ identities as part of the KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements. This is to prevent fraudulent activities and underage gambling.

What are the consequences for online gaming companies that don’t comply with regulations?

Online gaming companies that fail to comply with regulations may face severe financial penalties or even have their licenses revoked, preventing them from operating legally.

How do AI applications help in verifying gamblers’ identities?

AI applications, such as facial recognition technology, can be used to verify players’ identities by comparing their faces to official identification documents. This helps ensure the accuracy of the verification process.

About the Author

Arun is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years worth of experience writing for various digital media companies. He is well-versed in the field of blockchain, gaming, and tech. LinkedIn: LinkedIn