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Gambling regulations in Europe



Europe is a melting pot of cultures and histories. That diversity isn’t just in its stunning landscapes and ancient buildings—it’s also in how each country handles gambling rules. Every place has its own way of doing things. Some countries have big, government-run monopolies, while others have more open markets where anyone can get in on the action. Would you like to know a bit more about what’s going on behind the scenes and maybe even play at non GamStop casinos ? Then just keep reading this article.

In 2023, Europeans spent a total of €98.6 billion on gambling. The biggest players in the game were the UK, Germany, and France. Online gambling accounts for about 30% of that huge pile of money. What games do people love the most online? Sports betting and casino games, of course! Now, let’s get a closer look at some European  markets and their regulations.

United Kingdom

Even though the UK said goodbye to the EU, their gambling scene is still worth a look. In the UK, you can gamble online or in person as long as the provider has a license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).These guys are like the guardians of fair play. They’ve got their eyes on all sorts of games, from poker and bingo to sports betting and the classics. The UKGC makes sure gambling stays fun and safe, without turning into a crime scene. They’re especially focused on keeping vulnerable folks, like kids, out of harm’s way.

Any online casino in the UK must also obtain a license from the UKGC. These licenses are only granted to operators who meet stringent criteria and ensure fair gaming practices. Online casinos in the UK are required to implement various responsible gambling measures to protect players from harm. This includes offering self-exclusion, deposit limits, and support services for problem gambling.

On the other hand, online casinos licensed in Malta are generally considered legal in the UK. Malta is a reputable jurisdiction for online gambling regulation, and many operators licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) also hold licenses from the UKGC.


In 2023, Germany made €14.2 billion from gambling, and online gaming became increasingly popular. But Germany’s gambling scene has been quite the rollercoaster lately! They’ve been shaking things up with their laws, especially with the Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021. This treaty brought in a whole new licensing system. Each state decides the rules for online and land-based gambling. States also have the power to decide whether they want to run the show themselves or let private companies in. And let’s not forget about sports betting—it’s a whole other ball game. At least they’ve drawn a line against certain types of betting, like social or financial bets, and betting on virtual sports. Long story short, Germany’s gambling laws are like diving into a maze of rules and regulations, with new twists and turns popping up all the time.

Image: Right Business


Italy has one of the most liberal gambling markets in Europe, with a wide range of gaming options available both online and offline. Back in 2006, while everyone else was tightening the reins, Italy was opening the doors for sports betting, both in stores and online. Then in 2011, they took it up a notch, adding poker and casino games to the mix. Italy’s GGR amounted to €24.7 billion in 2023, with online gambling experiencing steady growth. The Agenzia Dogane e Monopolio di Stato regulates the industry, ensuring compliance with strict standards of fairness and security. Their licenses cover all sorts of games, from skill games to poker, casino games, sports betting, and even bingo and horse pools.

Here’s a fun fact: in Italy, players don’t have to worry about taxes on their winnings. It’s the operators who foot the bill through revenue taxes and licensing fees. But when it comes to advertising, Italy has some strict rules. The Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni recently banned any kind of advertising, sponsorship, or promos for gambling across the whole country.


Malta is a big deal in online gambling regulation and has become a top spot for gambling operators worldwide. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) handles all the licensing and regulation. Malta was the first EU country to open its doors to gambling companies, making it the leader in remote gaming regulation. In 2023, Malta’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) hit €2.5 billion. Online gambling contributes significantly to the total revenue.

The MGA gives out B2C licenses for different types of games, split into four categories:

  • Type 1: Games of chance where the outcome is determined by a random generator (games like roulette, blackjack, and poker played against the house).
  • Type 2: Betting games where the outcome is based on the result of an event or competition, such as fixed-odds betting on sports.
  • Type 3: Games where players compete against each other rather than the house, and the operator earns a commission. Examples include player versus player poker and betting exchanges.
  • Type 4: For controlled skill games, which include fantasy sports and esports. These games are cool because they rely more on your skill rather than just luck.
  • Painting style picture of the Malta Gambling Authority
    Image: Right Business


In 2012, Cyprus introduced the Betting Law 2012, which was later amended in 2019. This law regulates all betting activities in Cyprus. The law provides a clear legislative framework and addresses previously missing elements in the country’s gambling legislation. The state only has a limited role in gambling, allowing private entities to offer gambling activities under specific legal provisions.

The Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission ensures everything runs smoothly and legally with land-based casinos. Online casinos and poker are illegal in Cyprus. However, online sports betting is allowed and regulated under the Betting Law of 2012. Horse racing betting is okay under specific rules.

Spread betting, dog racing, and bitcoin gambling are strictly prohibited, both in physical locations and online. The National Betting Authority (NBA) is in charge of all gambling activities in Cyprus. They handle everything from processing applications and issuing licenses to auditing, and supervising betting shops and online betting operators.

We can’t cover all EU member states and their gambling regulations in one article. Europe has a diverse range of gambling markets, and the European Commission helps EU countries update and modernise their national online gambling laws. As online gambling becomes more popular, regulators face new challenges and frequently change laws to improve security. It’s still unclear if there will be a uniform gambling law for all European countries in the future.


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