EU Gambling Legislation

Learn about EU Gambling Legislation and current state of affairs in this field.

The gambling legality is an issue of great complexity. Each of twenty-seven member countries decides for itself whether to give gambling a legal status. Several EU countries outlawed all types of online gambling, others legalized it and reap tax revenues from this profitable business, but for the majority online gambling remains in a grey area of the law - neither legal nor illegal.

EU Gambling Laws and Regulations

European Union officials have pro-gambling position, the majority of EU member states do not prohibit online gambling, on the contrary it is regulated and taxed. The EU countries are unable to impose a ban on the online gambling because this will run counter to EU law which must feature conformity across the EU but still at least 10 member states have opted to enact local legislation banning online gambling (for example, France and Germany).

Nowadays online casinos attract sustained interest in European countries. Norway, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland undergo the highest growth in terms of online casino creation. Of course, European countries oblige online casinos to obtain licenses and impose specific rules about online gambling activities. In the Netherlands online casinos are legal but the Dutch Gaming Act allows the Dutch to gamble at the casinos that have a Dutch lincense.

To cut a long story short, online gambling is generally legal in Europe, nevertheless we strongly recommend you to find out more about the attitude of the government of your country towards online gambling before playing online. We remind you the information presented should not be treated as a legal advice but we sincerely hope that it will be of use to you.

Germany banned all forms of online gambling except for horse racing by 2011 with The German Interstate Treaty on Gambling signed in 2008. EU considers such legislation illegal as Germany allows state-owned online gambling but restricts foreign competition. This ban is threatened as this type of legislation needs all 16 states in Germany to support the law. One of the states recently stated its opposition to this legislation.
Italy is the second member state of EU to legalize online gambling namely online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting operators and online bingo halls. Together with the toleration of legal online gambling, comes a strong focus on battling and dismantling illegal gambling operators.
In France online gambling and thus all games of chance are prohibited. There is a tentative goal to open France's online gambling market to competitors by January 1st, 2010 and license online gambling operators which offer sporting bets, horse racing and poker and it has already been approved by MPs in the National Assembly. French legislators are discussing a bill that would end a state monopoly on online gambling. The proposed law allows web companies to obtain a license to operate in France, even if they already hold licenses in other EU countries. Currently, Française des Jeux, PMU and casinos can legally offer gambling services.
UK was the first member country to legalize online gambling. The Gambling Act of 2005 allows UK residents to gamble online, and gave online gambling operators the ability to apply for licenses given out by the state.
Spanish Ministry of Interior announced that online gambling legislation would soon be completed and presented in January 2010. The legalization of a collectively regulated online gambling market is closer than ever, and international gambling giants are ready to integrate into massive Spanish gambling market.


CasinosDoc is not a legal authority. We remind you the information presented should not be treated as a legal advice but we sincerely hope that it will be of use to you. To get accurate information or advice on online gambling, consult the laws of the country where you reside or jurisdiction in which you are playing.