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Regulated Casino Markets in the EU

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The online and offline casino industry has been vastly spreading, capturing all parts of the world. The EU countries are not spared, and to ensure the safety of all players, each country takes meticulous steps in creating individual gambling laws.

Right now, there is no general law about gambling that requires unification by all countries. Instead, each one takes the matter into their own hands. If you’re interested in how the EU and some of its member countries regulate online and offline casinos, keep reading as we share some short details.

Europe is still a safe place to gamble at unlicensed casinos, no matter what you might’ve been told. Websites like Bonusdreams are leading the market by always staying up to date with news and information about unregulated online casinos in the EU.

Overall Regulation of the Casino Market in the EU

As a whole, the EU is a group of countries gathered with the sole purpose of creating better economic and political ground in Europe. However, even though there are laws and regulations that require all member countries to adhere to, ultimately, it’s the countries’ job to create individual laws. This goes for casino gambling as well.Â

Right now, no sector in the EU deals with this. EU countries are left on their own to figure out how they’ll approach the casino market and its influence on their citizens. Of course, since they’re member countries, the regulations they come up with must follow the fundamental freedoms set in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), such as the free movement of capital, free movement of services, etc.Â

Basically, this is what makes the EU gambling scene so vast. In some countries, all casino games and betting are allowed, while in others, only one form of gambling is permitted (casinos or sportsbooks, offline or online). Of course, there are those where you can’t legally gamble at all.

Regulations per Country

Since the EU lets each country decide on the gaming regulations on its own, let’s check out how some places deal with the matter.


In Belgium, gambling (both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos) is permitted as long as the provider holds a valid license. Regulated by the Belgian Gaming Commission, only 9 licenses can be given to casinos. Moreover, to be able to get this license for an online casino, the operator must collaborate with a land-based counterpart holding a valid license.Â

What’s even more interesting is that all 9 licenses are already taken, meaning that there is no room left for new operators until the laws get changed.Â


France has a long history in the gambling industry. Since 2009, it opened its doors to online gambling, too. But there are many restrictions to it. First off, each provider must have a license from the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) (previously ARJEL). Second, only online poker is allowed in casinos.Â

There are also two other bodies: Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). The first one deals solely with land-based betting, while the second with land-based horse racing. As for their online counterparts, France allows it only with licensed operators.Â


Spanish residents can gamble legally only in casinos that hold a valid license. For online options, these are operators who hold a license from the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ). This is set on a “federal level”, whereas for brick-and-mortar gambling the story is a little different.Â

Namely, land-based operators can offer gambling services as long as they hold a license from the relevant authority in the autonomous region they’re in. The same system applies to online and offline sports betting (even if they’re part of a casino).


All forms of gambling in Italy are allowed, but not without some limitations. Namely, casinos can operate as long as they have a local license. These licenses are issued via tenders and only during a predetermined open window by the Agenzia delle Accise, Dogane e Monopoli (ADM). All of the licenses also come with an expiry date.Â

Once the casino gets a license from the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado (AAMS)–-a body under the control of the ADM—it can give its services online or offline (depending on the license).Â

Another interesting thing about gambling in Italy is that the taxes are solely linked to the operator. This means that players don’t pay any tax reductions on their winnings. As for the advertisement, much like many other EU countries, Italy prohibits gambling ads of all types.


The German gambling laws have changed several times in the past years. Nonetheless, with the 2021 Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG), operators can provide virtual slot machines and online poker as long as they get a state-issued license. Other online casino games are left in the hands of each federal state i.e. each one can decide whether they give licenses to private operators or set up a monopoly.Â

As for land-based options, they are all regulated under state laws. In general, the Ministry of Interior of each state is the body that oversees this matter.

Final Words

Europe is a huge gambling hub. The predictions are that EU member countries and the UK might reach a gross revenue of €134 billion by 2027. Although the EU doesn’t regulate the casino market as a whole, you can see that each country has established some set of laws to control gambling.Â

As technology changes and novelties enter the gambling industry, we can definitely expect to see even more amendments to these legal frameworks in the EU and all over the world!

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