Adhering to iGaming regulations is extremely important if you want to run your business smoothly in the European Union. However, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of regulations, it’s vital to understand what exactly falls under the “iGaming” umbrella.

iGaming, also known as online gambling, includes any form of gambling that takes place online. This includes:

In this article, we will cover the general aspects of online gambling laws, the EU’s general approach to online gambling, and how each country regulates online gambling. We will also reference all the online resources for EU iGaming laws so you can always go and check the most up-to-date information.

iGaming Gambling Regulations Across the EU in 2024

CountryRegulations & Status
🇦🇹 Austria🟥 Online casino gaming is largely monopolized, with limited options for private operators.
🇧🇪 Belgium✅ Online gaming is legal, but operators must partner with existing land-based casinos. Strict licensing requirements.
🇧🇬 Bulgaria✅ Online gambling is legal. There is no specific licensing system, but operators must obtain a license from another EU country.
🇭🇷 Croatia✅ Legal and regulated, with licenses available for online casino operators.
🇨🇾 Cyprus🟥 Online casino games are illegal, except for sports betting.
🇨🇿 Czech Republic✅ Legal and regulated. Foreign operators need a local entity to obtain a license.
🇩🇰 Denmark✅ Fully regulated market. Online gambling is legal with a licensing system in place.
🇪🇪 Estonia✅ Legal and regulated. Operators require a license and must comply with local laws.
🇫🇮 Finland🟨 Monopoly system. Only state-owned entities are allowed to offer gambling services.
🇫🇷 France🟥 Online casinos are illegal, but sports betting and poker are legal.
🇩🇪 Germany🟨 Online gambling is partially legal. Strict regulations and licensing requirements.
🇬🇷 Greece✅ Legal and regulated, with licenses issued to both local and foreign operators.
🇭🇺 Hungary🟥 Monopoly system. Only state-controlled organizations can operate casinos.
🇮🇪 Ireland✅ Online gambling is legal. No specific licensing system, but operators must obtain a license from another EU country.
🇮🇹 Italy✅ Online gambling is legal and regulated. Operators must obtain a license from the Italian authorities.
🇱🇻 Latvia✅ Legal and regulated. Operators need a license from the Latvian authorities.
🇱🇹 Lithuania✅ Online gambling is legal with a licensing system. Strict regulations in place.
🇱🇺 Luxembourg🟥 Online casino gaming is illegal.
🇲🇹 Malta✅ A hub for online gaming. Legal and highly regulated. Malta Gaming Authority issues licenses.
🇳🇱 Netherlands✅ Online gambling became legal and regulated in 2021. Licensing system for operators.
🇵🇱 Poland🟨 State monopoly on certain gambling activities. Online gambling is partially legal with stringent regulations.
🇵🇹 Portugal✅ Legal and regulated. License required from the Portuguese authorities.
🇷🇴 Romania✅ Legal and regulated. Licensing system for operators.
🇸🇰 Slovakia✅ Legal and regulated. Online casino licenses are available.
🇸🇮 Slovenia🟥 Online gambling is largely illegal, with few exceptions.
🇪🇸 Spain✅ Legal and regulated. Operators must obtain a license from Spanish authorities.
🇸🇪 Sweden✅ Online gambling is legal and regulated. Licensing system in place.
🇬🇧 United Kingdom✅ Highly regulated market. Legal with a comprehensive licensing system.

Why do Regulations Matter?

Navigating the world of iGaming can be a bit complex, especially regarding regulations.

Different countries in the EU have different laws and regulations in place, making it critical for both businesses and players to be aware of these rules. Regulations help protect players’ interests and ensure fair play and the integrity of the iGaming industry (yes, at least to a certain extent).

The Role of the EU in iGaming Regulations

While the EU guides regulations, it leaves it up to individual member states to regulate their gambling industries.

This has led to a diverse range of rules and regulations across the continent, and it’s crucial to note that while there is no EU-wide legislation for iGaming, the EU does exert influence through court decisions and policy recommendations.

Country-Specific Regulations

Here is a table with a brief description of iGaming regulations in various EU countries and links to the official government pages detailing these regulations:

CountryWhat does it do?Link
United KingdomThe UK Gambling Commission regulates all forms of gambling. Online operators must have a license from the UKGC.UK Gambling Commission
GermanyGermany has recently liberalized its iGaming laws, allowing online casinos and poker. Each state has its own regulations.Germany State Treaty on Gambling
FranceARJEL regulates online gambling. Online casinos are prohibited, but online sports betting, poker, and horse racing are.ARJEL
ItalyThe AAMS regulates all forms of gambling in Italy. Online casinos, sports betting, and poker are allowed with a license.AAMS
SpainThe DGOJ regulates online gambling. Online casinos, sports betting, and poker are allowed with a license.DGOJ

Please note that the information provided here is subject to change. Always check the respective government websites for the latest regulations

Key Features of iGaming Regulations

Now that we have a basic understanding of iGaming regulations in various EU countries, let’s look at some of the features that these regulations frequently include:

Age Limit

One of the most universal aspects of iGaming regulations is the age limit.

Across the EU, the minimum legal age to participate in online gambling typically ranges from 18 to 21.

The age limit is one of the most universally accepted regulations in the world of iGaming.

Age restrictions vary from country to country, but they generally range between 18 and 21 years old, not only in the EU, but globally.

What is the Reason for Age Limit in Online Gambling?

The age restriction helps to safeguard young people who may not fully comprehend the implications and dangers associated with gambling. It is common knowledge that those below a certain age could lack the maturity and reasoning to gamble responsibly.

It also corresponds with many other legal age restrictions involved in activities that entail a degree of responsibility as well as discernment, like drinking alcohol or voting.

Minimum Gambling Ages across EU

In most EU countries, the legal age to play online casino games is 18. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, in Greece, one has to be 23, while in Estonia, you must be at least 21 to gamble.

Verification Process

Age verification is a requirement by iGaming operators. It usually takes place during registration, when users are required to submit proof of their ages. This might mean scanning and forwarding passport-like documents, licenses, or any other government-issued documents.

Some providers can use external service providers to authenticate data about such information given out through them.

Impact of Underage Gambling

Underage gambling carries heavy consequences both for individual players and operators alike. Young players found participating illegally stand a chance of losing their prizes or even accounts being closed down on them; they may end up facing criminal charges too sometimes.

On the operators’ part, allowing underage gambling may result into penalties, revocation of license as well as tainting their reputation.

Parental Settings

Gambling websites often have parental control options which prevent children from accessing them below a certain age limit. These configurations restrict access to betting contents so that kids cannot participate in such affairs.

Licensing

Licensing is a fundamental aspect of iGaming and an industry regulatory cornerstone. It establishes a legal framework for operators to offer their services and ensures that players can rely on the platforms they choose.

What is an iGaming License?

An iGaming license is a certificate granted by a regulatory authority that allows an operator to provide online gambling services legally. It acts as a stamp of approval, signifying that the operator complies with the standards and regulations set by the licensing authority. This can include regulations related to fairness, security, and responsible gambling.

Why is Licensing Important?

Licensing plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity and safety of the iGaming industry. Here are a few reasons why it is so important:

  • Player Protection: A license assures players that the operator adheres to rules and regulations designed to protect them. This can include regulations related to data protection, dispute resolution, and fair play.
  • Anti-Fraud Measures: Licensed operators must have measures in place to prevent fraudulent activities. This includes ensuring secure transactions and protecting against money laundering.
  • Responsible Gambling: Licensing authorities require operators to promote responsible gambling. This can involve setting betting limits, providing self-exclusion options, and offering resources for problem gamblers.

Licensing Across the EU

Licensing regulations for iGaming vary greatly across the EU. Each country has its own regulatory authority that issues licenses and oversees iGaming operations. Here are a few examples:

  • United Kingdom: The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating iGaming in the UK. To obtain a license, operators must meet strict fairness, transparency, and responsible gambling standards.
  • Malta: The Malta Gaming Authority is among the most respected licensing authorities in the iGaming industry. It offers licenses to operators worldwide and is known for its stringent regulatory standards.
  • Sweden: The Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen, oversees the licensing of iGaming operators in Sweden. It aims to ensure the Swedish gaming and gambling market’s legality, safety, and reliability.

How to Identify a Licensed Operator

Most licensed iGaming operators will display their license information on their website, usually at the bottom of the homepage. Players should look for this information before using an iGaming service to ensure they play on a regulated platform.

Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling measures are a key part of iGaming regulations. These can include deposit limits, self-exclusion programs, and resources for problem gamblers.

Responsible gaming, also known as responsible gambling, is a broad concept comprising several policies and requirements that apply to gambling stakeholders to ensure they respect the highest standards of quality and offer a safe user experience that protects people from the potential negative consequences of online gambling.

Given the potential risks and harms associated with gambling, it’s essential to have regulations in place to protect players and to ensure responsible conduct by operators, software providers, and other stakeholders in the industry.

EU Approach to Responsible Gaming

The European Union has a unique and complex system of governance that has significant implications for how online gaming is regulated among its member states. The EU does not have a unified law for gambling services; instead, each EU country is autonomous in organizing its gambling services as long as they comply with the fundamental freedoms established under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)​.

The types of games allowed on the internet can vary from one EU country to another. Some countries allow all games, while others only allow certain types, such as betting, poker, or casino games. Some jurisdictions have established monopolistic regimes offering online gambling services run by a state-controlled public operator or private operator on an exclusive rights basis.

However, more and more EU countries are establishing licensing systems that allow more than one operator to offer services on the market. Importantly, under EU law, no particular system is favored over others​​.

The European Commission supports EU countries’ efforts to modernize their national online gambling legal frameworks. It’s also responsible for ensuring high protection for consumers and vulnerable people, including minors.

Regarding standardization, the European Commission requested the European Committee for Standardisation to develop a European voluntary standard on reporting to support the supervision of online gambling services by national regulatory authorities.

Responsible Gaming Resources

Numerous resources are available for anyone interested in learning more about responsible iGaming. It’s great to have a good overview of the current state of regulations before launching your casino or gambling online.

Here are a few key links:

  • Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF): The GREF is an organization that includes representatives from gambling control authorities all over Europe. They work together to share information and good practices, provide mutual support and offer a unified voice on gambling regulatory matters.
  • International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR): This is a global organization that aims to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of gaming regulation around the world. They offer resources, best practices, and a platform for dialogue on gaming regulation matters.
  • Informat.ion on match-fixing from the Council of Europe: Match-fixing is a significant issue in the world of sports betting. The Council of Europe provides a resource with information about match-fixing, its impact, and the measures taken to combat it​.

Navigating iGaming Regulations as a Player

As a player, it’s crucial to understand and respect the regulations of the country you’re playing in. Not doing so can lead to penalties, including being barred from certain platforms. Always ensure the platform you’re using is licensed and abides by the regulations of your jurisdiction.

Navigating iGaming Regulations as a Business

Navigating iGaming regulations can be complex but crucial to business success. Complying with regulations helps build trust with players and can provide a competitive advantage.

Consider seeking legal counsel to ensure you’re complying with all relevant regulations.

Here are some general links with information you may need before making your gambling business live.

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  • European Union (EU) Gambling Regulations: Online gambling in the EU is regulated by individual countries under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Most EU countries allow at least some games of chance to be offered online.
  • European Commission and Online Gambling Services: The Commission supports EU countries’ efforts to modernize their national online gambling legal frameworks. It also supports ensuring high protection for consumers and vulnerable people, including minors.
  • Online Gambling Licensing in Europe: Europe’s online gambling sector is highly regulated. Companies often require multiple licenses, each with its own compliance requirements, to operate and provide their services in a country.

The Future of iGaming Regulations in the EU

The iGaming industry in the EU is constantly evolving, as are its regulations. With advancements in technology and the rise of new forms of online gambling, we can expect to see ongoing changes to iGaming regulations in the coming years. Staying informed about these changes is key for players and businesses alike.

Conclusion

There is no specific EU legislation in the field of gambling services. Thus, the way European Union countries organize their gambling services is entirely up to them, provided they respect the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) basic freedoms as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. In this case; freedom to provide or open a service business in another country within EU.

In most other member states, online gambling sites offer some form of gaming, while others allow all forms of games and authorize only some types, like betting, poker, or even casino games. For example, certain European regimes have established a monopoly for offering online gaming services. These are realized by a state-controlled public/private operator who enjoys exclusive rights over them.

However, other Member States now allow more than one operator to provide gambling services subject to an appropriate licensing system being put into place. Under community law no single regime is favored over another.

To comprehend iGaming regulations in the EU needs a lot from someone due to differences that exist between these countries.

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Thus, keep in mind that regulations within igaming are vast and ever-changing, requiring you to always be up to date and play within limits that are responsible enough so that the thrill that comes from igaming can be enjoyed!

Please note that this post does not constitute legal advice. Always consult a legal professional when dealing with iGaming regulations in your country.

Is Gambling Legal in Europe?

Gambling laws in Europe vary by country, but in general, gambling is legal and regulated. Each country has its own regulations and licensing requirements for gambling operators.
Key points:
* Gambling laws in Europe differ by country.
* In most European countries, gambling is legal and regulated.
* Each country has its own regulations and licensing requirements for gambling operators.

What Are The Most Important EU Gambling Laws?

EU gambling laws are vast and impossible to summarize in one sentence. But, remember that these laws aim to ensure fair and transparent gambling practices, protect consumers, prevent money laundering, and promote responsible gambling.
Key takeaways:
* The EU has a number of gambling laws that apply to member states.
* These laws focus on fair and transparent gambling practices, consumer protection, anti-money laundering measures, and responsible gambling.
* Important EU gambling laws include the Fourth Anti-Money
* Laundering Directive, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the Consumer Rights Directive.
* The EU also provides guidelines and recommendations to member states on issues such as online gambling regulation and advertising standards.

How is online gambling in Europe monitored?

Online gambling in Europe is monitored through a combination of regulatory frameworks and licensing authorities. Each country has its own regulations, but there are common elements across Europe. The main goal is to ensure consumer protection and prevent illegal activities in the online gambling industry.
Key Points:
1. Online gambling in Europe is regulated and monitored by national regulatory bodies in each country.
2. Licensing authorities oversee the operation of online gambling sites and ensure compliance with regulations.
3. Common goals of online gambling regulation include protecting consumers, preventing fraud and money laundering, and promoting responsible gambling.
4. Collaboration between European countries and regulatory bodies helps ensure a consistent and secure online gambling environment.
5. Strict measures are taken to prevent minors’ access and promote responsible gambling behaviors.

Last Updated on July 2, 2024

Author

Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.