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legal status of online gambling in european countries

The legality of gambling is kind of a scratchy topic in many countries around the world because there are many issues related to this business venue. Along with such issues as the legality of land-based and online gambling, there come such social and economic issues as addiction, taxation, and regulation of such businesses. That is exactly why the legality of casinos is so uneven across Europe and why there are differences between how the nations of the EU treat this industry. There’s no consensus among the governments of European countries, so travelling across the EU, you’ll be seeing different legislation.

It is also essential to understand that most nations are still in the process of developing their laws on the matter. New laws emerge in different countries almost every year, which indicates a turmoil in this area. As said, this is a scratchy topic that has so many levels to it – gambling can produce both positive and negative effects upon the society, so the debates around it go on. Though some countries are yet to decide what they are going to do in the future, there also are states that are adamant in their position on gambling. Check the following list to see just some of the examples of how nations in Europe treat gambling.

Legal Status


France was one of the countries to realize the economic benefits of having gambling legalized. The French have admitted there were thousands of illegal online casino websites that brought no benefit to the people. These websites have been hurting the economy of the land, so they decided to legalize and tax them. Since 2009, all the online casino websites must have a proper license to legally operate on the territory of the land. This brought a serious inflow of money which benefited the economy of France over the long-term, so this is one of the examples of how casinos can benefit the nation and its people.


Germany has chosen an alternative approach and completely banned all sorts of gambling except horse race bets. After that, the European Gaming and Betting Association has made an appeal to the European Commission. After that, the government of Germany has been forced to partially legalize in Schleswig-Holstein state where people can play online. As of now, Schleswig-Holstein is the only area where Germans and tourists can gamble. Whether or not Germany is going to lift its ban on gaming in other states remains unknown as there are no serious initiatives in this area happening right now, but maybe it will change over time.


The status of casinos in Poland has been through some serious turmoil over the years, as Poland is a deeply conservative and religious land. That is why people and legislators have been protesting against the enactment of laws that would allow gambling in any form. However, over the years, the government has managed to ease it up a bit. In 2016, Poland enacted legislation that allowed the functioning of licensed online casinos on the territory of the land. As of now, people can enjoy online and mobile games in Poland only if the provider has all the legal credentials to run the business.


Ukraine is currently undergoing some serious changes in the legal status of casinos and betting services. It used to be completely banned there, and the population has been extremely supportive of the legislation that prohibited all kinds of gambling. However, over the last decade, it seems that people there have become more accepting of this kind of entertainment. As of now, almost all types of such activities are banned in Ukraine, but the current government seems to be working on allowing land-based casinos. Nowadays, it is still illegal to gamble in Ukraine, but it might soon change.


Europe is not homogeneous when it comes to the issue of gambling. Some countries, like France, have accepted it and already enjoy the economic benefits of taxing casinos. Some countries, like Germany, lifted the ban just a bit. Other countries have some limitations as to what is legal and what is not while the other countries have gambling banned in all forms. Anyway, there is always a chance to gamble at any part of the world and players can choose any type of casino like pokie pop casino or fair go casino. That is why the casino industry is so popular but still, the situation is volatile, so we may see some serious changes in that area.

Frankie Wilde
 is a content writer at various gambling sites. Also, he is a passionate traveller and a great cook. Frankie shares informative articles with the world.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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