Friday, 01 December 2023

Regulation of betting in Europe

Written by  The Dubrovnik Times Sep 30, 2020

There is no regulation that applies to all of Europe when it comes to betting, even in the European Union. This means that each country can create its own regulation, as long as it complies with the freedoms established under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU.
In this list, we will have a look at how some countries decide to regulate their betting. 

The United Kingdom

The UK is the freest European country about betting regulation, meaning that any private operator that has gained a license can offer all types of gambling to any adult in the country. Gambling in the UK is regulated by the Gambling Commission, formed in 2005. This is where you need to go to acquire a license. Thanks to the Gambling Commission, online betting via desktop and mobile devices is safe and secure, with a wide variety of choices available for potential gamblers.

As long as you are over eighteen and have an internet connection, then you can be placing a bet within ten minutes in the UK. All you need to do is verify your identity by submitting documents like passport and utility bill, and you will be ready to go.


Poland is a country on the other end of the spectrum compared to the UK. Everything other than sports betting is banned in Poland, and it’s only since 2011 that companies have been able to apply for a license.

Very few companies have actually applied for a license, and illegal online gambling is a big issue, with a myriad of sites and players continuing to gamble. This increases the likelihood of players getting scammed, so an approach like the British one seems more reasonable.


Although Poland does not seem to have ideal regulations on online betting, it is a worse situation in Germany. Online betting is mostly banned, but one state in Germany started issuing licenses for people to start sites. A year later, these licenses were revoked, and now the process is starting over again.

Brick and mortar betting shops are allowed but far less common than they are in a country such as the UK. Overall, Germany has a lot to do in order to sort out the mess that is their online betting regulation.


The licensing process in France is strict and does not allow for anyone to get a license, it takes preparation and organisation. That being said, almost all forms of gambling are allowed in France, with the exception of online, casino-style gaming, but with most poker sites having some semblance of a presence online.

One big difference between France and the UK is that in France, the only way to verify your account is by receiving a letter in the post, meaning that it takes a few days to sign up and you need to have access to your mail. In England, you can just submit documents online.


Gambling in Croatia has largely been legal since 2014 with a law that was approved by the European Commission. Gambling can come in four categories according to it: lottery games which includes bingo, games of chance with instant win which includes casino games, scratch cards and more, sports betting and finally, slot and video poker machines.

All four of these categories are legal and regulated in Croatia. For online gambling operators, there are quite high requirements to be able to start offering online gambling in the country. They must obtain it from the Ministry of Finance, and it costs almost five hundred thousand US dollars annually. On top of that, they must be able to cover all of the potential winnings and more.


In Russia, the laws about gambling are a lot clearer than elsewhere because they comprehensively ban gambling, both in person and online in all but four regions of the vast country. This is unlikely to change in the near future, although it does not stop Russians from gambling online.

This is a big issue with regulating online gambling, especially when trying to ban it. It is really quite easy for anyone that is wanting gamble in a country that does not allow it to connect to the Internet through a VPN, and then it is easy to access other countries’ sites.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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