Online gambling is a popular pastime worldwide and European players enjoy some of the best conditions for exercising their hobby. Most countries on the old continent have legalized online gambling and they provide their players with a secure gaming environment. Internet gaming companies that cater to local players are subject to strict laws and their activities are monitored by local authorities. European laws also apply to the entire gambling market, which ensures the much-needed predictability for online casinos.
Where can you play casino games in Europe?
The biggest and most important European countries allow online gambling under certain terms. Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Malta, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Portugal and Norway are on the list. These countries along with some of the best sites in Canada have had plenty of time to prepare and adjust their laws to create the ideal gaming conditions. Residents of these countries, as well as those who visit them can bet at hundreds of online casinos, bookmakers and poker rooms that have applied for a license.
Not all of these nations have their own licensing bodies and most online casinos are actually licensed elsewhere. The Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission are widely regarded as some of the most trustworthy ones. They are trusted by the regulators of most European countries, so casinos and bookmakers licensed by the MGA or the UK GC can operate legally. International gambling operators are frequently pursuing one of these two licenses because of the prestige associated to them.
The method of taxation is an entirely different thing, as the percentage is charged by governments and local authorities differ greatly. This doesn’t impact players though, since only the gambling operators are supposed to pay the fees. Having said this, in some European countries, a tiny fraction of the amounts won by players are also subject to taxes. Deposit fees and other taxes can apply, but this depends solely on the banks and financial institutions processing the transactions.
Finding ways around prohibitive legislation
European players can consider themselves lucky to be able to gamble legally at so many online casinos. They have the advantage of choosing from a long list of licensed operators, so they don’t take any chances with shady companies. On the off chance that things don’t go according to the plan and they feel cheated or mistreated, they can formulate complaints to the relevant authorities. This is not something that players who find ways around the law to play at unlicensed casinos enjoying these days.
In countries where online gambling is illegal, most casinos refused to accept local players and their deposits. In order to circumvent these obstacles some have resorted to the virtual private networks, commonly referred to as VPNs. These allow them to hide their real IP and instead appear as if they were residing elsewhere, therefore circumventing the obstacles. In some countries this is a punishable action, not to mention that many online casinos have intelligent technology that detects the use of VPNs.