Understand these Online Casino Regulations Before Diving Head First Into Gameplay
Thanks to the age of the internet, the opportunities for fun and windfalls have moved online. But, there are still rules and online casino regulations that differ from one country to the next. Here’s a look at how things work across Europe.
Online Casino Regulations in the UK
With Brexit just around the corner, the United Kingdom remains subject to EU laws for a short period of time. Even so, the casino gaming culture and regulations that surround it are well established.
With many sites offering top casino games, slots and casual gaming to British citizens, it should be noted that most of the sites are internationally renowned, operating from other parts of the continent. This means the operators can benefit from favourable tax rates and host of regulator advantages.
However, sites that cater to UK players must be licensed by the Gambling Commission.
Spain has 17 regions, each of which is autonomous. This means that casino operators that want to offer their services must get licenses from each region, even if the operator is purely based online.
In 2011, the Spanish government introduced the Gaming Act which ensured the same rules that applied to land-based casinos were consistent and enforceable online, too. The bill failed to factor in unlicensed operators based in other countries, though, so there are a couple of loopholes.
The Nordic Countries
The availability of internet in countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway are greater than just about anywhere else in the world. Yet, the expansion of the online casino industry in this part of the world has been greatly disadvantaged by state-controlled monopolies.
However, we are starting to see all that change, especially with the new legislation set to be implemented in Sweden.
The latest casino gaming bill introduced in Germany actually doesn’t distinguish between real world and online casinos, leaving a gaping grey area around the industry.
German online players can play on sites operated in other countries but legally, operators may not host sites in Germany. In turn, this means Germans don’t have legal protection if they do choose to play online.
It’s an odd scenario which is why people tend to choose to play according to the reputation of the online operator’s country of origin. Countries like the UK, where online gaming is legal and regulated, along with Malta and Gibraltar, give German players greater peace of mind.
Like many of the Nordic states, there are government-imposed restrictions on casino gaming in France. One act introduced in 2010 outlawed casino games like roulette and online slots.
While authorities cite that chance-based games are addictive and not acceptable, there is legal support for the skill-based games such as blackjack and poker.
We are increasingly seeing calls to improve access to online gaming services and use regulations to manage operators directly. There’s no doubt that as more online casino regulations come into play in Europe, the state of play will be altered. For now, though, players must remember to take a close look at the laws impacting their own country before they open a new player account with a site.