European countries vary in their attitudes towards online gambling. Some embrace it while others ban it completely.
Gambling is one of the most prolific pastime activities on the internet. It is extremely popular in and around Europe. People from most European countries love gambling and are happy to fulfill their passion to it on the internet.
But internet gambling is not without controversy. Many claim that it is highly addictive and that its increased accessibility just makes it more and more dangerous to those who cannot control their passion to the games. This is also an industry that involves huge profit potential to companies and countries.
That's why many countries around Europe enforce a strict legislative regime on internet gambling. Some legalize it, tax it and watch it carefully, while others forbid it totally. There are those countries that choose to legalize online poker and outlaw any online casino activity, while others handpick the operators allowed to offer this service to their country's residents.
This article is aimed at highlighting the major European countries' legislative situation and legal brands in each of these countries.
Internet casino, poker and sportsbetting are legal in the UK. The Gambling Act 2005 resolved all gambling related legislation in the country and under this law online gambling operators must have a license in order to operate in the UK. All major casino and poker sites operate in the UK and happily accept English players. Players have a wide selection of licensed operators to choose from, including 888.com, Titan Poker, Party Poker, Europa Casino and many others.
Poker tournaments are legal under a new legislation and starting from September 2008, operators like PokerStars, PartyPoker and Bwin started operating officially and serving Italian residents under the supervision on AAMS, the Italian Regulator.
Online Casino is currently not legal in Italy. That's why many large brands like 888.com and Party Casino don't cater to Italian players. This may change during 2011 as the legislators broadened the types of poker games allowed and will also start accepting new legal casino and bingo operators.
Online poker and Sports betting are legal in France. Only licensed operators can serve French players. Fortunately, more and more leading poker brands are licensed and open their gates to French players. French players can play in sites like 888poker.fr, partypoker.fr poker.titan.fr.
The legislative situation of internet gambling in Germany is not completely clear, with its states and government contradictive legislative activities and various actions against these activities by operators and the EU. However, if you are a German resident, interested in playing in any of the large brands, like Casino Tropez, Party Poker and 888.com or any of the smaller ones, you will be happy to know that all the large internet poker and casino operators offer their services to German residents without any interference from the authorities.
The Spanish authorities are in the midst of an intensive process for legalizing, regulating and taxing online gambling. The law is expected to come into force by the end of 2011. Global operators will probably have to set up local sites and will be strictly regulated and heavily taxed in their Spanish activities. Currently, however, most global brands offer their services to Spanish players, without any significant interference from the Spanish authorities.