Best European Casino Site

Unlike in the US, online gambling is legal in a majority of European countries. European casino sites are some of the best in the world.

In some countries online gambling is regulated and taxed just like other industries. Freedom to provide services is a part of the freedoms principle of the European Communities Treaty. All the European Union member nations are required to abide with the provisions set out by this treaty.

Freedom to provide services principle is applicable to online gambling service providers as well. It indicates that no member nation can restrict its residents from taking advantage of the services offered by providers belonging to other member states. The law was formed to prevent the monopoly of local operators, discourage restrictive trade practices, and promote free trade among EU member nations.

This means that any EU member country that allows local operators to offer online gambling services can't prohibit foreign operators from offering the same services. However, according to a ruling by a European Court of Justice (ECJ), all member countries are individually responsible for the matters pertaining to gambling, which goes against the freedom principle of European Commissions Treaty.

Violation of the freedom principle has led to EC infringement proceedings against as many as 10 EU member nations including Germany and France. Since then, the French government has enacted the proposed laws for the taxation and regulation of online gambling activities.

Online Gambling in France

Bowing to the European Union rules, France passed a bill legalizing online gambling in 2010. Now all European casino sites can legally accept players based in France. Apart from minors, all French nationals can enjoy playing at online casinos in Europe. Sports and horse racing bets are taxed at the rate of 7.5%, while the tax on poker bets is 2%.

The bill does not cover games of chance like slots and roulette. However, the regulatory measures pertain to casino sites, not the players. This means that individuals based in France can safely enjoy gaming at online casinos without any fear of legal action.

Online Gambling in Italy

Regulations for both land based establishments and online casinos were introduced by Italy in 2006. These permit businesses to offer casino gaming and sports betting services over the internet as well as from retail locations. In contrast to other European Union member nations, who have implemented more stringent online gambling policies, Italy has liberalized the restrictions on internet gambling.

Online Gambling in Germany

At present operators based in Germany are not allowed to offer online gambling services, but there are no laws restricting German residents from enjoying the services offered by other European casino sites. Although the German government has made efforts to hamper online gambling operations by prohibiting banks and financial institutions from processing financial transactions to and from gaming sites, the efforts have been unsuccessful. EU has strongly opposed the action.

Most players based in Germany do not face any difficulties in accessing the services offered by European online gaming sites. According to a recent survey, as many as 2.2 million German residents gamble regularly at casino sites.

European Online Gambling Licensing Jurisdictions

A number of European jurisdictions like Alderney, Malta, Italy, Isle of Man and Gibraltar are well known as online gambling licensing centers. Alderney, the third biggest British Channel Island, is popular across the globe as one of the finest offshore centers for finance. Although a part of the British Crown, British Islands, including Alderney, are self-governed. They are neither a part of the European Union or the United Kingdom. Remote gambling license from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (the AGCC) is highly sought after by online casino operators.

Unlike Alderney, Malta is a part of the European Union. It is known as the first EU member nation to come up with remote gambling regulations. All gambling activities in the region including remote gambling, commercial bingo, communication games, casino games, non-profit games, national lottery, other lotteries and sports betting are under the control of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA). Other well-known remote gaming licensing jurisdictions include Austria, Panama, UK, Kahnawake, Costa Rica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic and Curocao.

In order to obtain and maintain an online gambling license from any of these jurisdictions, game functionality, fraud prevention, player support, risk prevention, payment solution and intermediary commission are some of the basic services that an online casino needs to offer. A license from any of these jurisdictions is an indicator of a certain acceptable level of service. Therefore it is advisable to play at European casino sites licensed by well-known jurisdictions.