Europe is a massive and very lucrative market for online gambling. It is also an extremely complex market that forces gambling sites to navigate through a maze of varying laws, regulations and licensing requirements. Topping it all off are a myriad of cultural, language and currency considerations that must all be understood and accounted for.
Nevertheless, the best European gambling sites are more than happy to tackle these problems head on. Nearly 743 million souls call Europe home and that, my friends, is a lot of potential gamblers. We will begin today with a list of the best places to play online and then continue below with a general overview of the European market as a whole.
This is the best possible list of online casinos that I can recommend to Europeans in general. However, it is far from comprehensive. With something north of 50 countries making up the landmass that we call “Europe,” there’s not a single gambling site that hits every single country. These are just the biggest and safest sites that have a presence in the greatest number of European countries.
One thing that these sites all have in common (besides being safe places to play) is that they all accept deposits in Euros and host games in Euros. You can also deposit in other currencies, but you’ll find that most tables are played with euros, US dollars or British pounds. If you deposit in some other currency, the poker site will convert your deposit into one of those three currencies for the duration of your stay.
Gaming laws also vary across Europe. Most Western European nations have at least fairly pro-gambling attitudes. Some nations even have licensing schemes complete with government oversight and player protections. Others have attempted to prohibit online poker and gambling.
As a whole, Eastern Europe is less developed on the regulation front. We do have a few licensing systems in place, but many Eastern nations leave the issue open for debate or completely unaddressed. A small number of countries attempt to outlaw online gambling entirely.
Before we get into country-by-country discussions, I need to let you know that I am not a lawyer. The following summaries are based on my own research. I’m confident in what I talk about, but nothing can beat getting qualified legal advice. It would be best to talk to an attorney if you have any question about the legality of poker where you live.
Countries where Online Poker is Licensed and Regulated
A small number of European nations have formally legalized and regulated online poker in recent years. Players who live in these nations may play online poker at safe, licensed sites without fear of legal consequences.
Countries without Effective Licensing Systems
The remaining countries on this page either do not have fully address online poker or have laws that are hostile to online poker. In most cases, the legality of playing is questionable and people continue to play online without any issue. However, a handful of countries actively pursue and punish players.