Casinos for you
Europe is currently one of the strongest, if not the strongest online gambling market. There is a huge number of European online casinos, all trying to offer something unique and different, all the while adhering to strict gaming laws.
Find out everything you need to know about the best and most reliable online casinos in Europe.
Why play at a European online casino?
Europe is a rather large continent consisting of 50 countries in total. Of these, five are considered as ‘transcontinental’, because they share territory with Asia as well.
When dealing with the subject of online and mobile gambling across the nations, it is as black and white as a box of M&Ms due to gambling laws varying from border to border. This means that when looking at regulations, pros and cons, and even best casino providers, it is virtually impossible to simply paint “all of Europe” with the same brush!
Every region within Europe is distinct in terms of culture, desires, triggers and entertainment. Just take a look at the restaurant business to get a taste of the diversity. The popular foods of Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece and Spain stand in huge contrast to traditional foods from a region like Scotland, haggis anyone? French cuisine is totally identifiable and has its own flair.
The online and mobile gambling industry is about as standardised across the board of Europe as the menus are. We’ll do our best to paint a holistic picture of what you can expect from online casinos in this region despite continental diversity.
ONE NATION… DIVIDED
Luckily for us, we can narrow Europe down marginally by isolating 28 of its countries that belong to the European Union. Alas though, although many of Europe’s elite have managed to agree on one policy to govern trade etc and have even gathered 18 of the nations to embrace one currency (Euro); one thing they have not been able to see eye to eye on, is online gambling laws. Though there is common push towards standardising this industry across the board, there is no telling how long this could take.
We cannot remove the United Kingdom as an integral part of the gambling industry in Europe, and although they exited the EU recently, thanks Brexit, they still remain a prominent force in Europe. This country boasts more registered online gamblers than all the rest of Europe added together.
Although online gambling is generally legal in most countries in Europe there are a few exceptions. We find three main categories or stances on online gambling across the continent:
- Open: In many countries online gambling is legal, provided that the player wagering the money is over the legal age (18yrs to 21yrs) and that the casino provider is correctly licensed and regulated by a recognized jurisdictional commission. Countries like this include: France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, and most other Euro Nations.
- Restricted: Certain nations will only allow their people to place online bets through regulated online operators from within their own country. This allows the state to keep a better eye on ethical practices employed by operators in order to protect their citizens. Three prime examples of prominent countries that practice this way, include: Norway, Belgium, and Portugal.
- Illegal: Then there are countries that outright ban online gambling completely. The Netherlands is the best example of such a nation. This nation prohibits any form of placing remote gambling wagers on any sports bets, table games, slots, or lotteries.
OPEN TO ENTERTAINMENT
This article will focus on those who embrace the entertaining pastime of online and mobile gambling in a responsible way. Though we are going to concentrate on the more liberal view on remote gaming, it must be said that Europe is still highly in favour of gambling practices being heavily regulated. This is obviously the reason that we find the most reputable gaming commissions on European soil. These first-class gaming jurisdictions are held by:
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- The UK Gambling Commission
This list of 5 regulatory commission are all top-notch licensing jurisdictions that offer their services to players all over the world. Online casinos that carry one or more of these licenses are most likely to offer ethical business practices that take care of needs of their customers.
“Tough as nails! The UK Gambling Commission is notorious for its stringent laws regulating gambling in the UK. It has to be tough as it resides over the country with more than 200 million active online gambling accounts. This recourse is assuredly available to other countries that would gamble by means of a UK licensed casino. A tough regulator, means a tame operator, which equates to a happy gambler.”
Regulating bodies are in pace to ensure that:
1. Players are treated fairly
2. Money is handled ethically
3. Online gambling is kept free of crime
4. Top entertainment value is served
TOP NOTCH QUALITY SPOT
In view of the reputation of European regulators, we can expect that the knock-on effect will filter down to their license holders. So, what is it that we can expect from these first-class European casino operators?
Diverse Currency Selection:
Firstly, it is pertinent to realise that playing in your domestic currency should always be your first choice. There are 2 primary reasons for this:
1. A vital part of responsible online gambling is the ability to manage your bankroll efficiently. This is very difficult to do when you have to use an unfamiliar currency to wager with. Currency conversions can easily lead way to confusion, which ultimately see you spending a little more than you would have liked to.
2. Currency conversions may lead to forex charges and levies on your winnings. Operating in your own country will ensure that no such costs are realised.
All good European casinos will offer you gameplay in your respective European (and other countries) currency. Aside from currency, all good European casinos will offer all the European languages, and more for you to play in. This is a vital tool, as misunderstanding at a casino could cost you dearly.
Make Sure You Can Get Paid:
How you transact your money, either for deposits to a casino or to withdraw your winnings,’ is of vital importance in online gambling. Not only do we want to be able to transact speedily, but we want to be able to capitalise from our winnings, to the max.
- Pay-out Times: European casinos that are regulated by good licensers usually offer the best pay-out times. The speed of a transaction can have as much to do with the payment method utilised as it has to do with the processes implemented at the casino itself. Fast pay-out casinos usually release funds within 24 hours, thereafter it is up to your banking method to take care of the rest. Should the entire process take longer than 5 days, you may be embroiled with a casino from an outside jurisdiction.
- Pay-out Percentage: It is pertinent to note that some casinos will not make 100% of your winnings available to you. It is therefore necessary that you investigate the pay-out percentage at any online operator you may want to visit. Low percentage releases are generally a typical sign that you may be dealing with an untethered ‘rogue’ casino, as most casinos policed by European regulators will give you high percentage pay-outs. It all forms part of fair-play laws.
In order to streamline processes, there are a number of good fast and efficient forms of transacting your cash at European establishment. In fact, there are some methods that are exclusive to Europe, alone.
- Credit and Debit Cards: This is probably the most common form of payment and withdrawal method at European Casinos. It may be due to the fact that these types of transactions are very familiar to people, as a high percentage of Europeans have these cards in their wallets, as a matter of course. Just about everyone with a banking account has at least a debit card to transact with. The cost involved in transacting is quite low, but funds can take a few fays to reflect.
- Pre-paid Cards and Vouchers: Prepaid cards are a very safe way of transacting in Europe. You preload the card with cash at your local retailer and then redeem the credits by entering the voucher code at your favourite casino.
- Bank Transfers: Electronic funds transfers are an effective way of paying and withdrawing funds. This incorporates direct funds transfers between your bank and the casinos bank. This can take a few days for the cash to reflect.
- Instant Transfers: One of the classic examples of this method is ‘SOFORT’ banking which is exclusively European and one of Germany’s favourite ‘go to’ methods. Instant transfers guarantee payment to casinos immediately, while the vendor themselves waiting for your bank to fund them in due course. This is especially handy when transferring across borders.
- Bitcoin: There are even a few casinos in Europe that will trade on your favourite cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Etherium. This form of trade is the fastest and most secure in the industry.
- E-Wallets: These are virtual wallets that allow for speedy processing of funds between banks, offering high security and efficiency levels. PayPal is very popular in Europe, though Neteller and Skrill handle casino transfers super efficiently, too.
“Whose pal? Contrary to the name, PayPal is not friendly to online gambling, merely because it has more stringent regulations on online gambling. Neteller was designed with online gambling in mind and as such would offer a far speedier and hassle-free service.”
Games Gallery and Software
Europe is home to all of the best software and games providers in the industry, with prominent names involved, such as:
- Evolution Gaming
- Scientific Gaming
- And far more
“Home of the brave: In this case, it is Europe that braved the pioneering work of online gambling. Microgaming was formed in 1998, as was the very first online software and casino provider in the world. As a result, the list of games offered by this giant in the industry could not be tattooed on your arm.”
If you are at all familiar with online gambling, you will recognise the list of providers mentioned above. These are some of the most notable names in the business. If you were just limited to their games, you would find fulfilment in every games genre available, such as:
- Video Slots
- Table Games
- Live Dealer Games
- Arcade Games
- Asian Games
- VR Games
Of the above, I would like to pick out a European favourite, in ‘Live Dealer’ gaming. This form of gaming takes some of your favourite table games, such as roulette, blackjack, poker and casino hold’em, then transforms them into an interactive live person gambling platform. This means you will be entertained via livestream from a studio casino, where real games are hosted by real live dealers. You are able to interact with dealers and players alike, while prompting controls from your favourite desktop, laptop or mobile device, all from the comfort of your own home.
Evolution Gaming, from Latvia, revolutionised the ‘Live Dealer’ industry by opening two huge state-of-the-art film studios in Latvia and Canada, to service the nations, with the best of what gambling can offer: Playability from home, coupled with high definition real time interaction.
Safely Secured and Supported
There is no substitute for security when dealing online, the chances of data leaks is massive. Its good news then that European casinos generally have some of the strictest regulations in place for security online.
Most online casinos in Europe offer multi-layer encryption (SSL), similar to the security that your personal bank employs to safeguard your cash and personal data.
With regulatory bodies licensing online casinos in Europe, you have peace of mind that there is recourse should things go awry, and you are treated unfairly. These governing bodies make it their mission to defend the ‘little man’ with fair and safe gambling being of utmost importance.
OUR COMMUNITY RULES
Because the online gambling industry can be such a diverse ‘box of chocolates’, it is vital to only choose casinos that are regulated by the finest commissions, as listed above.
This is however still not a full-proof way of ensuring that you will be treated fairly by a European establishment. GamblersPick is a community of real players who have an interest in educating the masses on our experiences. All of our casino reviews are written by people like you, for people like you.
Please take the time to have a look at the GamblersPick reviews, written by your peers, so that you can gain some guidance about which casinos to play at, and which to avoid. All reviews certified with the ‘GamblersPick Select’ badge are premium articles written by a community of veteran players.
The best European online casinos
There are numerous EU casinos out there, and although most of them are properly regulated, there are still subtle differences to pay attention to when making your choice of where to play.
We strive to ensure players play on the best European casinos, offering the most generous bonuses, the best game selection, and the fastest withdrawal times, among other things. Finding the best EU casinos can take some time, but luckily, we've done most of the footwork for you.
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Approved European online casinos
For an online casino to offer its services to players from the EU, they need to meet an extensive list of criteria. Obtaining an operating license as an EU casino is a challenging task, as providers have to prove their games are 100% safe, their players' funds and information are fully protected, and their business is solvent. Such rigorous measures are good news for European casino players, as they offer them necessary reassurances and create much better gaming experience.
Properly regulated by the EU
Apart from local regulations by individual countries, most European casinos must also adhere to European Union gambling laws if they wish to cater to players from the EU. The European Commission oversees these local laws and makes sure they are in line with technical and other requirements of the European Union, and it also intervenes when a dispute appears, especially if a country tries to enact laws that are overly monopolistic and exclusive towards online casinos situated in other EU countries.
Regulated countries in Europe
Many European countries have their own regulatory bodies and online casino regulations, ensuring their residents are treated fairly and respectfully.
The United Kingdom is the leader when it comes to EU casino regulation. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the main authority determining who can get the license, and their rules are very strict. The UKGC covers everything, from players' funds and game fairness to responsible gambling issues, making their rulebook one of the most comprehensive online casino regulation guides in existence.
Other countries within EU that have regulated online casinos and gambling include Italy (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies), Spain (Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling), Romania (The National Gambling Office), Portugal, Germany (state licenses), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, and Estonia. A number of other European countries are also currently in the process of regulating online casinos.
FAQAre European online casinos legal?In the countries which regulate online casino activities, an online casino should have the state license to legally offer services to residents of such countries. Casinos operating without these licenses are acting against the law, but it is important to understand that as a player playing at such a casino, you aren't breaking any laws.What are advantages of playing at regulated EU online casinos?By playing at properly regulated European casinos, you'll be protected by the state laws, and you can rest assured the casino meets the requirements set by the lawmaker to offer their services. This severely reduces a possibility of anything going wrong.How can I know an EU casino is really safe?All European regulatory bodies require online casinos to submit to serious scrutiny if they want to obtain a license. They have to prove the fairness of their games and the ability to keep their players' funds and information safe before they are approved.What is EU casinos' policy on withdrawals?All regulated European online casinos will have fast withdrawals, but you will need to provide documents to confirm your account ownership. Also, in some EU jurisdictions, there are certain mandatory waiting times before a casino can release the money to you (usually between 24 and 48 hours).
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