Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

8 Countries With the Most Progressive Gambling Laws in Europe

Compared to the rest of the world, European countries are known for their progressive gambling laws. National lotteries are pretty much a given, with the profits reserved to fill the government coffers. But when it comes to other forms of gambling such as card games and sports betting, things can vary depending on the country in question.

To give you a rough overview of Europe's gambling sphere through the eyes of the law, we are about to examine 8 countries with the region's most progressive gambling laws:

1. Sweden

As indicated by an uptick of the best sports betting sites in Sweden, online gambling is a growing trend in the country and one of the go-to Swedish pastime activities. Ever since 2002, online gambling has remained legal in Sweden, characterized by quite a liberal climate. Bear in mind there is a singular entity that oversees it, going by the name of Svenska Spel. Since its main objective is to collect tax, customer service and loyalty programs are forced to take a back seat. Due to this, numerous casino enthusiasts in Sweden prefer to place their bets offshore, since these websites have shown to have a greater variety of titles to choose from, as well as more lucrative bonuses and larger player pools.

2. Finland

Finland is another Scandinavian country with a pro-gambling stance. Regulated by three government-owned organizations (Fintoto, Veikkaus, and RAY), each of them plays a unique role by covering a different area of gambling. While Fintoto oversees land-based casinos, Veikkaus is in charge of the lottery, and RAY has the final word on horse racing. Although Finland's Act of Lotteries law makes it hard for a casino operator to launch a locally-hosted online platform, nothing is stopping the Finnish players from taking their business to any offshore online gambling platform of their choosing.

3. UK

Despite Brexit, the UK is still a geographic part of Europe, with several ties to European online casinos. Even since 2005, gambling has been fully legalized, governed by the UK's Gambling Act and the Gambling Commission (UKGC) that followed thereafter. Although the standards it holds are considered pretty strict, to date, more than one thousand gambling operators have managed to obtain a license to operate in the UK. What should be of high interest to the players is the fact that the UK does not impose tax on income earned through gambling, irrespective of the profits made.

Although the UK has parted ways with the EU, certain vital business connections remain.

4. Malta

Malta and iGaming go hand-in-hand, with an ever-growing number of locally-run online casinos. At the time of writing, Malta generates 12% of GDP from these alone. The country prides itself with a long history of legalized gambling since 2001 and has issued hundreds of gambling licenses to a wide array of local operators. In order to obtain one, an online casino is required to adhere to strict industry standards such as transparency, cyber security, and regular payouts.

5. Germany

Prior to 2012, gambling in Germany used to be a complicated matter. But ever since signing a treaty the very same year, the country's legal framework has opened up to the idea of legalizing online casinos and bookies at a state level. Nowadays, Germany's iGaming laws are standardized and unified. Although the legality of gambling as such is unquestionable, there are some restrictions in place. For instance, slot games are limited to €1 per spin and must not offer a jackpot or come with auto-spin functionality. Furthermore, sports betting is limited to certain types of betting and betting markets.

6. Norway

Norway has one central organization dealing with all things gambling and it's called Norsk Tipping. The provider holds a monopoly over the country's local online casino offerings, with over 200 popular titles in its catalog, all coming from the world's most highly acclaimed developers. But although Norway is in favor of gambling in general, it is not too fond of the offshore competition, barring it from advertising locally. On top of that, Norwegian banks will often block a transaction to one of these offshore providers.

7. Denmark

Denmark has a favorable stance on gambling. As expected, any and all operators who wish to provide gambling services are required to obtain a license issued by the Danish Gambling Authority. However, the regulator much prefers locally-run businesses and has shown an effort to discourage foreign entities from taking part. Ever since 2018, IP addresses belonging to offshore casinos have been blocked by some of Denmark's ISPs, making it harder for its residents to place a wafer offshore.

8. Italy

In Italy, the AAMS is the regulatory body that's making the rules and handing out gambling licenses to the local casino providers. At the time of writing, more than 160 casinos have obtained one. Apart from the local providers, Italian gamblers are also free to choose from a growing number of offshore casino platforms. Since the latter often give more effort to attract new players, they tend to be viewed as the preferential choice. Moreover, offshore casinos will not tax your winnings, much unlike the local Italian online casinos.


While some European countries are more liberal in regard to gambling, others may impose additional rules and regulations. Overall, if you consider yourself a gambling enthusiast, Europe is a great place to be. 

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Tel: 020 7287 4414
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