gambling regulations
Rate this news
Image source: Alexrk2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Progressive Gambling Regulations in Europe

Today Europe is a hub for all sorts of gambling activities. Many casinos, both online and off have chosen to base themselves in various European countries. With all this gambling activity, it’s essential that there are some gambling regulations and rules in place to protect the customers and guard against illegal activity. Though there are no uniform laws across the continent, many countries have strict policies governing the application of gambling and gaming licences.

22Bet Casino Welcome Bonus

122% match bonus up to €300

18+. New customers only. 50x bonus wagering requirement applies. T&Cs apply.

The Origins Of Gambling In Europe

Probably some of the first “gambling games” were in the form of knuckle bones being cast onto the ground. The earliest traces of this have been found just over 500 BC. As time passed, the bones evolved into dice. This became very popular all over China. In many places, gambling was thought of as a lower class activity and was generally frowned upon, though by the 15th century, gambling had become a mainstream past time throughout Europe. It’s hold was strong enough that the various efforts to stamp it out, whether from the Monarchy or the Church, all ended in dismal failure.

In 1638, the world’s first casino was opened in Venice. It was called “Il Ridotto” and was a government owed gambling establishment. Later it became the “Casino di Venezia” and it still stands today. As time passed, more and more casinos started to pop up. Soon a need for gambling regulations came about as governments had to decide how to go about collecting taxes from these new enterprises.

The State Of Gambling Regulation In Europe

Though there are no laws governing gambling that are recognised across the whole of Europe, each country does have it’s own legislation with regard to the legality and rules which cover all types of gambling. Most of these gambling regulations are enforced through the use of licencing. That’s why we recommend 22Bet Casino. They follow the law to the letter and create a safer gambling experience.

gambling regulations
Rotated shooting stars on a blue canvas

The United Kingdom

The UK has some of the most strict gaming laws in the world. That’s not to say that gambling is forbidden. It refers to the licensing arrangements necessary to set up any type of gambling establishment. The UK Gambling Commission oversees the issuing of all gambling-related licences. Because of the difficulty to obtain this licence, it’s regarded as the safest of all licences from the point of view of the customer. The criteria in order to pass the various tests, including online jackpot rules, are very strict indeed. This is because the government is concerned that customers might be ripped off. Obviously, they only care about the customer, as losing them would mean a drop in taxes.

Another interesting point about the UK Gambling Commission is that part of their mandate is to oversee problem gamblers. One hundred years ago and your gambling debts would see you sent to prison. Now, problem gambling and gambling addiction are quite rightly seen as medical issues, not as criminal matters. Many overseas gambling companies and casinos submit themselves forwards in the hope of obtaining a UK licence. Though it’s expensive in outlay, many businesses see the licence as a means of convincing online gamblers to join their sites. This is due to the number of laws within the licence that stipulate how the customers’ money is handled.

Gambling Regulations: Sweden

The Swedish Gambling Authority is the governmental body charged with looking after all gambling regulations across the country. They are tasked with ensuring the industry remains safe and secure for its users as well as ensuring that all the betting and casino entities are abiding by the laws and rules laid down by the government. They oversee all betting activities including all sports betting, lotteries, and social gaming. Like the UK Gambling Commission, they place great emphasis on looking after gamblers who have related issues.

Gambling Regulations: Spain

Under Franco, all forms of gambling were illegal throughout the Spanish peninsula. After his death gambling was decriminalized in 1977. But it would take some years before all forms of gambling were regulated under one governmental authority. In 2011, the Spanish gaming Act came into force. The Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling oversees all forms of gambling activity and forms part of the Ministry of Finance. Though Spain does have a National Gaming Commission, its powers are more limited than you might find in other European countries. This is due to the autonomous regions of the country having a great deal of say within their own regions.

gambling regulations
The empty Spain

To that end, all land-based casinos and gaming entities fall under the regional authority for gambling regulations. The Ministry of the Interior regulates all national lotteries. Finally, we should point out that Spain, unlike virtually all other European countries, does not allow the participation of its citizens in foreign-owned lotteries.

Reasons For Gambling Regulation

Most governments will impose some sort of restraints on any industry that deals with gambling and gambling-related games. As people are playing with real money, there’s always the danger that members of the public might suffer catastrophic losses which, if not kept in check, could lead to social breakdown. Governments have a duty to keep their citizens safe. But at the same time, as with smoking, something that kills thousands every year, the government also wants to ensure healthy tax revenue.

So though on the one hand they need to legislate with strict gambling regulations and rules designed to keep a check on the gambling industry, they don’t want to squeeze too tightly, otherwise, all that lovely gambling tax will go elsewhere. We strongly suggest that you do your own research before placing any money in deposit of an online casino. There are a number of important points you must consider first or you could end up with all your bankroll vanishing.

Promotion of Responsible Betting

Today most people recognise that gambling has the potential to become an addiction. All European licencing authorities will insist that gaming companies and casinos make a concerted effort in their fight against gamblers being able to fall into addiction. To that end, the best casinos to win the jackpot will all have policies where by the gambler has access to agencies of help, as well as such measures as self-help through, for example, self exclusion. In other words, it’s fine for people to gamble but only do so if you can be responsible.  Online casinos like 22Bet Casino take great pains to promote responsible gambling.

Gambling Regulations: Prevention of Fraud

When we look across the pond to the US, and in particular into the history of gambling there, we’ll see that gambling and the mafia went hand in hand. Because of the nature of gambling and how casinos are set up, money laundering and the gambling industry are a heaven-made match. Hence the government has taken steps to ensure that this is no longer possible. In the UK, it’s not possible for a company to obtain a gaming licence if any of the directors have a criminal record.

gambling regulations
Be careful

Gambling Regulations: Tax compliance

It goes without saying that having a gaming licence might be a licence to print cash, but also you’ll be needing to pay the taxman. Part and parcel of all gaming authorities is to ensure that the gambling industry meets all of it’s tax obligations.

Gambling Regulations: Customer Protection

Whether dealing with casinos or any other form of commerce, customers within the European Union have strong rights. The various gambling regulators are there to uphold these rights and ensure that there’s no underhand activity that could adversely affect the casinos or sports books’ customers. Make sure that any casino you’re thinking of playing on is following all the gambling regulations and has a pristine reputation for your own safety.

European Online Gambling Age Restriction

As part of the process of protecting customers, the role of gaming authorities also involves the protection of minors from participating in any gambling activities. Before one can deposit in any online casino or any of the best jackpot sites, you’ll need to provide photographic proof of age. Some regulatory authorities actually require the casinos to help educate customers how to be more financially responsible.

Conclusion: The Gambling Regulations in Europe

The European gambling industry continues to grow at an alarming rate. New products like jackpot poker and jackpot bingo, as well as new casinos and online gaming entities are appearing almost daily. With a business in such a state of growth, it’s no surprise that governments have taken note and have put gambling regulations into place. Though it’s obvious that all governments have one eye on the tax prize, they also have to protect their citizens from themselves. With the industries, massive annual turnover, the regulators and the gambling businesses have to find some common ground between them. After all, no one wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Click here to visit the 22BET Casino to discover a brand new world of online gambling