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Online Casino Gambling Laws in Europe
When it comes to online gambling, Europe can be said to be the biggest market, overflowing with hundreds upon hundreds of online casinos and sportsbooks. However, contrary to most people's opinions, the European online gambling market is not a single unit. Instead, each European country has the right to permit or ban online gambling in their jurisdiction.
Thus, the legality of online gambling may vary from one European country to another. However, most European countries allow online casino gambling and sports betting activities. Most of them have local authorities tasked with providing licences to and regulating all local or international casinos that want to offer gambling services within their jurisdictions.
So, depending on your location or country of residence, you must follow the law and only engage in online gambling at casinos with valid licences to operate in your country. Fortunately, thanks to the implementation of the 2015 Betting (Amendment) Act, online gambling and casinos are legal in Ireland.
And while a sportsbook can only fully operate in Ireland if the Irish Revenue Commissioners licence it, online casinos with valid gambling licences from UKGC, MGA, and a few others can provide casino services to Irish players.
Top Reputable Licencing Jurisdictions in Europe
A platform must hold a valid licence from an appropriate licencing and regulatory body to operate a legitimate online casino in Ireland and other countries across Europe. These bodies can either be a local authority within a particular country or any of the international iGaming jurisdictions that licence and regulate online casinos and sports betting sites in the global market.
These bodies ensure fair gameplay and protect the gamblers within their jurisdiction from shady operators. They also ensure that the casinos feature top-notch security systems.
Listed below are some of the most respected authorities that you will find in the European market.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
The Malta-based Malta Gaming Authority is one of the strictest and harshest licencing and regulatory bodies in the iGaming industry. The body focuses entirely on making online gambling fair and safe for players while protecting minors, promoting responsible gaming, and ensuring crime-free operations.
Interestingly, the MGA covers several jurisdictions, which means that its casinos can offer games to players in and outside Europe. As a result, the MGA is one of the go-to options for most European online casinos in terms of licencing and regulations.
When you see the MGA logo at any European online casino, you can be assured of the following highlights:
- 100% transparency
- Strict money laundering rules
- Several responsible gambling measures are in place, etc
United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one of the strictest and most respected gambling authorities in Europe. The body allows gaming sites to operate through a licence and regulates their operations to ensure that everything the casinos do is within its rules and regulations to ensure fairness and player protection.
Heavy sanctions and fines are also placed on any casino that doesn't follow the rules. Unlike MGA, the UK Gambling Commission is a UK-based body that only focuses on monitoring the casinos that operate within the UK or offer gambling services to UK-based residents and players.
When a European online casino bears the logo of UKGC, it means that you can expect:
- Visible and transparent terms and conditions with nothing hidden
- No misleading advertisement
- No underage gambling, etc
Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
Another well-known licencing and regulatory authority in the European iGaming industry is the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). Like the MGA and the UKGC, this body also takes a strict licencing and regulatory approach to the iGaming industry and expects the best possible standards.
Obtaining an eGaming licence from AGCC can be even more lengthy and difficult to achieve than at other bodies. This is due to the number of safeguards the body put in place to ensure that any platform that uses its licence can offer players a 100% fair and safe environment.
Players can expect the following highlights from any European casino that AGCC licences:
- Accountability of operator
- Fair Gaming
- Player protection
- Responsible gaming and anti-money laundering measures, etc
Other Notable Mentions
Aside from the three names on our list, there are dozens of other reputable licencing and regulatory authorities in the European iGaming market. Here are a few others that deserve mention:
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC)
- Curacao eGaming
A Wide Range of Casino Games
Naturally, the main reason why any Irish player will sign up with any online casino is to play casino games online. As a result, most European online casinos will partner with the best game providers in the iGaming industry to provide their players with a range of high-quality casino games that covers every possible variety.
You will usually find slots, progressive jackpot slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and many other popular casino games. Most casino players generally favour online casinos that host a diverse games lobby.
This is natural because the more casino games are available at a gaming site, the more options a player will be able to explore when they join the site.
Online slot games are undoubtedly the most popular real money games in any European online casino or land-based casino. The main appeal of these games can be traced to the simplicity of their gameplay and the potential to win big while playing. Generally, all you have to do with these games is to press a button and wait for the results.
Also, the games come in wide varieties, with each one having different themes, styles, gameplay, rules, features, reels, rows, payline, systems, etc., making the gameplay all the more exciting.
Due to the appeal that classic slots, video slots, megaways slots, bonus buy slots, and every other slot type has with casino gambling enthusiasts, almost all game providers regularly develop online slot games, leading to the thousands upon thousands of options available to players online.
Some of the best online slots in the European gambling market today include:
- Book of Dead
Classic games like blackjack, roulette, and other table and card games will never go out of style. Hence, the best European online casinos will also have a pretty impressive collection of table game titles. These options range from RNG-based roulette, baccarat, and blackjack to poker, dice, keno, and other unique table games.
Interestingly, each game comes in several variations, giving players even more options when playing games online.
Live Casino Games
Live casino games are another exciting game selection that has gained considerable popularity in the European iGaming industry and other places across the globe. These live dealer games give players a more authentic and immersive real dealer casino action by connecting them to real dealers and other players through live-streamed broadcasts.
Most European casinos feature a live casino section, usually filled with live versions of different variations of blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and other exciting options. You will also find unique and exciting live game show options like Crazy Time, Monopoly, Deal or No Deal, etc.
Bingo and Others
Aside from the slots and the classic table and card games, you will also find many different casino gaming options that you can try out at European online casinos. The most popular are bingo games, which you will find at the best European casino bingo rooms. You will usually find the best 90-Ball Bingo, 80-Ball Bingo, 75-Ball Bingo, and other exciting options.
Top Software Developers in the European iGaming Market
You will agree that a casino is only as good as the quality and quantity of games it offers. And anyone that has been in the iGaming industry for a long time knows that online casinos don't create games. Instead, they partner up with casino game software providers who develop and supply online casino games to them.
Naturally, the best European casinos stock up their games lobby with games from as many top-tier developers as possible to provide as many options as possible for their players to explore.
In the table below, you will find some of the best software providers that supply games to European online casinos.
|Base||No of Games||Most Iconic Games|
Isle of the Man
Immortal Romance, Mega Moolah, Thunderstruck,
Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Divine Fortune, Lost Relics
Isle of the Man
Jackpot Giant, Gladiator, Age of the Gods slot series
Book of Dead, Legacy of Dead, Moon Princess, Reactoonz
Cleopatra, Wolf Run, Davinci Diamonds, Wheel of Fortune
Ogre Empire, Good Girl, Bad Girl
Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Dream Catcher, Crazy Time
Casino Bonuses for EU Players
One of the advantages of playing casino games online over brick-and-mortar venues is the offer of plenty of bonuses, incentives, and benefits that online casinos offer. This is why casino bonuses are one of the vital factors that Irish players consider when deciding where to play games or stake money in sports.
The best European online casinos provide a variety of bonuses, promos, and other perks that both their new customers and already registered ones can take advantage of when they play games or partake in sports betting. You should also always check out the bonus terms that accompany any offer before triggering it to know the games that apply, the bonus validity period, restrictions, and, of course, the wagering requirements.
Here are some of the bonuses you can expect at European online casinos.
Almost every online casino provides a welcome bonus package for new players that sign up to play games on their platform. After all, the iGaming industry is competitive, and every casino competes for the attention of casino gamblers.
A welcome bonus package can be in the form of a no-deposit bonus or a deposit bonus.
Deposit bonuses are the type of welcome bonuses that require players to deposit a specified minimum amount after registration to receive a match deposit bonus. The amount of the bonus will be determined by the deposited amount. For example, a casino can offer a 100% match-up bonus up to a maximum of €1,000. In this situation, a player that deposits €500 will get €500 in bonus funds. Also, some casinos attach free spins to the offer.
No Deposit Bonuses
This is the most sought-after type of welcome bonus package online. As its name already implies, it is a bonus that requires no deposit from the player. Once you successfully register an account, the casino will give you the bonus. Like the deposit bonuses, this can also be a cash bonus or free spins bonus, but it is usually a free spins bonus.
No Wagering Bonuses
Some online casinos offer no wagering bonuses to their casino players. What sets this type of bonus apart from other casino bonuses is that they come with no wagering requirement. This means that a player only needs to wager the bonus once, and the winnings will be eligible for withdrawal. Like most welcome bonuses, no deposit bonuses can be free spins or cash bonuses.
As mentioned, the best online casinos cater to new and existing customers. So, aside from a welcome bonus package, Irish players will also find some exciting promotional offers they can enjoy at EU online casinos. These offers can be in the form of weekly promotions, weekend promotions, or even daily offers.
- Reload Bonuses: Many online casinos also allow their players to enjoy a match reload bonus on a regular or occasional basis. Like the deposit bonus, this one, too, requires a deposit from the player. The best casinos offer "reload bonuses" to their players weekly, usually during a specific day of the week or weekend. It can be a match bonus, free spin slot bonus, or both.
- Cashback bonuses: The cashback bonus promotion is an offer that gives players a certain percentage of the losses they incur during a specified duration.
- Tournaments: Most online casinos usually feature slots and casino tournament promotions where Irish players will be able to enjoy cash prizes based on their ranking in the competition.
- Refer a Friend Bonus: Online casinos offer this type of promotion to attract players to their websites. Essentially, the casino will offer generous incentives to their players to encourage them to invite their friends and family to sign up to the casino. The player will receive their bonus when their friend successfully registers an account and deposits money at the casino.
Loyalty & VIP Programme
Another feature that existing players at European online casinos can look forward to is bonuses from programs like loyalty schemes and VIP clubs. Depending on the online casino, you will usually find a loyalty reward program or an exclusive VIP club where you can enjoy loads of bonuses, rewards, and other exciting and exclusive perks.
This can be in the form of a multi-level program or an exclusive invite-only club. The multi-level program is perfect for all types of players, while the invite-only ones are tailor-made for high rollers.
Here, Irish players will usually find cashback, reload bonuses, birthday bonuses, increased withdrawal limits, high-priority customer support, a personal VIP account manager, and lots more.
Payment Options Accepted in EU Casinos
You will agree that when it comes to playing games at EU casinos, the importance of the specific payment options within their payment methods page cannot be over-emphasized. After all, most Irish players want to have the ability to process deposits and withdrawals of funds at their preferred casino sites seamlessly.
Thankfully, thanks to the rapid advances in technological development, the number of payment methods available for players to fund their casino accounts and withdraw winnings has grown significantly over the years. Thus, the best European online casinos provide a wide range of methods of deposit and payouts, including debit and credit cards, vouchers, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
You must also note that, although it is quite rare, some online casinos attach fees to certain payment methods. So, check out the payments page of your preferred casino site to know what to expect when depositing or withdrawing funds to and from your casino account.
You can also check out the minimum and maximum allowable limits for processing transactions at the casino. Also, while most casinos don't charge for processing payments, some payment providers might charge for their services.
E-wallets are digital third-party payment providers that allow people to deposit, store, transfer funds, and process transactions online, including deposits and withdrawals, with little to no hassle. Essentially, e-wallets act as intermediaries between a player's account and online casinos, limiting the exposure of the player’s financial information, such as credit card details.
These digital wallets are easy to use and offer one of the fastest forms of processing deposits and withdrawals at European casinos. Paypal is the most popular digital e-wallet payment provider in Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, according to Statista, Paypal currently has over 429 million active registered accounts.
It is no surprise that Paypal is also supported by European online casinos for the deposit and withdrawal of funds, especially for players in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, and Austria.
Other popular e-wallets that are making waves in the iGaming industry include:
Another increasingly popular payment method players can use to process transactions at online casinos is prepaid vouchers. Prepaid vouchers are vouchers/cards that have already been loaded with funds, which players can use to make instant deposits. The appeal of this method is that it does not require linking their credit cards or bank information to a casino, thereby adding extra protection for players.
You simply buy the specific amount of voucher you need from a convenience store or online and then use it to make your deposit. The obvious downside to this method is that withdrawals are generally not possible, though some companies are trying to remedy that.
Some of the most popular prepaid vouchers in Europe’s iGaming industry today include:
- AstroPay Card
Since Bitcoin came up in 2009, virtual currencies have gradually become a popular means of processing payment transactions online. These currencies offer a fast, seamless, and secure way of processing transactions in a bankless, cashless, and completely anonymous environment.
This means you don't have to worry about your financial details falling into the wrong hands when using this method. Unsurprisingly, crypto payment has also found its way into the iGaming industry, with many European casinos accepting some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is undoubtedly the most accepted virtual currency of choice in online casinos, followed by other options like Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, and others.
The age-old wire transfer payment method is a tested and trusted method for transferring funds online and in online casinos. However, this method is usually slow with fees attached to its usage, especially for withdrawals. That being said, many third-party companies have sprung up over the years to help streamline the process and make bank transfers easier and faster for people.
Essentially, these companies front the funds and wait to be credited later. These companies aim to offer users speed, flexibility, safety, and security. You should note that most of these companies are country-specific. However, many of them cover most of Europe.
Some of the most popular options you will find at most European online casinos include:
A simple truth about the iGaming industry in Ireland and other countries across Europe is that no matter how good an online casino is, there will come a time when players will need timely assistance on an issue. That being said, the biggest casino brands in the industry understand the importance of customer support to the gaming experience of its players, which is why most of them come with highly skilled support representatives to attend to players’ needs.
The best EU casinos ensure that players can reach the support agents at any time of the day or week via a 24/7 live chat stream. Other ways to get help at EU online casinos include contact forms, email, and phone. Most platforms will also provide an FAQ section where players can find instant answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the casino.
The best platforms also ensure that they offer their support service in various languages to cater to players with different languages.
Mobile Gaming in European Casinos
As mobile device development keeps improving, mobile gaming has become a trend in the iGaming industry. Players no longer want to sit in front of a desktop or laptop to play their favourite casino game at an online casino or place bets on sports events on a sportsbook. They can do that with just a few clicks on their portable mobile devices, even on the go.
All the best European online casinos understand the importance of mobile gaming to their players' casino experience and have built mobile-friendly platforms. These casinos offer either a mobile-optimised website or a native casino app, or both. Many online casinos provide a dedicated mobile casino app that players can download on Google Playstore, App Store, or a direct site link.
The only downside to this is that most casinos only provide apps for Android smartphones and tablets and iOS iPhones and iPad, with some having only the Android app. On the other hand, mobile-optimised websites are the best way to go as they are compatible with various mobile devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, and other mobile OS.
You simply need to load up the casino’s official website on your mobile device’s web browser, and you will instantly access the mobile site without downloading anything.
How to Sign Up at a European Online Casino
Much like the casinos in any other location across the globe, the signup process at European online casinos is simple and hassle-free. The first thing you need to do is find the best option for you, and due to the sheer number of options available online, this can be a tedious process.
However, to help make the process easier for you, we have provided a list of some of the best European online casinos on the market, which you can find on this page. When deciding where to use, you should always prioritise what is important to you in an online casino, whether it is the collection of games, bonuses, customer support, deposit and withdrawal processing, limits, etc.
Once you find a preferred online casino, you can go ahead and visit the casino’s website, click on the registration button and then follow the process to create a new player account at the site. This process will require you to provide relevant information like your name, gender, residential address, email address, phone number, etc.
After you have successfully created a new player account, you can go on to make your first deposit, claim the casino’s welcome bonus package, and then start having fun.
Europe is said to account for the largest market for online gambling, and this status quo doesn't look like it will be changing any time soon, with the hundreds of European online casinos on the market. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, you can check out the list of recommended European casinos on our page to find some of the best options.
You can also check out the casino review on each of them to get more detailed info and a clearer picture of what to expect from any platform before joining it. Doing this will help you make a more informed decision to ensure the best possible gambling experience.
European Casinos Online FAQs
What are European online casinos?
European online casinos are platforms that provide casino gambling services for European gamblers.
Are all EU players allowed to gamble online?
No specific gambling laws or legislation governs gambling activities in Europe, much like any other legislation. Instead, each country has the right to decide whether to allow online gambling or not within its jurisdiction. So, the legality of online gambling will depend on which EU country you reside in. However, it is legal to gamble online in most European countries, including Ireland.
How do I know if a European online casino is legit?
A simple way to do this is to check the licencing status of the casino. You will usually find this in the footer section of the casino site. It is legit if the casino holds a valid and verified gaming licence from a trusted and reputable authority.
Which gambling licences do European casinos use?
There are dozens of licencing and regulatory authorities in Europe's iGaming market, including local and international jurisdictions. However, the best European casinos operate under gambling licences from reputable bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, etc.
Which European online casinos should I avoid?
Gambling licences from reputable authorities protect and safeguard players when playing online casino games. Naturally, every European player must avoid casinos with no licence and those licenced by untrustworthy bodies.
What kind of bonus can I get from European online casinos?
Almost all European online casinos offer a variety of incentives to their players, from a welcome bonus package to loads of promotional offers. The best platforms take things further by providing loyalty and VIP schemes, where players can get cash back, cash bonuses, and other exciting and lucrative rewards and perks.
What deposit methods are available at European online casinos?
All the best EU casinos provide a wide range of payment methods for their players to process deposits and withdrawals conveniently. This usually includes credit and debit card options (e.g., VISA and Mastercard), e-wallets (e.g., Neteller, Paypal, Skrill), prepaid vouchers (e.g., Paysafecard), and bank transfer solutions.
What are the best casino games in European online casinos?
As the hub for everything online gambling, you can find every possible variety of games at European online casinos. You can enjoy yourself a lot, whether slots, table games, jackpot games, live casino games, instant win games, or other exciting options.
Can I play on the go?
Yes. Most European online casinos are compatible with mobile devices’ web browsers, including Android, iOS, Windows, and other mobile OS. Many casinos even provide a dedicated native mobile app that players can conveniently use to play games on the go.
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