Europe as a whole has a mostly positive outlook on gambling. It is a region that offers gamblers many casinos to choose from, both online and in the real world. When it comes to European online casino sites in particular, the options are quite numerous. There are literally hundreds of real money gaming websites open for business right now.
The purpose of this page is to provide a few recommendations of safe casinos and talk about the state of online gambling in Europe today. As you can see here, we’ve started with a quick list of the best European online casinos. We’ll continue the discussion below with an explanation of what you should look for in a gambling site and then talk a little more about making deposits, getting paid and the legal status of real money betting in Europe.
The best European gambling sites distinguish themselves with a wide selection of games and acceptance of multiple currencies. Most sites even let you place wagers in all the most widespread currencies in Europe. This makes depositing, playing and withdrawing fast and easy.
Best European Online Casinos
With so many options to choose from, it’s understandable if newbies feel a little overwhelmed at first. Visit any typical gambling information website and you’ll see dozens of flashing banners claiming that Random Casino A is the best or that Random Casino B has the most games. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of these recommendations are made haphazardly.
Figuring out which sites really are the best takes a little work. The good news for you is we’ve already done all the hard work that comes with reviewing and rating online casinos. Our reviews are unbiased, straightforward and in-depth. You won’t get the typical “sales pitch” like you see at most websites.
One of our primary goals when we started this website was to simply narrow down the options so you have an easier time choosing one. As nice as it is to have options, it’s a major undertaking to come in as a newbie and choose among hundreds of casinos all vying for your attention. We consider our own experiences, visit casinos ourselves and conduct hands-on reviews from the inside when determining which sites we should recommend to readers. The recommendations you see on this page consist of only the best gaming sites. Simply put, we wouldn’t list a brand here if we wouldn’t play there with our own money.
Our favorite operators are the ones that offer players a varied game selection, easy deposit methods and fast payouts. Online casino sites occupy no physical space so there’s no excuse for a limited game selection. Casinos that have lots of slot machines, every mainstream table game and a big bank of video poker machines get higher rankings than casinos with limited offerings.
Deposits and withdrawals are just as important. This is real money we’re talking about here, so there’s no good reason for any online casino to ever delay payouts or provide you with limited withdrawal options. If you want to get your money in hand quickly, the sites you see on this page are your best bet.
Deposits and Withdrawals
One of the nice things about playing online in Europe is that you will never suffer a lack of deposit options. Being the gambling-friendly region it is, Europe does not have excessive banking regulations regarding online gambling. Dozens of companies specialize in processing payments to and from casino sites. They support multiple currencies and languages, and are designed to work within the banking systems of individual countries.
Generally speaking, deposit methods can be divided into three major categories. First of all, there are the basic credit card and debit card deposits. Most major credit card brands can be used to send money straight to your casino account. The process of depositing is similar to making a purchase at an online store.
Players can also use prepaid gift cards and vouchers to fund their gaming accounts. If you don’t want to use your actual credit card to deposit at a webite, you can just pick up a prepaid gift card somewhere and deposit with that. Ukash and Entropay are two well-known methods in this category.
E-wallets account for another category. These are services that act sort like online wallets or middlemen between your bank account and your casino. PayPal, Neteller and Click2Pay are three prominent examples of e-wallet services. These companies are cheap to use and they make it easy to move your money to and from different casinos. First you set up an account with your e-wallet and then you move money to the e-wallet before sending on to your casino. E-wallets can also receive withdrawals.
And the third category is direct bank transfers. This category includes deposit methods such as e-checks, wire transfers and electronic bank transfers. With each of these methods, you simply transfer money from your bank account to your casino account. Bank transfers are often free and require little effort. All you need is your account number and you can cash out that big win with a transfer straight to the bank.
All the major European casino sites support deposits and withdrawals with numerous currencies. Wherever you live, there’s a site somewhere that accepts your native currency. Sometimes you can even wager with your currency. However, if you use a “smaller” currency, the casino will automatically exchange it for you every time you join or leave a game.
Know the Law
Europe covers way too much ground for us to give you any sort of useful comprehensive guide on this one page. Every country in the world has its own take on internet gambling. We’ll provide more country-by-country guides in the future, but for now it would be best to do a little research for your own jurisdiction.
What we can tell you is that overall Europe has a mostly positive view of gambling. The UK has gone so far as to completely legalize and regulate online casino sites. Some countries don’t even address the issue at all. Online gambling just isn’t the most pressing issue in the world today.
It’s always best to check local gambling laws yourself, but the odds are that you are good to go. So if you’re ready to try your luck (and skill), visit any of our highest ranked European gambling sites. You’ll find a wide variety of deposit methods, big game selection and a safe experience from start to end.
With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to spend just a little time discussing a few of the larger European markets. These summaries are far from comprehensive but hopefully they serve to give you a very general overview of the legal situation in some of the more populous European nations.
Albania, like many countries, has a history of lawmakers promising to regulate online gambling but failing to deliver. Laws have been passed in Albania that should eventually create a licensing system, but the licensing system has been delayed for years. The good news in all this is the government does not seem too intent on preventing access to international casino sites.
Both local and international casino sites operate freely in Armenia and provide players with plenty of options when it comes to finding a place to play. A small number of domestic operators can be used if you like to support the local economy, but you’re also free to visit some of the world’s largest gambling sites for even more variety.
Austrian gaming laws are restrictive and the government has granted itself a monopoly over online gambling. However, there are no laws that prohibit players from going online and visiting any number of other online casinos headquartered in other countries. Foreign online casinos offer better odds, better promotions and more game variety than Austria’s one monopoly provider.
Belarus is one of the most anti-online gambling nations on the planet. Not only are online casinos prohibited, but people are prohibited from attempting to gamble online as well. People who are caught placing bets online are subject to fines. Additionally, the government actively blocks access to known gambling sites.
Belgium permits online gambling, but only at licensed casino sites. This is one of the few countries on the face of the earth that will actually fine players for daring to do business at an online casino not authorized by the government. You can see a list of legal and licensed Belgian casino sites at the following link.
Bulgaria has a licensing system in place that allows customers to visit regulated, legal gambling sites that are authorized to do business. Previous gaming laws were unworkable with tax rates so high it basically destroyed the industry. Fortunately, Bulgarian lawmakers are some of the few in the world capable of learning from their mistakes. Bulgaria’s new gaming laws are sensible and players now have a variety of licensed online casinos at their fingertips.
Croatia is largely a gambling-friendly nation with many options open to players looking for an online casino. The licensing process for Croatian casino sites is a bit heavy-handed and has resulted in a limited number of operators from applying. However, the government does not actively attempt to stop international casino sites from offering their services to Croatians.
Gaming laws in Cyprus allow online sports betting but not casino games. Of course, many sites headquartered overseas are happy to serve Cypriot customers nonetheless. Both sides of the island are fairly restrictive when it comes to online gambling, but we have not yet seen law enforcement target players for playing online.
After years of uncertainty, the Czech Republic finally enacted new gaming legislation on the first day of 2017. The new gaming laws have proven a bit onerous as we have not seen as many international online casinos apply for licenses as we would have liked. Players do have a few options among locally-licensed casino sites and many more that are licensed outside the Czech Republic.
Denmark is home to a healthy and well-regulated gambling industry that affords players choice and protection. The licensing authority is strict in terms of holding operators up to high standards, but does not go overboard with taxes and fees.
Estonia has legal online gambling and has issued licenses to a number of qualified casino sites. The licensing process is not overly burdensome and Estonia now has a healthy number of licenses casinos that are safe, fair and regulated.
Finland’s gambling industry is broken up and ruled by a small handful of monopoly operators. Online gambling is supposed to be done exclusively at Play Among Friends (PAF), but there are no laws preventing citizens from visiting foreign gambling sites in order to take advantage of bigger promotions and more variety.
Certain forms of online gambling are legal and licensed in France. This is a massive market for international operators, but local operators have a hard time showing growth owing to high taxes and over regulation. Many of the big-name European gaming sites have separate licenses for the French market. If you live in France, your options are pretty decent. The industry isn’t quite as healthy in France as it is in the UK, but it does show promising signs of growth.
Germany’s gambling laws are a mess thanks to inept, feckless politicians intent on protecting the state-enforced monopoly over real-world gambling. Feeble attempts to pass new gaming legislation have either failed in practice or have been overturned by the EU for being anti-competitive. Throughout all this mess, players have no trouble playing at online casinos headquartered in other countries.
Greece has been attempting to change its gambling laws for over a decade now, but just can’t quite get it done. Lawmakers have been slow to act, they have failed to follow their own timeline estimates and they seem absolutely intent on taxing the industry as much as possible. While the government commissions study after study, players can visit Greek casino sites headquartered overseas to play today.
Online gambling is widely available in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland’s gaming laws mirror those of the UK and opens the door to all of the world’s largest names in online gambling. Many of those same online casinos are also available to residents of Northern Ireland.
Online casinos in Italy operate in a similar environment to what we see in France. Italy issues licenses to gaming sites (they must operate on separate .it domain) and taxes online casinos a bit on the excessive side. Most big name companies have Italian licenses but there are also a number of smaller foreign operators who have found it either too expensive or too burdensome to get a license. Unlicensed sites operate contrary to Italian law and players may break Italian law by visiting such sites, but we haven’t yet seen prosecutions of individual players.
Latvian casino sites are legal as long as they hold a license from the government. The licensing process has been described as costly and burdensome, and this has resulted in only a handful of online casinos entering the Latvian market. Fortunately, there are still several high quality options for players that are legal and licensed.
Lithuania legalized online gambling in 2016 and now issues licenses to online casinos and betting sites. The list of operators that have received licenses is small, and many players continue to look to offshore options in order to get access to bigger game selections
Luxembourg’s legal system does not currently have a strong opinion on online gambling one way or another. The national lottery offers a few games online and most other forms of gambling are banned in the real world, but the government has not taken any action to prevent citizens from going online and using the services of casino sites licensed elsewhere.
Poland’s gambling laws are not good for gamblers… at all. The government only approves of online sports betting, and only specific companies are permitted to offer that. Online casino games are prohibited and players have been threatened with legal action for playing online at unapproved gambling sites.
Portugal introduced online gambling regulation in 2015 and began issuing the first licenses shortly thereafter. A handful of operators have been authorized to offer online casino games, poker and sports betting in Portugal, but high taxes and burdensome regulations have stopped the market from reaching its full potential.
Online casinos, sports betting and poker are all legal and regulated in Romania. It took a while for lawmakers to finally get over their natural impulse to overregulate the industry, but updates to the laws in 2015 made it become a much more feasible market. Now, players have access to a wide range of large, reputable casino sites.
Slovakia’s strict gaming laws only allow online bookmakers to apply for licenses. Casino games, poker and the lottery are all subject to a state monopoly and it looks like things will remain that way for some time to come. There are no laws making it a crime to access foreign casino sites, but Slovakian regulators do maintain a blacklist of known gambling sites that local internet service providers are obligated to block.
Spain is a regulated market with legal online poker, casino games and sports betting. Spanish gambling laws are strict and impose high taxes on operators, but the people love to gamble and Spain is one of the biggest markets for online gambling. If you live in Spain and want to play online, there are many legal options.
Swedish lawmakers have been talking about getting around to passing new online gambling laws for years and have so far failed to deliver. We have seen some signs of progress recently, but we will not be holding our breath. The state-owned monopoly is the only entity authorized to offer online casino games in Sweden, but many international betting sites accept Swedish players as well due to a lack of enforcement.
The UK should serve as a model of legislative commonsense for every other government when it comes to online gambling. The UK’s Gambling Commission issues licenses, monitors the industry closely and allows players to enjoy all forms of online gambling in a safe environment. If more countries follow suit, gamblers around the world will be better off.
If you live in the UK, you can visit the link below to learn more about gaming in the UK.
All forms of gambling are prohibited in Ukraine, but government enforcement of the ban is weak. The law has no means by which to enforce the ban and there is no legal mechanism to prosecute players who violate the ban by playing online. The end result is Ukrainians can choose from all the world’s biggest online casinos.