Online gambling is one of the most popular hobbies, no matter where you are in the world. However, if you’re traveling to Europe or if you live here permanently, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the online gambling legislation in the European Union. Are there any Union-wide rules? You will find out in this article!
Online Gambling in the EU
The European Union does not have any laws that apply specifically to the gambling industry. As long as they don’t violate the TFEU’s fundamental freedoms (as interpreted by the EU Court of Justice), member states in the EU can organize their gambling services however they see fit. In this context, the freedom to offer services or establish a business in another EU country becomes especially important.
The vast majority of EU member states sanction the distribution of at least some forms of online gambling. When it comes to gambling, some countries are more liberal than others. Some countries in Europe have set up monopolistic regimes for providing access to online gambling.
These are either managed by a public agency under state control or by a private company with the legal right to do so. More and more member states of the European Union, however, are instituting licensing systems that will eventually open the market to more than one service provider. A privileged system is not recognized under EU law.
Online Gambling in Norway
In order for a Norwegian company to be able to offer to gamble online, it has to have a license from the Norwegian authorities. In Norway, only a handful of companies have a license to operate, mainly Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto. Norsk Tipping is more popular, as they offer a number of forms of gambling, whereas Rikstoto only offers bets on horses.
Since then, Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto have been able to advertise on national TV and radio channels, while foreign gambling sites have only been able to advertise on international channels.
Foreign gaming companies have a license from other countries, such as Malta and Curacao, and thus deliver their service from there. Therefore, they are allowed to offer gambling to the vast majority of countries, including Norway.
Many Norwegian politicians believe that it is illegal for foreign companies to offer gambling to Norwegians online. Foreign companies believe that it is legal but would prefer to have a license in place that all companies are allowed to apply for to avoid conflict and, at the same time, abolish the monopoly.
That way, foreign gambling companies can also pay taxes to the Norwegian authorities instead of all the money going to Malta or Curacao.
Having said that, there is no doubt, from any side, that you, as a Norwegian, are allowed to play where you want. There may be a question mark over the legality of offering to gamble, but there is no question mark over the legality of being able to play wherever you want. Therefore, if you’re interested in some new Norwegian casinos, inform yourself first by reading casino reviews on a site like https://www.norskespilleautomater.com/nye-casinoer.
Online Gambling in Germany
There has been tremendous expansion in the German iGaming business, which is projected to reach €2.8 billion in revenue. Legal online slot machines, poker games, and sports betting were only made possible by a change in the legislation (the 2021 Interstate Treaty on Gambling) that unified state and federal jurisdictions over internet gambling.
German online gamblers have more options than ever before, but the industry is still heavily regulated in areas like deposit limits, live betting, advertising, auto-play, and time-out periods.
Online Gambling in Finland
Multiple companies such as Veikkaus Oy, ATM Association, and Fintoto Oy have the exclusive right to run games of chance in Finland. In other words, to put it simply, no one else has permission to organize games for Finnish players.
Fortunately, there are online casinos, and their offerings are available throughout Finland. However, online casinos and various gaming portals are subject to strict regulations, especially in terms of marketing. Online casinos are not allowed to market their products to Finns other than on the internet.
In 2010, the European Commission demanded that Finland change its gambling regulations to comply with EU laws. The Finnish state has done absolutely nothing to correct the issue.
In many countries in Europe online casinos are a legally gray area since they aren’t regulated by the country at all. With this in mind, carefully research the legislation of the country you reside in before you make any bets online.