Best European Casinos
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European Gambling Laws
When you discuss European online casinos, it’s a discussion of a large number of jurisdictions and national laws. The internationalization of Europe through the European Union hasn’t reached such a point that its gambling laws are uniform yet, so you’ll find a patchwork of laws and statutes much like what you’d find with the state system in the United States. Where Europe and the United States differ is the overall hostility (or lack thereof) of its politicians to online gambling: while the EU tends to favor legalized gambling with regulation and taxation, many US politicians prefer to make the whole matter illegal.
Below is a snapshot of European online casino laws.
Belgian Gaming Commission
The Belgian Gaming Commission or “BGC” tries to enforce the Belgian Gaming Act by creating a black list of websites. Financial institutions and Internet service providers are encouraged to sign this protocol, pledging to block activity involving these websites. In doing so, international online casinos are blocked inside Belgium.
German Gambling Monopoly and EU Law
Many of Germany’s state lawmakers have tried to preserve a gambling monopoly within their various states, but an EU commission has complained these do not follow the German constitution or European law. Meanwhile, German lawmakers seek new ways to combat what they consider black market online casinos accepting players from inside German states. One possible solution is to follow the north German state of Schleswig-Holstein, which has institute anti-money laundering measures and policies to deal with problem gambling. Most important Schleswig-Holstein’s state laws comply with EU standards.
French Gambling Laws Since 2010
French anti-gambling laws have been pushed back significantly since 2010. In that year, the French Parliament created the “Autorite de regulation des jeux en ligne”, thankfully shortened to “ARJEL”. ARJEL creates greater regulation, allowing for better policing of rogue sites, better treatment for underage gaming and gambling addiction, and the collection of more revenues from online gambling. ARJEL began accepting licenses for legal websites that would offer online sports betting, online horse betting, and online poker.
The French policies have long been derided as hypocritical. For the longest time, France outlawed most forms of gambling as immoral, while the government operated the FDJ and PMU. The PMU is the Pari-Mutuel Urbain, a state-run horse racing monopoly, while the FDJ is the Group Francaise dex Jeux, the state-run lottery. Though ARJEL has been a step in the right direction for uniformity and good sense, French lawmakers have also considered outlawing “games of skill” played online–which would be a major step backwards.
Payment Options in Europe
You’ll find a myriad of payment options in Europe. Credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and Diners Club International are accepted in most places. Debit cards like Delta, Intercash, Maestro, and Electron are also available. E-wallet services like Neteller, Ukash, Entropay, eNets, ClickandBuy, PaySafeCard, EcoCard, Click2Pay, Poli, abaqoos, Barcode Santander, Dankort, DineroMail, Sofortuberweisung, eCard, eKonto, myCitadel Wallet (Citadel), ELV Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren, eps, Nordea, Euteller, GiroPay, iDeal, Ticket Premium, UInstaDebit, Lobanet, MB Multibanco, Mister Cash, Boleto Bancario, Moneta.RU, Neosurf, Przelewy24, Teleingreso, seMyBank, and WebMoney. So many of these exist across Europa, it’s hard to list them all. If you don’t want to use credit, debit, or electronic transfer businesses, you can use instant wire transfer, internet banking, online bank transfer, online bill payment, check (cheque), or money order in many locations.
In the last few years, Moneybookers has bought a number of the local electronic commerce services, so consolidation is taking place as I write. Moneybookers is now known as “Skrill”, so this might add to the confusion of some.
Perhaps, the most common and widely accepted payment option for European casino players is PayPal. The top casinos and betting sites in Europe accept Paypal deposits and will also allow you to use your account to withdraw any winnings.