Gambling in the EU
European gambling

EC introduces new online gambling directive to regulate the EUR 10 billion per year market.

A recent report by the European Commission puts online gambling growth in the EU to 15 percent next year. That is an amazing increase. Why is that?

Poker is becoming increasingly popular in Europe, the card game is played everywhere, in the backroom of village pubs and on internet sites. Online blackjack is gaining popularity and internet betting has seen record numbers in three consecutive years.

There are hundreds of internet sites dedicated to teaching poker and blackjack strategies, giving out tips and insights for sports betting.

And on top of these, mobile gambling is on the steep rise. Every day, millions of Euros are being wagered on sport events, played in mobile blackjack applications, put on the roulette wheel and changed hands at poker tables via smartphones and tablets.

However, according to EU reports, there are about 15,000 unregulated websites available for European citizens. No matter how hard the gambling authorities try to enforce individual national regulations, someway and somehow illegal operations don’t cease to exist.

The European Commission released a new action plan for the regulation of the online gambling industry last week.

It definitely seems that the European Commission seeks a compromise between the gambling operators and its member states. It is highly unlikely that the European Commission will try to introduce a homogeneous EU legislation, but instead every member states is to keep its own gambling regulation according to the EC guidelines.

European online gambling reached almost EUR 10 billion in 2011

In 2011, the annual online gaming revenues in the EU were about Euro 9.3 billion. In Spain alone, online gambling transactions were over EUR 350 million. In Germany, online sportsbooks generated over EUR 300 million, online casinos a further EUR 210 million, while German online poker was responsible for not less than EUR 340 million revenue in just one year.