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Wealthy Countries

The EU residents have significant incomes and spend significant amounts on online gaming services

Legal Activities

Start a legitimate business in numerous countries in the region thanks to favourable gambling laws

Influential Status

Obtaining a European licence will let you interest an extensive audience and gain its respect

Many Potential Consumers

Most of the adult population visits online casinos here — find your loyal customers in Europe

Gaming Project Scaling

Do not be limited to one country, work throughout the region entering new markets on simple terms

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Specifics and Prospects of Gambling Business in Europe: Overview of Key States

1. Juridical Features of the Gambling Market in Europe

2. The Most Influential Countries

3. Why Is Ordering a Turnkey Casino in Europe the Best Option for Newcomers?

4. The Main Things about the Strong Points of the European iGaming Industry

Entrepreneurs looking for a profitable and promising market to launch their projects often choose this region. According to the latest statistical studies, the profitability of the gambling business in Europe exceeded 25 billion euros (about 30 billion US dollars) in 2020.

Gambling business in Europe: key states

Is gambling legal in Europe? The legislation of each EU country has its peculiarities. At the same time? It is quite loyal to online projects. That is why this market deserves your attention. Check out its prospects and legal specifics in more detail.

Start a casino in Europe with Smart Money.

Juridical Features of the Gambling Market in Europe

The regulation of the entertainment business in this region is carried out following the requirements of particular countries. There is no unified casino law in Europe that allows controlling the gaming field in the EU as a single system. Therefore, it is important to select the optimal market that offers many opportunities for operators.

Some states issue licences to the owners of online casinos and betting projects:

  • Romania;
  • Germany;
  • Italy;
  • Bulgaria;
  • Poland;
  • Belgium;
  • Finland;
  • the United Kingdom;
  • Austria;
  • Spain;
  • France, and others.

The presence of a European licence is a good way to attract more potential customers and increase the level of their trust. However, its availability is not a prerequisite in some countries.

In such states as Switzerland, Monaco, Greece, Portugal, Norway, and others, it is possible to work under international licences issued by offshore jurisdictions. The cost of such permits is quite affordable. At the same time, they allow operators to receive more favourable tax conditions. This is the perfect option for beginners wishing to open gambling sites in Europe.

The Most Influential Countries

Gambling markets in Europe: influential countries

Let us explore the characteristics of several lucrative gambling markets in Europe.

The United Kingdom

The entertainment business in this country has been developing in the land-based sphere for a long time. In 2003, Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, launched an initiative to improve the gambling law in Europe.

The main goals of the new gaming legislation were the legalisation of online activities and the adaptation of regulatory norms to the realities of that time.

The final version of the bill was adopted in 2005. A prerequisite for working on the gambling market in Europe, in particular in the United Kingdom, is the availability of a licence.

The cost of permission documents varies from 10 to 50 thousand pounds per year, depending on the scale of iGaming projects. The validity term is 5 years. Operators have to pay corporate income tax — 19% of their revenues.


This is another prospective legal gambling market in Europe. The main gaming law was adopted in 2009 in this country. The process of legalisation of the entertainment industry began in 2005 at the initiative of the European Commission.

This influential organisation researched the peculiarities of the gambling business in Europe at that time. It was determined that France has great potential for development in this field. After the adoption of the bill, the local operators were allowed to work in the land-based segment.

In 2010, the online space was legalised too. The rapid legitimisation of the Internet area has been associated with the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which took place in South Africa.

Already in the first month, over a million users created their accounts on the legal online betting portals in Europe. French gambling enthusiasts have spent over 80 million euros (almost 95 million US dollars) during this short period. The regulatory body Autorité Nationale des Jeux (National Gaming Authority) was created in 2010.

The main tasks of ANJ are as follows:

  • The issuance of licences for starting casinos in Europe.
  • The prevention of gambling addiction.
  • The fight against fraud in the iGaming field.

The French government allows such online activities:

  • sports betting;
  • wagers on horse racing;
  • poker tournaments.

Online casinos operate here too. Nonetheless, operators can provide their services under international licences. The activities of foreign online clubs are practically not monitored.


This country is one of the most optimal regions for launching and developing gambling businesses in Europe. Until 2012, the gaming industry was completely monopolised. The right to provide betting services belonged to state-owned companies. However, German operators and foreign investors got the opportunity to start online gambling projects in Europe soon.

Government officials continue to work on improving legislation to let more entrepreneurs obtain licences in the future.

The local gambling commission is engaged in the legalisation of bookmaker projects. There is no opportunity to get a licence for opening gambling clubs in Europe today. Nevertheless, operators have found the best way out of this situation — working with international permits. It is noteworthy that projects registered in offshore territories operate in Germany without hindrance.


The regulatory body of this state, the Lotteries & Gaming Authority (LGA), is incredibly significant in the global industry. The gambling commission issues licences to projects aimed at international activities.

Malta is deservedly considered one of the most reliable jurisdictions in the modern market. The presence of a Maltese permission document is considered a sign of a gaming project’s high status. If you want to buy a casino in Europe, pay attention to this country.

To obtain a licence, an operator should provide such documentation:

  • VAT payer number;
  • customs receipt;
  • a list of company executives (primarily data on financial and executive directors);
  • legal address and name of an organisation.

The cost of a permit depends on the features of a specific gambling start-up. On average, it is from 5 thousand euros (almost 6 thousand US dollars) for the first six months of work and from 7 thousand euros for each subsequent year of activity (about 8 thousand US dollars).

The exact price of opening a gambling portal in Europe can be found out by contacting representatives of the Lotteries & Gaming Authority. They will calculate the required amount based on the characteristics of your future business.


New and acclaimed operators are closely anticipating the changes in the sphere that are driven by the government’s commitment to an innovative licensing system. You can expect to see it by January 2026 at the latest. This transition involves a hybrid approach with the combination of proprietary registration and monopoly maintenance.

Major notions for operators:

  1. Harm prevention. A fundamental objective of the Finnish policy is to reduce entertainment-related issues. Distributors will enjoy gambling marketing but will admit a full adherence to responsible practices. Direct promotion will require explicit consent from punters.
  2. Consumer protection. New measures will focus on the safety of sensible information. The government also considers restricting slot machine availability to designated monitored premises.
  3. Hybrid licensing system. Finland is following Sweden’s example with its innovative registration approach. The future licensing framework will cover online casino and betting activities with multiple lucrative opportunities for international operators.
  4. Monopoly retention. The current state entity, Veikkaus Oy, will preserve its exclusive rights over physical casinos, brick-and-mortar betting, lottery tickets, and sweepstakes games. It will also be restructured into two separate entities to oversee the monopoly and manage new participants.


The online entertainment landscape has been undergoing significant changes after the introduction of the Gambling Act of 2021. Under these new regulations, exclusively state-operated sites own a dedicated licence of the country. Also, the authorities are taking severe steps to address the issue of ludomania through the implementation of time and betting limits to promote responsible gaming.

Operators who look forward to starting a casino business in Norway should be aware that you can only enter the market with an offshore working permit. While some aspects of the regulatory framework remain open-ended, the current legislation leans towards a state monopoly.

However, some in the sphere, including the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming, have expressed the view of breaking the state ownership, establishing a reasonable tax rate, and permitting operators’ access. 


One of the most liberal gambling environments in the Nordic region gladly accepts new operators. With a significant percentage of residents engaging in wagering activities (ranging from 60-80%), Sweden has seen a proliferation of lotteries and an accessible land-based and online gambling environment.

Relevant documents to consider if you want to initiate a web-based startup in the state:

  • The 1994 Lotteries Act;
  • The 1999 Casinos Act;
  • The 2002 Amendment;
  • Spellag SFS 2018:1138.

The operational arena underwent crucial changes in 2002 through the expansion of online gambling opportunities within the 1994 Lotteries Act. This opened the door for various web-based offerings, including slots, bingo, poker, keno, and other casino games.

It is essential for operators to be well-informed about Sweden’s legislation since, from January 1, 2019, stricter regulations came into effect. This shift cracks down on platforms operating without an in-state licence. Additionally, a tax on players’ winnings from offshore operators is enforced as well. Managers who seek to enter the Swedish market should be aware of these changes and comply with the latest requirements.


The gambling industry is characterised by a mix of state and private involvement. The Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa Gaming Department holds a unique position as it conducts social content that benefits the state.

As for other forms of gambling (casinos, lotteries, betting, etc.), they are currently legal as well. Online activities are received excellently in Portugal. As you plan to join the market, you should focus on legal, highly regulated, and secure options for citizens. 

Licensing is strictly supervised: the government issues permits after a thorough application process that focuses on responsibility and dedicated standards. You will find close cooperation with authorities that will require to offer diverse interactivity. 

The Netherlands

The Dutch online casino market has undergone notable changes with the Remote Gambling Act of 2021. If you have plans to access this destination, keep in mind that the legislation marked a turning point for international entrepreneurs since it allowed offshore brands to work with locals. 

Key points for operators:

The Remote Gambling Act substantially improved the Netherlands’ iGaming sector and broke the monopoly previously held by Holland Casino.

It is possible to open a gambling portal licensed by Kansspelautoriteit since it prioritises a safe and reliable gaming ecosystem.

Also, players value such respected regulators as the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority incredibly highly.

Unlicensed operators face substantial fines, so you should keep in mind the importance of compliance and reputation to provide services in the Netherlands.

For entrepreneurs who look to enter the Dutch digital arena, alignment with the regulatory framework is essential for a successful and compliant presence that will bring lucrative results. 


Online entertainment in the country is governed by the 2012 Gambling Act. This legislation marks a spectrum of activities, including betting, casinos, gaming machines, and lotteries, both in their traditional and digital forms. If you seek to enter the Danish market, the licence is a mandatory requirement.

The Spillemyndigheden authority is responsible for enforcing, overseeing, and licensing all establishments, whether land-based or online. This includes operations within Denmark as well as its territories, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. 

If you are looking for an alternative to casino project development, note that sweepstakes, keno, bingo, and other lottery-type games are not subject to the local licensing system. Danske Spil holds a monopoly on sweepstakes activities and oversees their registration.

Why Is Ordering a Turnkey Casino in Europe the Best Option for Newcomers?

Turnkey casino in Europe: benefits

Creating an entertainment website from scratch is a long and costly process. To get an original product with popular casino software in Europe, you have to involve a whole team of qualified specialists.

The most optimal solution in this situation is to develop a ready-to-launch site. The start of a turnkey casino in Europe is a more economical option than the independent search for suppliers and partners.

Consider its benefits:

A simplified licensing procedure

You can get a permission document in the shortest possible time thanks to the support of professionals in the process of preparing documentation and effective communication with the gambling commission of the selected country

A broad range of casino software in Europe

When ordering a ready-to-launch product, you will get the opportunity to form an extensive assortment of iGaming solutions from the most reliable manufacturers

Informational assistance

Contact the employees of an intermediary firm to find out answers to any questions regarding buying casinos in Europe.

They will provide you with complete information on any subject and help you choose worthy products and services for the gambling project

Creative services

Highly skilled designers will create a unique look for your online portal. Design, logo, and interface elements will embody the spirit and philosophy of your brand

The Main Things about the Strong Points of the European iGaming Industry

The considered region is one of the most profitable and stable markets in the international business arena. The decision to acquire a turnkey casino in Europe will let you gain financial independence and confidence in the future.

The European gaming industry is marked by such features:

  • the possibility to obtain licences in many countries in the region;
  • the authoritative status of businesses on the global stage;
  • the considerable lucrativeness of online entertainment portals.
If you are interested in launching a gaming start-up and buying casino software in Europe, contact Smart Money employees.

Our specialists will help you find the right solutions for launching your project. Find out about the terms of collaboration by leaving a request on our website.

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Hans Adrian

Hans Adrian

B2b Gambling Business Advisor & Strategist

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