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We can all agree that gambling is something that is sometimes frowned upon, a taboo if you will, with many believing that all forms and types of gambling lead to gambling addictions. That statement and notion are not fair.  Not fair on the player and not fair on gambling sites. Not all gambling leads to addictions, and with the technology advancements that online gambling has witnessed nowadays, many sites have built-in fraud and gambling addiction tools, that help gamblers play in a safe space whilst still affording their play.

Needless to say, many governing bodies across the globe always try their best and offer ways and means to regulate gambling. How to safeguard the player at all times, whilst at the same time, giving the power and autonomy to brand new bookmakers to establish a safe gambling environment for all. Hence, today we look at how Europe is aiming to change gambling regulations, to ensure players are protected, as much as gambling sites are. So let’s have a quick look at the top countries in Europe and the changes that they are implementing when it comes to gambling regulations.

Finland

When it comes to Nordic countries we all know that they love to gamble. One of the biggest operators and game providers NetEnt is indeed Swedish and part of the Nordic gambling sphere. When it comes to gambling in Finland, bonuses are a massive “No”, so Finnish players playing at Finnish-based operators cannot land a bonus or welcome offer from the gambling sites. Of course, Finns that opt to play at other non-Finnish sites will have the facility and option to scoop a bonus, with some casinos also banning any form of bonuses to land at a Finnish e-wallet.

Unfortunately for Finland, the country is being pushed towards gambling only to the state-owned betting and bingo site Veikkaus, as from 2023, the Finnish government will be introducing a law that prohibits gamblers from transferring funds to a non-Finnish gambling site. With Veikkaus gambling sites not reaching the limits in offering solid game content, Finnish players have been seeking foreign casinos to play and gamble. This new law and regulation will not be welcomed with open arms, and most probably will see many Finnish players use VPNs to continue enjoying gambling in a fashionable way.

Sweden

Just like Finland, Sweden also had a state of monopoly with the government-owned Svenska Spel gambling site. Of course the content was not as vast as other sites offered, hence gambler retention was not as stellar. With this in mind, the Government of Sweden needed to act fast and offer a viable solution for everyone. Instead of taking the approach that Finland has taken, Sweden decided to open the market further and start offering Swedish gambling licenses, that would allow many online casinos and bookies to set up home in Sweden. Was this a better move than their neighbors Finland took? Most definitely, as many new brands are starting to set up shop in Sweden, enjoying a Swedish gambling license that facilitates the gameplay of all Swedish players joining gambling sites.

In terms of bonuses, Swedish players are allowed to walk away with bonuses when playing at a Swedish licensed online casino, however, some terms and conditions do apply.

United Kingdom

If you happen to want to open an online casino, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission Gambling License is the one license that you need to have. This license is one of the most stringent, and any online bookmakers that do not abide by the rules and regulations imposed by the UKGC will be fined heavily. It is also known that the UKGC may revoke a gambling license at any time if the governing body feels that the casino is not treating customers fairly or not abiding by the rules imposed.

The UKGC is also a strong body and is close to the government in the United Kingdom. Following extensive research and consultations with GamStop and GamBan, the UKGC decided to join the crusade of combatting problematic gambling. Only in 2020, the UKGC instructed all of its online casinos and bookmakers that moving forward, they will not be allowed to accept credit card payment methods to fund a player’s gameplay. Tough? Maybe, but the UK is one of the countries that have the biggest number of gambling addictions, and regulations need to be implemented and fast.

Norway

The term monopoly is something that comes up quite often when we speak and talk about online gaming. Way back in 2017, Norwegians could use any new bookmaker they please to settle the gambling itch. Unfortunately, after that, the Norwegian Government introduced a law that paved the way for Norsk Tipping to be the only gambling site that can operate from Norway.

To make matters worse, the Norwegian government ordered that banks do not accept any transactions to any form of offshore casinos and sports betting sites. The good news is that if Norwegians use an e-wallet, their credit card details will be converted, hence gambling can still go ahead. For many reasons, online casinos do not have any gambling-related information related to the casino, hence this will make it hard for the Bank to reconcile the payment to gambling. The other good news is that there is now a law that bans Norwegian players from joining any offshore gambling sites, hence keeping the door open for Norwegians to wager and play where they see fit, and fun.

The future of gambling in Europe

There are many other countries in Europe that are always looking for ways and means to operate safe online casinos. With the gambler being the key focus, the future of gambling Europe looks more regulated, with more gambling sites looking to set up home in gambling heaven Malta, where the Malta Gambling Commission is not known to be as strict as its counterparts. Also, the UKGC has asked all football teams in the United Kingdom to stop accepting endorsements from big gambling giants, and a ban on that is also in place. We expect more regulations and policies that online casinos would need to adhere to if they want to retain that United Kingdom Gambling Commission gambling license.

In the meantime, we always suggest that you check out the reviews of the next online gambling site your eye falls on. Making sure that the site is licensed and regulated is a must, and so is the good feedback obtained from other gamblers visiting the gambling site before you.

Author: Paula Allen