The European Union can be regarded as one entity with respect to a lot of financial affairs. That is thanks to the EU passing economic laws that applies to each of its 28 member states (which will become 27 after»Brexit»). But when it comes to sports gambling, the EU members remain independent, with each responsible for producing its own legal framework.
Consequently, the legality of sports gambling, such as at online sites, varies from country to country. Below are the top EU betting sites.
Betway makes it effortless to get started and then keeps you there with its huge choice and numerous ways to bet.
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888sport is a fun website which makes it simple for the newcomer to begin. It also supplies enough extras to keep experienced bettors interested, though some pro-bettors may be turned off.
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Bet365 serves millions of bettors around the world – the sheer number of international leagues they cover is unparalleled, among other perks.
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William Hill
A big name that’s been in business since 1934 doesn’t need flashy promos as long as the service is dialed-in – William Hill is that title.
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Paddy Power
Among the most popular and esteemed gambling sites in the united kingdom & Ireland, this household name provides some of the biggest chances selections in the business. With over 100 lines per match and a superior live-streaming provider, it is no surprise that Paddy Power dominates the UK sportsbook market.
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Established in 1983 and online since 1996, Intertops is one of the old guard when it comes to sports gambling. Decent odds and enticing bonuses imply their strong stature on the market is more than deserved.
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Their massive maximum bonus size is a true head-turner for bigger bettors however BetOnline provides something for everybody.
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BetVictor has several decades of sportsbook experience and provide a strong all around merchandise while still offering enticing promos and value-priced chances.
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BetDSI is similar to a luxury hotel you can stay at for a bargain price. Their sportsbook has offerings typically only found at the larger sites, plus they offer you these at an excellent price compared to other people.

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SBG Global
Don’t be tricked by SBG’s easy look and small stature; an easily available bonus arrangement and a wide variety for lines, teasers, and parlays make it a solid solution for casual players.


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Belowwe set out the legal status of internet gambling in the four largest European betting regions: France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
As you will see, every nation takes a legalize-and-regulate approach to internet sports gambling. But some are much more flexible and liberal with their licensing plan compared to others, and that seriously affects the amount of legal options available to bettors.
The table below briefly summarizes the position in each country. The resultant sections provide more detailed descriptions.
France Yes Yes No Yes. If over $1,500
Germany Yes Sort of Maybe No
Ireland Yes Yes No No, except for»professionals»
Italy Yes Yes No No
Netherlands Yes, but barely Yes No Yes, but it’s withheld by the operator
Spain Yes Yes No Yes, if over $2,500
Sweden Yes Yes Maybe No, as long as the sportsbook is licensed in EU
Online sports gambling is legal but heavily regulated in France. To lawfully offer sports wagers to French residents, a gambling sitemust be licensed by the ARJEL (Autorit?? p r??gulation des jeux en ligne, which appropriately translates to»Regulatory Authority for Online Games»).
Considering that the French government places substantial tax burdens on operators, several online sites register in different jurisdictions and yet still attempt to offer their services to individuals in France.
Under the current legislative framework, this is deemed illegal. Even if an internet sportsbook has a permit in a foreign jurisdiction, state Gibraltar, it cannot legally provide sports-betting solutions to the French people without a permit from the ARJEL.
This is the case in several areas of the planet. On the other hand, the French authorities are more proactive in policing it than many, going so far as to block access to certain sites from within France.
[Though] the only act of placing a bet for an unlicensed sportsbook might not be illegal under French law… using an unlicensed sportsbook still includes a number of risks.
It should be mentioned that, such as in the US, the mere act of placing a wager for an unlicensed sportsbook may not be illegal under French law. The legislation have a tendency to target online betting providers rather than the individual bettors.
However, using an unlicensed sportsbook still comes with a number of dangers. You cannot be certain that unlicensed sites will stay accessible from within France. The government may take steps to block access and efficiently shut-down their existence in the nation at any moment, because it is operating illegally.
Because of this, the safest route for sports bettors in France is to use a licensed sportsbook.
Figuring out which websites are licensed and which aren’t is simple. The ARJEL keeps an updated list of all the licensees on its own site:
The ARJEL keeps an updated list of all the licensees on its own site.
The website is in French, obviously, but if you’re using a web browser like Chrome, then you can easily translate the page to English. (Even though the grammar will not be perfect, you’ll be able to decode the essential elements.)
If (when?) Your sports-betting efforts prove profitable in France, bear in mind that everything over $1,500 has to be declared as income and, as such, is taxable. In accordance with, online gambling is redeemed at around 9%.
The legal status of online sports betting in Germany is in a state of flux and has been for some time. The German government has long sought to heavily regulate the market and, in 2012, passed an amended Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which prohibited online gambling (and online gaming in all its forms) except for those offered by the government or accredited by the regulatory authorities. (This law was actually a comfort of a previous legislation, which didn’t even allow for licenses and efficiently made a state monopoly.)
The law came under siege nearly as fast as it came into effect. Significantly, the EU’s Court of Justice has ruled that the law impermissibly restricts online gambling sites based/licensed in different countries from providing their solutions to Germans.
[T]he EU’s Court of Justice has ruled that [Germany’s online gambling law] impermissibly restricts online websites based/licensed in other countries from providing their services to Germans.
The German government responded by amending the legislation, but only slightly, and said amendment hasn’t come into force. The amended law would only increase the amount of licenses the government could grant; it would not offer overseas sportsbooks carte blanche to operate in Germany. It remains to be seen whether such a law — if it ever comes into force — could be deemed an acceptable limitation by the courts.
What Germany is now left with is essentially a garbage heap of legislation pertaining to online sports gambling. The laws on the books need sportsbooks to possess a permit to work legally, but the laws themselves (along with the licensing process they create) have been deemed impermissible by the EU courts.
In practice, a number of foreign-based sports-betting websites continue to operate in Germany (meaning that they continue to take German bettors and continue to be accessible from inside Germany’s borders). Unlike in France, where the authorities have taken a hands on approach to restricting access to unlicensed online operators, the German authorities does not appear to be actively attempting to prevent these foreign sportsbooks from operating in Germany, likely due to the state of the present laws.
As the International Comparative Legal Guides’ 2017 paper on Germany says,»[T]he licensing procedure for… sports betting licenses… continues to be held incompatible with EU legislation… Criminal proceedings have… seldom been initiated. … German enforcement authorities… have been unwilling to impose gaming law offenses, one explanation for this likely being that German gaming law has been characterised by legal doubt due to it facing severe criticism in light of EU legislation for decades now.
In connection with sports gambling… any enforcement action brought against sports gambling operators at a circumstance where an unlawful de facto monopoly persists (as held to be true in Germany) is incompatible with EU law.»
[I]n the rare instances when [German] governments do prosecute breaches of gaming laws, it is the operator that is held liable, not the bettor.
The paper also notes , in the rare instances once the authorities do prosecute breaches of gaming laws, it’s the operator that’s held liable, not the bettor.
The end result is that Germans can feel very safe — from the country authorities, at least when it comes to using online betting sites, whether those are accredited in Germany or elsewhere.
Choosing the Very Best and most-secure sportsbook in Germany doesn’t come down to if it is accredited, but will rather be determined by a multitude of additional variables, like:
A history of timely payments
A reputation for anonymity and safety Accessible and easy-to-use help sections A huge array of deposit and withdrawal methods Strong client service representation
A wide choice of sports markets to bet on.
Regarding taxation, just winnings in the state-run sites are taxed. Due to the disorganized and muddled legal regime which now exists, there does not appear to be any procedure set up for taxing winnings from personal online sportsbooks.
Like most European nations, Ireland regulates online sports betting through a licensing strategy. The Betting Act 2015 is the relevant law right now, and provides that anyone looking to give bookmaking or gambling services to individuals in Ireland has to be given a permit by the Revenue Commissioners, which double as the Irish tax support.
As with any regulatory strategy, this has advantages and disadvantages for the general public. The simple fact that sportsbooks have to cover tax and go through the bureaucratic hoops of obtaining a permit contributes to things like higher juice on the other end.
However, the licensing system also guarantees that only legitimate sportsbooks provide their services to Irish residents.
Under the present legal framework, the officers of this corporation applying for a permit has to, inter alia, obtain certificates of personal fitness.
Furthermore, licenses are only allowed for two years at one time and, according to the ICLG, among those variables that the Revenue Commissioners consider during renewal applications is whether the sportsbook has paid its debts. That is important, as bettors cannot sue sportsbooks for outstanding debts in Ireland, or vice versa. (Betting debts are usually unenforceable.) The licensing system provides an impetus for sportsbooks to operate on the up-and-up.
Just like most countries, the penalties for unlicensed sports gambling fall almost exclusively about the operators. But Irish punters are well-advised to stick to licensed books, nonetheless. If an online betting site is offering its services to Irish bettors without a permit, there will be a concerning reason for it. Either it does not want to pay the $10,000 license fee, it does not wish to pay the applicable tax, its application has been dropped, etc.. No matter the reason, it contributes to serious questions regarding the sportsbook’s validity and/or fiscal health.
When it comes to taxation on gaming winnings, the typical Irish better can break easy. Only professional gamblers need to pay tax in their betting profits.
Who qualifies as a «pro»? That is for the Revenue Commissioners and the courts to ascertain. Generally, it depends on how far a person bets, their level of experience, and whether or not they have another job.
Once on a time, Italy was just like Germany, because it prohibited all sports gambling besides state-run sites. Just like Germany, this paradigm was deemed impermissible by the EU and Italy’s sports-betting laws have since shifted (way back in 2006).
Now, to operate legally in Italy, gambling websites must receive a license in the AAMS, the regulatory authority from the country. The ones who do not are liable to penalties.
Quite unlike Germany, the regulatory and licensing system established in Italy was deemed acceptable by the EU’s Court of Justice as it is much less restrictive compared to process the German’s tried to implement. To get a permit, a site must only have a certain speed of earnings ($1.5M over the past two decades ), have its servers located within an EU member state, meet certain fee and taxation duties, and be»secure» and»reliable.»
If it comes to contraventions of the legal regime, the laws tend to target gambling sites rather than bettors, and Italians who wager at unlicensed operators should not fear prosecution by state authorities.
On the other hand, the penalties and consequences which could be levied in an unlicensed sportsbook will be sensed by that sportsbook’s users, as well.
According to,»[w]here a operator features gaming with no license, he could face criminal… and civil fees. The website will be prohibited and added to a blacklist.»
Hence, any bettors who opt to utilize an unlicensed sportsbook at Italy risk losing access to that sportsbook from inside the country.
[A]ny bettors who opt to utilize an unlicensed sportsbook at Italy risk losing access to that sportsbook from within the country. … [T]he secure play for Italian bettors would be to utilize a sportsbook that is licensed in Italy.
Consequently, the safe play for Italian bettors would be to utilize a sportsbook that’s licensed in Italy. Luckily, as a result of fairly liberal licensing system (which lets up to 200 permits ), there are a multitude of options which offer competitive odds on the most common Italian markets, such as football, F1, horse racing, tennis, and biking.
When Italian bettors strike it rich, they get to keep all their hard-won spoils since sports-betting winnings are not subject to taxation in the nation.
Counterintuitively, the usually liberal lawmakers in the Netherlands have a very conservative approach to internet sports betting. At the moment, online sports betting is illegal in the Netherlands except in the websites run by the government-controlled De Lotto corporation.
Despite the rigorous regulatory regime, many overseas sportsbooks offer their solutions to Dutch bettors. However, the regulatory authority in the Netherlands (the Kansspelautoriteit ) takes a hands on approach to punishing offenders and contains levied heavy fines on a number of these websites. As a result, several online sportsbooks have done away with their Dutch-language choices (etc.) and there are comparatively few online gaming websites that appeal to Dutch clients.
While prosecution of people who gamble at such sites isn’t a large concern, the capacity for Dutch bettors to shed easy access to their own bankroll is a huge concern in regards to using unlicensed offshore sportsbooks. You definitely do not wish to sign up with a website and then have it obstruct Dutch IP addresses another week.
The new legal regime [place to come into effect in January 2019] enables foreign-based sportsbooks to obtain licenses and, in turn, offer their solutions to Dutch bettors.
The good thing is that the problem in the Netherlands is scheduled to change very soon. A brand new online gambling bill (the Online Gambling Bill) is scheduled to come into force on Jan. 1, 2019. The new legal regime will allow foreign-based sportsbooks to get licenses and, consequently, provide their services to Dutch bettors.
This will undoubtedly improve the betting market in the Netherlands by increasing competition for customers. Up to this point, the government-run entities were unchallenged and had little reason to enhance their product or their chances.
Concerning taxation, Dutch bettors need to pay tax at a speed or 29 percent of the winnings (over and above $449). But according to Alan Littler of Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys at Law,»While participants are accountable for the tax because of decoration, suppliers are required to withhold the appropriate amount when paying the prize»
Since 2011 when the Spanish Gambling Act was passed, Spain has obtained a nationwide legalize-and-regulate approach to online betting, akin to the major European allies covered above. To lawfully provide online gaming solutions to Spanish residents, gaming sites must acquire a permit from the relevant regulatory body (the Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego, or even»DGOJ»).
This was bad news for online operators as Spain was formerly akin to the Wild West. Despite law at the provincial level, it was a lawless land where anything moved and online sportsbooks worked with impunity, regardless of place, equilibrium, etc..
Even though the imposition of a licensing program has diminished the number of (legal) options available to Spanish bettors, that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. The program requires sites to meet certain criteria and pay certain fees, which can help make sure that only legitimate sports-betting websites are allowed to function.
As in Italy and France, it is wise for Spanish players to use a certified website, though the mere act of placing a wager at an unlicensed site doesn’t appear to be prohibited.
Consider the following from the ICLG:
[I]llegal offline gambling has ever been duly prosecuted in Spain. However, [until 2011] Spanish authorities were very permissive with regards to illegal online gaming operations» But now, those who breach pertinent gambling laws danger»large fines [and] the possibility of competent authorities suspending or revoking licenses in case[s] of significant or continuing absence of compliance.
That means online gaming websites operating without a permit are liable to get their Spanish operations shutdown at any point, which could, in turn, impact users’ ability to get their funds.
Given the diligence with which the authorities have assaulted prohibited offline gambling, that’s not a danger smart bettors would operate.
How can you tell if you are employing an illegal site? 1 requirement of getting a license is obtaining a».es» domain name, for example»» or even»» If the URL of the site you are using doesn’t end in». Es» it is probably operating illegally.
However, the converse isn’t necessarily true: having a». Es» domain doesn’t necessarily indicate that a site is licensed in Spain. So Spanish bettors should take action to verify their website of selection has the necessary permit from the DGOJ to function in Spain. (To interpret that page to English with Google Chrome, follow these steps.)
Last, note that, when bettors Spain win anything over $2,500, it must be declared as income and is taxed accordingly.
The Swedish government exercises strict control over the internet sports-betting industry. In theory, any corporation can receive a permit to offer online gaming goods to people in Sweden. But, in practice, just 1 thing was granted a license, and that is the government-run Svenska Spel.
As in many jurisdictions with thick bureaucratic barriers-to-entry, many offshore sportsbooks offer their services to people in Sweden without a permit. Unlike in areas like Ireland (where licenses are readily accessible ), the simple fact that a website is available to Swedes without a Swedish permit does not imply anything nefarious (beyond the fact that it is willing to operate in a legal gray area). Operating without a license is the only option they have.
That doesn’t mean Swedish bettors must signup with the very first website they find. You will find both superior sportsbooks and extremely dishonest ones available to Swedes, and performing background research is vital to choosing a safe, secure, dependable site that caters to your specific preferences.
In certain ways, the situation in Sweden is akin to that in the Netherlands. However, the Dutch regulatory system takes a more hands-on strategy to punishing unlicensed sportsbooks. According to a paper by Erik Ullberg et al. at The Law Reviews, Swedish authorities are more inclined to go after the Swedish-based Businesses that aid unlicensed sportsbooks compared to sportsbooks themselves:
As the authorities don’t have jurisdiction over the offshore gaming operators, they have rather concentrated on people in Sweden who carry advertisements for such companies.
The result is that Swedish bettors that sign up at unlicensed offshore sportsbooks aren’t placing their bankroll at any real risk, unlike their counterparts in the Netherlands, {as long as|pro

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