Europe is home to the largest online gambling market in the world with a value supassing $22.4 billion and holding a 23% slice of the pie. Asia-pacific, North America, and the Middle East are next on the list but cannot even come close to the value of the European market. In 2020, the value of the European market is expected to surpass EUR24.7 billion, a 20% increase over two years. But what is the approach to regulation in countries within the European Union?
As of 2017, the European Commission decided that each country should have control over its own gaming and gambling regulations and it designated the responsibility it previously had, to each nation. Despite this, there are still two things that are necessary and required at a European level; KYC requirements which make sure casino operators identify each customer before deposits are made, and the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive which aims to reduce the risk of crime and money laundering.
Within Europe, casino operators are obliged to receive a license from a responsible licensing authority to prove the legitimacy of their website. Once authorised, they are obliged and responsible to identify every player at the registration stage, before placing bets but requesting photocopies of their identification documents. Via these means, bad actors and suspicious users are filtered out.
Here is a rundown of some of the regulations by country:
Malta– One of the most respected jurisdictions in the world, Malta regulates most online gambling and casino games and there are two different licenses you can apply for- a B2C and B2B, depending on the nature of your operations.
UK– Online gambling has been regulated in the UK since 2005. The authorities apply an ‘open model’ of licensing for all different kinds of casino operators but with Brexit uncertainty looming, you need to consider your future plans before opting for just a UK license.
Estonia– With recently enacted gambling laws, Estonia saw its first online casino open in 2019. Licensing so far has been limited to those that operate from within the countries borders, but as we move into 2020 a whole new market will be opened to foriegn operators. Definitely one to watch for 2020.
Isle of Man– with a comprehensive regulatory framework in place, the Online Gambling Regulation Act of 2001 legalised online gaming in the country. It is now recognised as one of the most respectable jurisdictions as well as for offering a great infrastructure and services for those operating in the sector.
In terms of game popularity, sports betting is number one, accounting for almost half of the European market, casino is number two, and lotto, poker, and bingo make up the other most popular types.
If 2020 is the year you plan to launch your online casino or iGaming business, then get in touch with Fast Offshore for more advice on exactly which jurisdiction in the EU is the best for you. We can also assist with corporate services including company formation as well as assisting you in applying for the applicable gaming license in your jurisdiction of choice.