Is European Online Sports Betting Similar to US Market

Discussing the European online gambling market is a big question mark for US bettors. The European market has seen its fair share of ups and downs. It has led the way in the introduction of games, betting styles and platforms since the the industry started.

There are some significant differences in each individual country’s approach to online gambling. European online sports betting, like exchange betting and spread betting should soon be available in the US. How to choose an online betting site from Europe is safe and easy if it becomes legal in the US.

Is online sports betting legal in Europe

There is no single answer to this question. With a region made up of so many different countries, there are also various stances on online gambling. The region is very advanced compared to North America regarding the legalities of online gambling sites. For many countries it is still a work in progress. The European gaming regulation map looks similar to that of the individual U.S. states.

United Kingdom—The UK have long been operating in a regulated environment. The Internet Gambling Act enforces registration. To legally accept UK players, an online gambling website needs to apply for a license from the Gambling Commission.

This application process is rigorous. The Gambling Commission does not look favorably at companies who have in the past accepted players from unregulated markets.

Beyond the United Kingdom

Spain—The Spanish Gambling Act was entered into law to help manage the federal oversight of regulated gambling. As a result of this legislation, operators can apply for a license. It allows them to legally accept Spanish players to gamble on all forms of online games.

France—The French also have a form of regulated online gambling, which allows licensed operators to allow sports betting, poker, and horse racing. Despite their love of card games, there is no option for obtaining a license to offer online casino games. Operators  can provide those games with poker and sports in other jurisdictions.

Italy—The Italian government looked to increase tax revenue and capitalize on soccer by introducing legislation to allow sports betting. This allowed anyone who acquired a license to take sports betting action either online or in a land-based retail environment. Amendments to that law over the years added other online betting options such as lottery, casino and poker. Italians have a full range of products to select from when they are choosing an online gambling site.

Soft regulation

All these regulations are regularly updated to provide bettors with current data and information. There are a series of regulations limiting play of some or all games online depending on the country.

There is no precedent for a player being prosecuted under these laws. These governments have no current plan to curb the industry by going after every individual who bets online.

Licensing jurisdictions

There are a few European jurisdictions where an online gambling site can get a license  allowing them to operate their companies. Of course, this license still has to mix with the individual European country laws. This licensing actually exists as a way to protect players from shady operators stealing their money.

The four jurisdictions in Europe where an online gambling site can apply for a license are Alderney, Isle Of Man, Malta, and Gibraltar. A site does not need to acquire more than one license (although some have) and each location has its own individual benefits.

Mobile gambling in Europe

As we discussed, the European online gaming market is more mature than their North American counterparts.This is best seen in the way that Europeans gamble on their sports, especially soccer.

Allowing players to gamble from their mobile devices means that the tens of thousands of possible bettors. Sitting in any soccer stadium, bettors have the opportunity to place wagers. Soccer in-game betting is incredibly popular given the nature of the sport and the number of games that end in draws.

Online operators quickly built mobile-friendly platforms to accommodate this type of betting. These days, European players can play all their favorite online games directly from their phones or tablets. Each individual European country has their own laws in place. Many countries also allow for native apps to be downloaded to devices to enhance the quality of the player experience further.

Finding the best promotions from European gambling sites

When looking for a European online gambling site, it’s important to see what types of promotions a site offers. If you are a sports bettor and most of a site’s promotions are free-spin-based, for example, then do not deposit. The bonuses you receive at a site are part of the value proposition that will assist in making you a profitable player over the long run.

With so many different games being offered by online gambling sites, marketing departments for these companies are working overtime. The free chip and free bet promotions are designed to reward players for creating accounts without depositing. You should be looking for the best return on your initial deposits and any loyalty programs the site offers to extend your play.

With so many countries in play, many online gambling sites tailor some promotions to be localized for specific countries. You may find a poker promotion that rewards players from France only to qualify for a local live tournament or sporting event. Those types of promotions offer great value as the player pool is likely much smaller than for the site’s global promotions.

Customer service for all these countries

Customer Service can be a minefield for many online gamblers. Getting through to a live person to speak with at the time you need them can be a frustrating process. Sometimes the person are speaking with does not speak your language. No amount of Google translate can help in these situations and it usually makes the process slow and painful.

Most of the large online gambling sites that offer games to Europeans also provide customer service in several languages. This is usually determined by the number of players from a given country that is in the site’s database.

Sometimes this specialized customer service is only available during peak hours. You will always be able to email the site with your issue, and you will most likely receive a response back in your language.

The final verdict

US gamblers have a significant amount of envy when they see all the options Europeans have for regulated, legal online gambling. Add in some killer promotions, Europeans have the ability to gamble online and find exactly what they are looking for to suit their needs.

Europeans in most countries have access to the top operators, software suppliers and banking options in the world. While US bettors are locked out of the European sports betting markets, they have the sports books of Nevada and the off-shore online betting outlets. These off-shore online betting markets in Costa Rica, Curaco and others provide a good reliable service to many US bettors who live outside Nevada.

Some bad ones are gone and bettors can be comfortable with the known reputable operators. Besides, their lines, live betting and options are better and more extensive than any Vegas books. Never heard of any off-shore bettors being arrested for an illegal bet at his home computer.

The ongoing process for legal acceptance

A court ruling in June favoring legalized sports betting for states would be a giant leap for the sports betting industry worldwide. There are 20 states ready with legislation to vote on legal sports betting if the court votes in favor of legalization. How states would achieve a sports betting platform is a work in progress.

Physical outlets could blend into horse racing tracks, legal casinos, poker outlets and other existing and legal venues for bettors. Their best option would be an online state approved sports betting operation to administer to residents of the state. States can learn to implement the system from the Vegas operators who are the experts with long time experience.

A favorable US ruling would probably create a new policy for European betting operators to allow US bettors to apply for an account. The European betting association will first test the US market for a legal permit to offer their betting platforms to US bettors. The availability to European markets is a huge step to open global sports betting, including the off-shore markets.

Once the US passes legislation to allow European markets like Sporting Index to approve US bettors, you will see many new accounts. Neteller was the main third party money processor until they were banned by US legislation in 2006. They were excellent with processing deposits and withdrawing your money in less than one hour. Spread betting, exchange betting and fixed odds betting will be great betting options for all bettors.