Events in Europe’s Gambling Regulations

Written By Janice Doughtrey

In recent months, regulatory rulings on gambling have been changing. Some countries are changing their regulations and other countries are dealing with the regulations they have adopted, not being approved by the European Union authorities. Here are some of the most recent regulation changes.


On January 1, 2019, the Sweden gambling market should be liberated. In late 2017, they drafted a gambling legislation and sent off for approval by the European Commission. This hit a three-month period where nothing was done. Last month, the gambling regulator started accepting applications for those who wished to enter the liberalized market.

Under the new gambling law, gambling operators will have to pay an 18% tax on any revenue they earn. They will also need to make sure that players are 18 and over and that they offer the games in a way that will not encourage any addiction.

The law will not allow bonus offers to players except for those who are playing the game for the first time. No credits will be allowed either.


Switzerland has introduced a law called the Money Gaming Act and this replaces the old laws from 1923 and 1998. These provisions were added with the latest uptick in online gambling.

Under the new laws, the only online casinos can be those that are land-based. Any foreign casinos will not be allowed to operate. To avoid any foreign casinos coming onto the market, they will be blocked via their domains by internet providers.

The blocking provision was highly opposed by the Green Liberal Party, the Free Democratic Party, and the Swiss People’s Party. They launched a signature gathering that wanted to bring the Money Gaming Act back to a referendum.

They succeeded in getting their 50,000 signatures and now the referendum on the Money Gaming Act will be held on June 10th. This will allow the people to decide on whether they want foreign casinos in the country and whether they will be blocked by their ISPs.


In January, the Danish court has stated that 24 websites needed to be blocked. The country’s gaming regulator stated that many of the gambling sites offered skin betting to minors. ISPs did not do what they were supposed to do to prevent this problem, so the Danish Gambling Authority had to go to court. The court sided with the Danish Gambling Authority and stated that the 24 websites must be blocked.


The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a stance on the recommendation of protection for online gambling. This issue was raised by the Belgium Government and its politicians. The recommendation that the European Commission is not legally binding and just serves as a guild on how to protect consumers.

The Belgium government has argued that this has violated individual member states rights in introducing their own protection tools for gamblers.


Hungary’s gambling regulatory regime was slammed by the CJEU. They said that the law which states that land-based casinos are only entities that can have granted licenses for online casino games. This is found to breach the EU treaty of free movement of services.

The CJEU also stated that the gambling regulations were restricted and were not what the union stands for. There have been several issues with the EU fining companies for their presence in Hungary.