How American and European gambling laws differ

Gambling has quickly become a favorite form of entertainment around the world. But how do the gambling laws differ in Europe and the United States and how does this affect online gambling?

Perhaps you have already played online casino games or placed a bet on a sports game. If you haven’t, you have seen advertisements for online casinos. The new online casinos make it possible for you to expand your gambling to other countries by the click of a mouse. But how do different countries legislate gambling?     

Gambling and the European Union

Although members of the European Union abide by certain common legislations, each country still has self-government. For this reason, the gambling laws can differ quite drastically from country to country. Some EU countries allow all games while others have more restrictions. The most common types of gambling in Europe are betting and casino games. Poker is also very popular.  

In some European countries the gambling industry is run by a state-controlled operator or a private operator with monopoly on gambling. Most European countries, however, have established licensing, allowing more than one operator to monetize on gambling. Both types of gambling operations are legal under EU law. In fact, the European Union encourages countries to manage gambling laws nationally and not within the EU. Read more about online gambling laws and the EU on It is, however, worth mentioning, that members of the EU are still expected to comply with the fundamental freedoms established in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 

How American and European gambling laws differ


European countries with strict gambling rules.

Most European countries are very liberal when it comes to gambling. Of course, they all have legislation put in place to protect the players and make sure everything is run in a responsible manner, but some European countries have more restrictions than others. In Germany, for example, gambling was prohibited in 2008, only allowing betting on horse races, but since then Germany has made changes in their gambling laws. 

Gambling was not allowed to be run by private providers, but on the 1st of July 2021, this changed. In Cyprus, however, gambling continues to be illegal, including online gambling. Sports betting is the only type of gambling allowed in Cyprus. Read news from around the world on and learn more about differences between different countries.

Online gambling is taking over the United States
In America, online gambling has been long overdue, and now that most states allow gambling, millions of Americans are placing bets and playing games in the hopes of winning big. At you can find the best online casinos in Pennsylvania, a state in which online gambling has only been legal since 2017. Like Europe, the gambling laws can differ from state to state. Each state has the right to choose whether they want to legalize gambling. However, this was not always the case. In 1910 all gambling was prohibited throughout the United States. In the 1930’s Nevada reintroduced gambling and since then other states have followed suit.

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