Gambling in European Countries
24 September 2021
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Europe is an alluring destination for our marketing campaigns mostly because of the high standard of living common for most western countries. Many GEOs of this region belong to Tier-1 and Tier-2, offer licensing for gambling and iGaming products, have a long-standing tradition of national lotteries and racing sports.

To make the picture more representative, we have selected three countries from Tier-1: France, Germany, Spain and three from Tier-2: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland. Let’s roll!

What is allowed and how it is going

In terms of legislation, most European countries fall under the European Union umbrella, while the most powerful entity that governs the gambling industry in the region is the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). However, neither EGBA nor EU laws dictate the universal gambling rules, and each member has relative freedom of expression in this matter. Most European countries allow casinos, sports betting, and lotteries. The same is usually true for online gambling.

At least 11 European countries have state-owned gambling services providers, usually they offer lotteries, poker, casino, and bingo games. You can find the full list of state and commercial providers along with local regulations on online gambling in the detailed EU report.

   Germany (average gambling CPA for Android $160–200)

 

Germany is one of Europe’s biggest gambling markets, but it has a difficult history with this industry. Since 2008 all kinds of gaming activities have been banned except for betting and horse racing. Moreover, all German states may have their own take on the gambling policy. The newest edition of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling as of 2020 allows for physical and online casinos, regular and online sports betting, horse race betting, online slots, poker, and other casino games throughout the whole country. Lotteries are subject to states’ monopoly, but a license can be issued to private service providers.

Online gambling has some limitations introduced for player safety. For instance, players must limit the monthly deposit they will have access to, and it cannot exceed €1 000. It can be immediately lowered on demand, but to raise it the player has to wait for 7 days. There is also a €1-per-spin for slot machines restriction, ban on accessing several gambling sites at the same time, and a 5-second pause between spins.

  • Operators cannot cross-sell and offer casino games and sports betting on one domain. There is also a central database of excluded players to fight gambling addiction.
  • When it comes to advertising, it is now forbidden to advertise during the run-up to and during big sporting events. This is true both for online and physical sports betting. 
  • Ads for online casino, slot and poker games are illegal between 6 AM and 9 PM.
  • RevShare payment model is prohibited. Affiliates will have to rely on CPC and CPA models.

 France (average gambling CPA for Android $140–170)

France is very much into horse racing, betting, lotteries, poker, and online gambling. Since 2010, most of these including online (remote) gambling are fully legal. State-owned operators regulate a big share of gambling activities in the country: the online sector is monitored by Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), horse racing is governed by Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), while Française des Jeux (FDJ) overviews betting games and lotteries.

Online gambling in France has 3 kinds of licenses:

  • sports betting
  • horse race betting
  • poker games

France imposes high taxes on licensed online gambling providers, which makes it difficult for them to stay afloat for long. 

French poker sites are prohibited from sharing their player pool with other countries or from adding foreign players to their pool in return. This means that French players that choose licensed online providers only play within borders in a limited pool. So retention is key for those working with French poker, and likely other iGaming things, as people don’t have a choice. But don’t they?

For these exact reasons, many French users prefer to use unlicensed foreign websites, especially because it is not punished by law to use the services of an unlicensed provider.

 Spain (average gambling CPA for Android $120–140)

 

Spain is one of the hottest gambling markets, as people there are keen players and like to risk it all in order to win. Gambling is legal and much adored in this country, yet the law provides strict limitations, for instance on the age of gamblers: no minors are allowed in casinos, slot machine centers, gaming parlors, and bingo halls. The power to control and limit gambling activities lies with the state and the regional authorities.

The diversity of gambling activities is unrivaled in Spain: football, car/horse/greyhound racing, lottery, bingo, slot machines, casinos, and much more. The prize pool is usually a considerable sum of several thousand euro. 

Spain has about 250,000 slot machines and 60 casinos, with American and French roulette, blackjack and slot machines being the most popular games. Most casinos are open from 5 PM until 4–5 AM.

  • Since 2012 companies can apply for gambling service licenses if they comply with regional rules.
  • Online gambling was legalized in Spain with the Spanish Gambling Act of 2011. At the moment, there are more than 70 licensed online gambling providers. The most popular online gambling activity is sports betting.
  • The Spanish gamble away roughly €1.9 billion every year.
  • The state national lottery (Lotería Nacional) is very popular, it may come is daily draws and scratch cards.
  • Spain has a countrywide annual Christmas lottery El Gordo (literally “the fat one”) that gathers wagers over €1.7 billion. The draw is televised on the 22nd December, while the tickets are widely advertised and sold throughout autumn. The second-biggest lottery is El Niño (“the kid” named after the baby Jesus) takes place on 5th January.

 Czech Republic (average CPA for Android $100–140)

 

Gambling activities are legal in the Czech Republic and are monitored by the Ministry of Finance that issues licenses to on-site and online service providers. All kinds of gambling that are legal physically are equally permitted for online distribution.

Casino, gaming machines, arcades, and slot machines are popular, yet there is a noticeable transfer from physical to online gaming. Strict regulations are applied only to the licensed online gambling providers, while unlicensed businesses can run gambling websites without breaking any laws

  • Online gambling is only legal when it is in Czech language.
  • Servers and devices for online gambling activities must be located in EU/EEA member states.
  • Online gambling is forbidden for users under 18. Each user is limited to one account per gambling operator.
  • Cash movements to and from a user account are restricted to approximately €196 per 24 hours.
  • Czech Ministry of Finance can block IPs of illegal gambling websites and block payments to and from the bank accounts used by illegal online gambling providers.
  • There is a blacklist of illegal online gambling sites. Running such sites can be an administrative offense with a fine of up to approx. €1,961,000.

 Hungary (average gambling CPA for Android $100–120)

 

Gambling in Hungary is legal, and the government seems to be willing to make it a truly thriving industry. But it is very difficult for any company but Hungarian to operate in this market due to severe taxation and obligation to run a physical establishment somewhere in the country as well as an online service.

  • Online and traditional betting, casino, poker, and lottery games are widespread in Hungary, with betting being the oldest and the most popular gambling activity to date.
  • Hungarian players have no legal access to foreign online gambling providers and violate the law by placing any bets. Banks are supposed to decline such transactions.
  • There is a state-run lottery Szerencsejatek Zrt that has been gaining traction and popularity since its establishment in the 1990s. Now this company also covers sports betting, keno, lotto games, etc. in traditional and online formats.

 Poland (average gambling CPA for Android $100–140)

 

Both traditional and online gambling are legal to some degree in Poland. The state regulates this sector and imposes strict limitations on the providers with penalties for violation. The harsher rules were introduced by the Gambling Act of 2009 as a response to the “gambling scandal” that involved political lobbying in favor of slot machines.

  • Online betting and promotional lotteries are the only forms of online gambling allowed. The local providers have to renew the license every 6 years.
  • When it comes to the traditional gambling activities, the new law allows for:
    • Games of chance including dice, bingo, lotteries, and raffles are 
    • Betting
    • Card games, namely blackjack, poker, and baccarat.
    • Slot machines (one of the most popular casino games)

Conclusion

Europe is a popular choice for the gambling vertical. Most countries are high-income ones, while the people have nothing against passing some time in a game of cards or betting on a traditional horse race.

This region may be even more attractive for online gambling because many European countries force their people to stay within the national gambling pool, thus prompting them to look for alternative offers.

While driving traffic from any European country, marketers should always check for local legislation. This way, you will make sure that your bank account is not frozen due to illegal activities and your funds are safe.

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