Countries Where You Can Open an Online Casino in Europe in 2015
Companies that want to open an online casino in Europe should be up-to-date with the regulatory changes that govern the gaming legislation in European countries. We have gathered information regarding jurisdictions that already accept online gambling, or countries which are currently discussing about creating regulatory systems, in order to legalize the industry.
The United Kingdom
The UK remains the most appealing online gaming market across the world. The UK license is currently the premier gaming license that operators who want to open an online casino can get. The UK gaming market is mature, and its technical know-how and state-of-the-art infrastructure makes it the center of the online gambling scene.
At this point in time, residents usually play at offshore sites, which are licensed in countries included on a list accepted by the UK, such as Gibraltar or Malta. Offshore operators who offer online gaming services to UK residents pay taxes in the countries where their companies are based.
This year, UK regulators intend to modify the tax regime for offshore operators by introducing a 15 percent gross profits tax to everyone who offers gambling services to UK residents, no matter where their companies are based. This means that all operators who want to open an online casino and offer online gaming in the UK will be required to pay the 15 percent tax, and also obtain a license in the UK.
Italy is the second largest online gaming market in Europe, the local legislation allowing online skill games including poker, sports betting and online casinos. However, unlike the UK, Italy only allows sites licensed within the country, meaning that no foreign operators can cater to Italy residents. Thus, companies that want to open an online casino in Italy must run their businesses within the country, and only provide gaming services to locals, or else they will be banned by filters used by Italian authorities.
Even so, this particularity could be changed soon, as the European Union is not content that Italy restricts foreign operators from running their businesses here. Thus, Italy could soon be faced with having to change their regulatory system, in order to comply with the requirements of greater openness. Currently, the EU imposes Italy to license online gaming only if foreign companies are not disadvantaged in obtaining gaming licenses.
The French gambling regulatory system does not suit operators who are licensed outside the country. The tax regime here is considered heavy, and licensees need to undergo a strict audit every five years in order to prove to the regulatory body that they comply with the system. The French government is also taking measures to ban all sites that are not licensed in France, especially operators who run their businesses in Costa Rica.
At this point in time, online gambling in Spain is regulated, and thanks to the large population, there is an increase in internet gaming activity. Operators who want to open an online casino in Spain can apply for a license issued by the Spanish regulatory body, the Comision Nacional del Juego, if they are based in Spain or in the European Economic Area.
Germany is currently working on legalizing online gambling, and operators would probably be allowed to open online casinos this year. Even so, the draft legislation that was already introduced seems to not comply with the European Union requirements regarding equality between states when it comes to allowing foreign sites. Thus, in the draft, Germany intended to favor local sites and restrict players from accessing sites outside the country. Even so, gambling is currently illegal in Germany, but we soon expect regulators to create a draft that would comply with EU legal requirements for interstate cooperation.
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