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Compliance Updates

The latest gambling regulation changes in Europe



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We can all agree that gambling is something that is sometimes frowned upon, a taboo if you will, with many believing that all forms and types of gambling lead to gambling addictions. That statement and notion are not fair.  Not fair on the player and not fair on gambling sites. Not all gambling leads to addictions, and with the technology advancements that online gambling has witnessed nowadays, many sites have built-in fraud and gambling addiction tools, that help gamblers play in a safe space whilst still affording their play.

Needless to say, many governing bodies across the globe always try their best and offer ways and means to regulate gambling. How to safeguard the player at all times, whilst at the same time, giving the power and autonomy to brand new bookmakers to establish a safe gambling environment for all. Hence, today we look at how Europe is aiming to change gambling regulations, to ensure players are protected, as much as gambling sites are. So let’s have a quick look at the top countries in Europe and the changes that they are implementing when it comes to gambling regulations.


When it comes to Nordic countries we all know that they love to gamble. One of the biggest operators and game providers NetEnt is indeed Swedish and part of the Nordic gambling sphere. When it comes to gambling in Finland, bonuses are a massive “No”, so Finnish players playing at Finnish-based operators cannot land a bonus or welcome offer from the gambling sites. Of course, Finns that opt to play at other non-Finnish sites will have the facility and option to scoop a bonus, with some casinos also banning any form of bonuses to land at a Finnish e-wallet.

Unfortunately for Finland, the country is being pushed towards gambling only to the state-owned betting and bingo site Veikkaus, as from 2023, the Finnish government will be introducing a law that prohibits gamblers from transferring funds to a non-Finnish gambling site. With Veikkaus gambling sites not reaching the limits in offering solid game content, Finnish players have been seeking foreign casinos to play and gamble. This new law and regulation will not be welcomed with open arms, and most probably will see many Finnish players use VPNs to continue enjoying gambling in a fashionable way.


Just like Finland, Sweden also had a state of monopoly with the government-owned Svenska Spel gambling site. Of course the content was not as vast as other sites offered, hence gambler retention was not as stellar. With this in mind, the Government of Sweden needed to act fast and offer a viable solution for everyone. Instead of taking the approach that Finland has taken, Sweden decided to open the market further and start offering Swedish gambling licenses, that would allow many online casinos and bookies to set up home in Sweden. Was this a better move than their neighbors Finland took? Most definitely, as many new brands are starting to set up shop in Sweden, enjoying a Swedish gambling license that facilitates the gameplay of all Swedish players joining gambling sites.

In terms of bonuses, Swedish players are allowed to walk away with bonuses when playing at a Swedish licensed online casino, however, some terms and conditions do apply.

United Kingdom

If you happen to want to open an online casino, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission Gambling License is the one license that you need to have. This license is one of the most stringent, and any online bookmakers that do not abide by the rules and regulations imposed by the UKGC will be fined heavily. It is also known that the UKGC may revoke a gambling license at any time if the governing body feels that the casino is not treating customers fairly or not abiding by the rules imposed.

The UKGC is also a strong body and is close to the government in the United Kingdom. Following extensive research and consultations with GamStop and GamBan, the UKGC decided to join the crusade of combatting problematic gambling. Only in 2020, the UKGC instructed all of its online casinos and bookmakers that moving forward, they will not be allowed to accept credit card payment methods to fund a player’s gameplay. Tough? Maybe, but the UK is one of the countries that have the biggest number of gambling addictions, and regulations need to be implemented and fast.


The term monopoly is something that comes up quite often when we speak and talk about online gaming. Way back in 2017, Norwegians could use any new bookmaker they please to settle the gambling itch. Unfortunately, after that, the Norwegian Government introduced a law that paved the way for Norsk Tipping to be the only gambling site that can operate from Norway.

To make matters worse, the Norwegian government ordered that banks do not accept any transactions to any form of offshore casinos and sports betting sites. The good news is that if Norwegians use an e-wallet, their credit card details will be converted, hence gambling can still go ahead. For many reasons, online casinos do not have any gambling-related information related to the casino, hence this will make it hard for the Bank to reconcile the payment to gambling. The other good news is that there is now a law that bans Norwegian players from joining any offshore gambling sites, hence keeping the door open for Norwegians to wager and play where they see fit, and fun.

The future of gambling in Europe

There are many other countries in Europe that are always looking for ways and means to operate safe online casinos. With the gambler being the key focus, the future of gambling Europe looks more regulated, with more gambling sites looking to set up home in gambling heaven Malta, where the Malta Gambling Commission is not known to be as strict as its counterparts. Also, the UKGC has asked all football teams in the United Kingdom to stop accepting endorsements from big gambling giants, and a ban on that is also in place. We expect more regulations and policies that online casinos would need to adhere to if they want to retain that United Kingdom Gambling Commission gambling license.

In the meantime, we always suggest that you check out the reviews of the next online gambling site your eye falls on. Making sure that the site is licensed and regulated is a must, and so is the good feedback obtained from other gamblers visiting the gambling site before you.

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Compliance Updates




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GCB Portal Re-Opening

The Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) is pleased to announce the reopening of the GCB Portal on July 15th 2024 at 00.01 Curacao time. The portal will once again be accepting applications and processing them under the current NOOGH legislation. B2C, B2B2C and B2B operators may all make applications.

Please be aware that we will continue to prioritise applications submitted on or before the April 30th deadline. While we accept new applications, our primary focus remains on processing those received within the original stipulated timeframe.

Portal and procedure changes

All applicants are referred to the Application Submission Guidelines published in March 2024 on the GCB website and the application manual published on the GCB portal as the general rule with three notes:

1. An account is opened on the portal by an Official Representative of the Curacao entity who becomes the “Portal Admininistrator” and has the authority to assign other individuals “Portal User” or “Licensee Account” roles, each with their own permissions. The Portal User or Licensee Account roles can be held by any person(s) of the entity’s choosing including, for example, internal licensing departments of the operator, CSPs or authorised agents. Either the Portal User or the Licensee Account is permitted to submit the application. The Official Representative should appear in the Curacao Chamber of Commerce excerpt of the company.

An Authorisation Letter is no longer required, however the GCB retains the right to conduct due diligence on the Portal User or Licensee Account.

2. Applicants are advised that the registration of “Qualifying Persons” on the portal has been updated. Additional information must be submitted in order for the Personal Account Number (“PAN”) to be issued.

3. Applications on the portal contain real-time checklists which clarifiy the outstanding documentation of information required by the GCB to progress or complete the licensing process. Operators are advised to check the portal on a regular basis, and for expediency should upload documents on the relevant section of the portal, rather than submit them by email or messaging system.

Depending on the nature of the issue, the GCB may either proceed with the application while addressing the matter or pause it until a satisfactory resolution is received. In certain cases, these issues may result in specific licensing conditions.

Master License Expiry.

The GCB wants to remind users that none of the the Master Licenses will be renewed after their expiration dates. The first expiration date is in August 2024, and the last is in January 2025. If the LOK is enacted before any of these expiration dates, the Master License will automatically end on the enactment date.

Certificate of Operation

Sublicensees that have applications in progress but have not yet been granted a direct license at a time that their associated Master License expires will be offered a “Certificate of Operation” as a temporary measure to facilitate continuation of operations.

Certification of Operations will not be provided to current sublicensees whose Master License expires but do not have fully completed applications registered on the portal.

The GCB is diligently processing all licenses as quickly as possible to optimise the timing of direct license issuance in line with the order of Master License expiration. If operators have not yet received a direct license direct license at that time, the domain token will direct to the Certificate of Operation and Orange Digital Seal rather than the Green Digital Seal.

The Green Digital Seal will be issued once a direct license has been granted.

Domain management

The User Manual on the home page of the portal explains in detail how to add, remove and transfer domains. Please consult this manual as to the actions that must be taken.

Domains are accepted with proof of domain ownership from a registry and any sale/transfer documentation if applicable.

Once a domain is added, the GCB is notified automatically and a manual verification is performed. The domain verification processwill take some days to be completed, after which the Digital Seal may be added to the domain.

Domains that are associated with an application company, but not under the governance of the Master License(s) listed on the application may be added to that application (Orange Digital Seal) but do not fall under the responsibility of the Master Licensor.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden Calls Attention to FATF’s Updated Lists of High-risk Jurisdictions



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The Danish Gambling Authority has called attention to FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) updated lists of high-risk jurisdictions: the Grey List (jurisdictions under increased monitoring) and Black List (call for actions). Among other things, gambling operators must include FATF’s lists of high-risk jurisdictions when assessing players’ risk.

Jurisdictions listed on the Grey List are Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia, DR Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Jurisdictions listed on the Black List are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar.

Gambling operators are required to conduct enhanced customer due diligence (EDD) pursuant to section 17(1) of the Danish AML Act, if a player is assessed to impose a higher risk of the gambling operator being misused for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Gambling operators shall conduct this risk assessment based on Annex 3 to the AML Act (high-risk factors) which includes the FATF high-risk country lists (the so called black list and grey list).

It is not required that gambling operators perform EDD if a country is listed on the FATF’s list. EDD are only a requirement for players from jurisdictions listed in the EU Regulation of High Risk Third Country list pursuant to 17(2) of the AML Act.

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Compliance Updates

Finland: EGBA Welcomes Essential Step Towards Meaningful Gambling Reform



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On July 3, Finland’s Ministry of the Interior published draft legislation outlining the country’s new gambling framework. The draft law is now open for consultation until August 18, 2024. Currently, Finland is the last EU country with a comprehensive monopoly on online gambling. The proposal aims to introduce competition by licensing various online gambling and betting verticals.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “The publication of the draft legislation is a welcome and essential step towards meaningful gambling reform in Finland. This signals the end of comprehensive online gambling monopolies in the EU, as Finland is the last member state that still has a monopoly for online gambling. We look forward to reviewing the draft legislation over the coming weeks and engaging in continued dialogue with the Finnish Government and local stakeholders as the regulatory discussions progress.”

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