The biggest gambling markets in Europe

There is no explicit European legislation governing gambling services. It is up to European nations to organize their betting services, and it has always been so. This since earlier as they follow the laws imposed by the Court of Justice of the EU. In this case, the ability to provide services or establish a business in other European countries is very important. The majority of European countries allow certain types of gambling on the Internet. Some countries allow all forms of gambling, while others only allow specific types, such as betting, poker or casino gambling. Monopoly regimes for online gambling activities have emerged in many European countries, but they seem to be fading as Hungary considers allowing private gambling companies to apply for a license there.

Let’s take a close look at the European gambling markets and how they have evolved over time.


In 2005, the UK was one of the first countries in Europe to issue remote gambling licenses. This was to target offshore gambling websites that did not pay taxes in the countries where they operated. Since then, it has grown to become the biggest competitive market in Europe, with many sports betting sites and online casinos. Over the years, nations have derived substantial revenue from this industry, around £6 billion in 2020.


The gross revenue from the nations games in 2021 was the highest in the month of April, that is to say more than 160 million euros. Betting in Italy has a long history, dating back to the Roman Empire. It is therefore not surprising that Italians love sports betting and casino games. The Italian government, meanwhile, enacted a betting advertising ban known as the Dignity Decree in 2018.

In addition, the Italian gambling industry has benefited greatly from funds spent by players on casino games, poker money and poker tournaments.


By 2024, German gaming revenue is expected to reach 3.3 billion euros. The country’s heads of state met in early 2020 and adopted gambling rules that would allow both betting sites and online poker. Thanks to the new legislation, online casino companies can now offer games like poker, slots and sports betting to German players. However, different games are allowed in different regions of Germany due to varying rules. With a population of over 80 million, Germany is said to be the biggest market in Europe, but betting restrictions are tight compared to Italy and the UK.


In 2019, total gambling revenues in Spain amounted to €8.9 billion. Spanish gamers are estimated to invest more than €1.9 billion every year in Codere-owned brands alone.

Lotteries, football, horse racing, bingo, video slots and their favorite online casinos are all popular with Spanish gamblers.


It is a relatively gambling-friendly country compared to other European countries. In this country, all types of games are regulated and deemed legal. Indeed, land-based gambling establishments offer legalized poker games, slot machines, sports betting and betting on horse races. With the exception of casino games, online providers may offer all of these forms of gambling.

The French government owns two gambling monopolies, the FDJ and the PMU, which are two of the main gambling companies in France.

Mary I. Bruner