As with many other parts of the world, gambling in Europe is a major activity and is estimated to be worth more than EUR 84.9 billion. According to research, the industry registers a growth rate of 3% annually and this is one of the highest growth rates anywhere in the world.
Online gambling has grown in popularity due to the accessibility of the services and more than 6.8 million people are involved in gambling within the European countries. There are also many gambling operators offering their online services and the industry has annual revenue of more than EUR 13 billion.
Legality and Laws
Although Europe is more of a single economic bloc governed by European Union legislations, each member country has its own distinct laws. Different countries therefore have their own laws touching on gambling since there is no specific law in place to regulate gambling in Europe as a whole. This means that despite having multiple gambling sites, what is legal and what is illegal as far as gambling is concerned will vary greatly from one member country to the other.
Having said this, it is important to note that countries such as France have legalized various forms of gambling and the industry is regulated by three main bodies namely Francaise des Jeux (Dealing with betting and lotteries), Pari Mutuel Urbain (dealing with horse racing) and ARJEL (dealing with online gambling). The legislation on gambling was introduced in 2009 as a result of requests from the EU and this led to the legalization of 3 forms of online gambling in France. Those legalized were horse race betting, sports betting and poker.
Gambling providers must be licensed by ARJEL but licenses are not issued for spread betting, casino games and exchange betting at the moment. On the other hand, Spain gambling operators must meet certain conditions in order to be issued with gambling licences.
Licenses are issued by Spanish National Gaming Commission and it is legal for Spain residents to participate in online gambling and betting within the country. Some of the most popular betting and gambling brands in Spain include William Hill and Bet365.
Other countries where gambling is legal within Europe include Italy where the law is fairly liberal. Italy is one of the countries where gambling laws have been eased and companies can offer betting services online and in retail locations. Licensed gambling service providers can also provide casino games and poker to their customers as well.
Different casinos in Europe
Although Macau and Las Vegas are the most prestigious and well-known casino and gambling destinations in the world, Europe too has its own share of land-based casinos which are also very popular.
As noted earlier, gambling in Europe is more of an “individual” country affair but most of the casinos you find in one country are likely to be operating in some other countries within Europe. Some of the most popular casinos in Europe include: –
- Casino Estoril which is based in Estroril, Portugal
- The Casino At The Empire, which is based in London, UK
- Casino de Campione in Campione, Italy
- Casino de Monte-Carlo, in Monaco
Considering that gambling in Europe is a popular activity, there are many casinos within the EU and these come in different sizes and shapes.
Seeking Gambling Help
As with every other region, gambling in Europe is a major problem despite the fact that many people consider it to be fun. There are many dangers associated with gambling and many people have gone through horrific experiences due to this “hard to stop” habit. Unfortunately, many people who are facing gambling issues do not like to admit that they have a problem and this can go on and on for years, resulting in serious implications such as gambling addiction and even suicides.
According to statistics, many gamblers in Europe have ended up losing their families and important relationships while others have lost their jobs or even dropped out of school. Although it seems like fun to be involved in gambling, the resulting effects can be unbearable and one might need professional help in order to enjoy a normal life away from this addiction.
Not everyone who enjoys gambling in Europe will smile all the way to the bank and even those who do always have to go through a messy path which is marked by a trail of destruction and losses.
If you or a loved one are facing relationship difficulties such as divorce, separation or lose of friends or are in serious financial difficulties including debts, or are faced by other problems whose source can be directly traced to gambling, you do not have to dig the hole deeper.
You can be free from this destructive habit by seeking professional help from http://www.gamblinghelp.org or other organizations such as http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/node/1. Do not wait, act now!