While Las Vegas can be considered a classic market for betting, there are many fine venues in Europe where you can immerse yourself in your favorite card game. Be the lush refined settings of the live venues or the elegant cardrooms of online casinos, the gambling industry has made remarkable progress in Europe.
On this page, we’ll take a look at the current scenario for EU poker players to help you determine the best attributes European poker sites can offer for a great experience.
Online poker in Europe 2023
Online Poker has been around for a pretty long time in Europe. However, the approach varies within the different countries. Apart From the EU, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) played an instrumental role in shaping industry guidelines in Europe. The EGBA aims to provide a fair & regulated market for various online operators seeking their services in Europe. However, it is essential to remember that individual governments continue to shape their legislation independently.
There are online gambling jurisdictions responsible for regulating & issuing licenses. These include the Malta Gaming Authority, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, the UK Gambling Commission & several others. While some of these are a part of the EU, others operate autonomously.
In whichever European country you decide to gamble in, the minimum legal age to play online poker games is 18 years old. However, there are few exceptions, such as Germany, Ireland & Belgium, where the legal age to indulge in gambling is 21. One such country is Portugal, where native players should be 25 years old, but tourists must be 18 years old to play.
As there is no specific legislation for online Poker in Europe, this makes each member country accountable for regulating online gambling within its borders. Most of the states of Europe have made online poker legal & let the players enjoy their winnings untaxed, including the UK. However, some exceptions are with countries like Romania, Germany, Italy & Latvia, where your winnings may be taxed. For countries like Slovakia & Slovenia, there is no tax on winnings if a site is state-owned or has an EU license.
The European online poker markets
The European market remained segregated until the arrival of the ‘’European liquidity Deal”. Headed by ARJEL, the French regulatory authority, the shared liquidity project changed the online poker landscape in Europe. France, Spain & Portugal signed the agreement bringing grinders together. The customers from the involved countries can play on cross-border poker sites; however, Italy hasn't yet implemented the deal.
France has legalized online gambling since 2010. Currently, the L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) acts as a governing body for Online Poker in France. Similarly, the Consultative Commission for Circle & Casino Games (CCJCC) monitors the live poker venues in France.
Over the past decade, Spain has altered & amended its gambling laws several times. Today online gambling is heavily regularized in Spain. Being a part of the 'shared liquidity market,' Spanish players have access to several cross-border sites available among EU countries.
Probably, the largest country in the European Union, Germany, shares a complex history with the laws. Only a handful of online casinos approved by the Government are allowed to host German punters. Starting in July 2021, the new state treaty on gambling, the GlϋNeuRStv, will legalize online poker in Germany. The new law will bring about significant changes for poker grinders in Germany.
Quintessentially, the United Kingdom has legalized both online & offline forms of betting. The United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) has introduced strict rules for gambling sites catering to British customers. The new law, however, imposes taxes on operators as well as professional gamblers. Similarly, playing poker in Italy is 100% legal & regulated by the AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato).
Since Italy didn’t join the shared liquidity agreement, Italian players do not have access to a global pool and only have a handful of options to play online poker.
Top European poker sites
The European gambling market is ripe, with many states having fully regulated gambling industries. Typically, European customers have more comprehensive options to choose from the rooms & take part in the live tournaments. Therefore, the best poker sites for European players greet the new users with welcome bonuses, quality software, reliable game selections, special promotions & much more. They can easily register with some of the best European rooms & pit their skills.
A rapidly growing online poker brand in the industry, 888Poker, has been hugely popular with European players. Whether you're a newbie looking for freeroll or a pro seeking to increase your bankroll, there's a wide range of fun and exciting promotions available at 888Poker. Looking at the current position at PokerScout, 888 Global pool is 8th in traffic, but 888.ES is 28th. The site has plenty of free games & hosts impressive tournaments regularly.
With an exciting array of games, players can reap the rewards with the 888Poker club.
New Players receive a $88 no deposit bonus and a welcome bonus of 100% up to $888. Apart from the striking $100,000 Sunday Tournaments, 888Poker offers state-of-the-art software with exclusive games, including fast-fold poker "Snap" with a range of new features like 3D table graphics, preferred seating, and great tournaments.
Choose from various deposit methods & start playing on the go; a thrilling experience awaits you at 888Poker.
A European poker room known for focusing on the casual players with unique software features like changing nicknames, Unibet Poker was initially rolled out on the 24hPoker network. A digital leader with over 17 years of experience, Unibet offers a top selection of cash games & tournaments. One of the leading European poker sites, Unibet is the most trusted brand in online gambling. Apart from the seasoned games, including Texas Hold'em & Omaha Hi-Lo, it offers a new depositor bonus of 100% up to €200 and a free €2 ticket qualifier Unibet Poker Open.
Powered by surreal graphics, personalized avatars & coveted bonus packages, the software is easy to download & play. With plenty of doable challenges with real money rewards, you can easily find cash games, Sit & Go's, and big Multi-Table tournaments. Thanks to the Player Safety Early Detection System (PS-EDS), Unibet Poker provides a secure & entertaining online gaming experience.
A coveted site for Asian players, GGPoker also caters to recreational players from Europe. Noted for its growing global player base, user-friendly features & softest games, GGPoker is among the renowned European poker sites today. Focusing mainly on seasoned games, including Hold'em and Omaha cash games, the site offers a decent flow of players 24/7 with online poker tournaments to suit all tastes. Get an immediate bankroll boost once you sign up & make a deposit.
Players receive up to $100 free tickets with an initial deposit of $20 or more. Not just this, you are also enrolled in the VIP Program once you register. With big tournaments in every round-up level, massive promotions & exclusive games like Flip & Go, Rush & Cash, and Spin & Gold, GGPoker has up to 10,000 real money players online during peak times.
Just a few minutes to download the software & you're all set to play. If you're looking for a big win from opponents all over the world, GGPoker has it all.
Deposit and withdrawal options for European poker players
Thankfully European players have an array of options for making a deposit or withdrawing the winnings from online poker rooms. Playing on a licensed & reliable room adds to the available options. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the registered card room offers quick banking options with the least hassles. Popular options include credit cards, e-wallets (Neteller & Skrill), debit cards, bank wires, PayPal, cryptocurrency & much more.
The best thing about gambling online in Europe is you can use the local currency along with a variety of languages. Most of the reputed euro poker sites accept the ‘Euro’ or the British Pound apart from the US Dollar. A handful of online establishments have also begun accepting Bitcoin.
Bonuses, promotions and rakeback for EU poker players
There is no shortage of quality bonuses offered by top European rooms. The most common bonus type you’ll encounter is the sign-up bonus. Other popular bonuses include the reload bonus, no deposit bonus & much more. Besides looking for top bonuses, it is necessary to check the other fringe benefits associated with the bonus, which might vary from site to site.
Once you register with a new room, you're likely to be rewarded weekly or monthly promotions based on your initial deposit & thereafter. Poker rooms constantly upgrade the promotions & bonuses to retain loyal players. One of the added incentives for devoted players is rakeback. Like a VIP rewards program, some of them offer extensive rakeback deals to maximize your cashback earnings. A higher rakeback deal attracts more seasoned players.
Famous Europe’s online poker series
The global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many live events scheduled in 2020-2021 around the world. Due to the restrictions, all the major European offline poker series are in turmoil to make tough decisions. While some of the series were eventually cancelled or paused for a while, others switched to the online format.
The longest running live tournament in Europe, Irish Poker Open, went online due to safety concerns. Partnering with Partypoker, the online event paid out $5.6 million to players in 2020. After a huge success, this year the Irish Open Online was held between 26th March to 8th April with prize money worth a million. Besides, they are all set to return with a regular live edition later in 2021.
The much anticipated European poker festival, Battle of Malta, switched to online format joining hands with GGPoker. With over $30 million cash prizes, the event set a new record for mid-size buy-in poker tournaments in 2020. The event is expected to return for 2021 with bigger cash games.
WSOP, an integral part of the poker landscape, took a historical decision of conducting the games in virtual format partnering with GGPoker. While the WSOP Online in 2020 was a massive hit, this year, they are all set to hit another milestone by hosting the “Main Event” beginning Aug.1. The ongoing WSOP Super Circuit Online Series at GGPoker has kick started from May 1 through May 30, with the dates of the winter series yet to be confirmed.
Another popular event, the European Poker Tour (EPT), has moved to Sochi (Russia) and is all set to host the event from October 2 to 11 this year. Similarly, the Unibet Open moved all its live events online in the wake of the current situation.
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