The Best Countries in Europe For Gambling

Below you will find our take on the top 5 countries perfect for tourists looking for great gambling experiences


In the gambling act of 2005, the United Kingdom formed a regulation committee called UKGC or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and legalized online betting and gambling. European countries like Spain, Italy, and France followed the steps of the UK and legalized online betting. Later Netherlands and Germany made online gambling and sportsbooks legal to run a well-regulated and profitable market.

The best needs of Europe are identified based on their GGR or gross gaming revenue, that is, the profit made by the operators. It is mainly the difference between the amount wagered and the total win amount. Another term called CAGR is also used to estimate the country’s position based on its gambling market. The ranking of online casinos and exploring European online casinos allows you to choose the best clubs to play. 

Popular European Destinations for People Who Like Gambling

Although almost every European country has something to offer to gamblers, some countries seem to be more attractive than others, in this regard. Of course, playing at any of the online casino platforms from this list in Europe can spare you time and road expenses. However, if you still prefer travelling, below you will find our take on the top 5 countries perfect for tourists looking for great gambling experiences with cultural bets


amsterdam pixabay

Gambling has excited in the Netherlands since 1964, allowing gambling with few restrictions in land-based casinos. It permitted classic gambling games of cards and even lotteries and jackpots. Yet, online gambling was illegal till 2021, when the Dutch Gambling Act came into force, making the iGaming industry a part of the Netherlands. Since then, over a million dutch citizens have been actively playing in online casinos. This made the Netherlands one of the largest gambling markets in Europe, which is estimated to raise over a billion in 2024. The legalization of the online gambling market was an important step taken by the Dutch government to prevent cyber loss of the citizens as they gambled on unprotected sites. Moreover, it directed the profit made by foreign operators to the country. 


France has to be one of the most gambling-friendly countries. The billion euros market is both profitable and well-regulated. It allows land casinos to offer all kinds of games, including casino games, card games, and even bettings on races and other sports. France also has a great online casino market. Still, government-registered casinos and sportsbooks are not allowed to have any casino games. In 2019 the GGR of the french gambling market was 12.2 billion euros, but in 2020 covid-19 pandemic had adverse effects on the market, and the GGR dropped significantly. In contrast, the GGR rose in 2021 by 7% to approximately 10.7 billion euros but still couldn’t repair the losses of 2020. 


holiday rentals in Spain Sagrada Familia Barcelona

The gambling market in Spain is significantly large. This is one of the top-rated countries that allow online gambling, so it has numerous online and offline casinos and sportsbooks. Spanish gamblers like betting on sports such as hockey, football, racing pools, and horse racing. The most popular lottery-based game in Spain is the National state lottery. In 2019, 0the market made around 8.9 billion euros. Amidst the global pandemic, many sports events either got cancelled or postponed.

On the other hand, casinos were forced to shut down. Despite all these, the GGR, or gross gaming revenue of the Spanish gambling market, is estimated to be 8682 million euros in 2020. Studies conducted for the year 2020 showed that around 81% of Spanish citizens were involved in gambling. The number fell from 84.9% in 2019. Another year with the highest involvement was 2017, in which around 85.5% of the citizens gambled regularly or at least once a year. In 2011, the Spanish gambling act enacted legislation on online betting. The primary goal of the act was to ensure legal online betting that the state could regulate. 


Italy owns one of the significant gambling markets in Europe, grossing over a billion every year. Gambling is legalized in Italy and is thus regulated by the state through licensing of the casino operators and game providers. Like all countries and sectors, the Italian gambling market suffered heavily due to the pandemic. The land-based casinos were closed down, and the number of people gambling online decreased significantly. The GGR is estimated to drop by 33% in the year 2020. The GGR of the Italian market in 2019 was 18.1 billion euros, while the total amount wagered by the Italians on games like poker, slots, and other casino games crossed 110 billion euros in 2019. Unfortunately, in 2020, the GGR dropped below 12 billion euros. 


berlin pixabay

The gambling market in Germany involves a significant percentage of German citizens. It hence is one of the largest gambling markets. A study revealed that in 2020 around 12% of the 400 subjects gambled regularly, and 32% played slots weekly. Besides, 65% of gamblers were observed to use their mobile phones for online gambling. 

In 2019 the GGR of the German market was estimated to be 14.3 billion euros, while the market crashed amidst the pandemic. At that time, the state legalized online casinos and online poker games. It was an important decision to save the German gambling market, which is now expected to be 3.3 billion euros by 2024. 


As a result of comprising major gambling markets of the world, the entire gambling market of Europe is said to rise significantly by 2025. It is expected to reach a CAGR or compound annual growth rate of 9.20% by the end of 2025. An array of gambling start-ups and hardware development in Europe enhance the gambling experience, thus making the European gambling market ever-growing. All in all, for regular customers it means that the number of places for gambling tourism will only grow.

Explore Topics

Travel Begins at 40

Travel Begins at 40 Editor

Travel articles, news, special offers, festivals and events from the Travel Begins at 40 Editorial team and our global network of travel industry contributors.

Read more posts by Travel Begins at 40 Editor →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *