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The Old Continent Still Has It: European Betting Sites


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Europe is a decent place to be a punter. Regulated markets, dedicated institutions and an abundance of offshore areas where bookies can operate, have all been a godsend for the continent and those of a gambling turn of mind. But not all boils down to laws. In fact, tradition has proven just as important, with sports betting being omnipresent in the United Kingdom for example. Online betting sites in Europe have been bit of laggards in adopting some sports betting solutions but they have made splashes in other areas, coining betting exchanges and regulatory bodies dedicated to watching over bettors.

Europe and European Bookies: How Legal Is it?

Apparently, we make a big whoop out of legal issues. However, there is a good reason for that. In Europe in particular, having a regulated bookie goes to show that your money is safe and that proceedings will be paid in a timely fashion out. Any failure to do that, would result in one of many dedicated watchdogs stepping in.
Bookmakers information if sports betting is illegal in your jurisdiction
Bookies may have taken legal clampdown a bit less seriously in the past, but today, they are not interested in any scraps with authorities. That is why your top bookies will inform you right off the bat if betting in your part of the continent is restricted.

Laws vary from one country to the other and there are still those that are part of the European Union, and therefore subject to pan-European regulations, and those countries that are geographically in Europe, but not part of a broader bloc. Ultimately, we have noticed that some countries are particularly intransigent to broader sweeps of legalese particularly in sports betting.
In fact the software the best companies in Europe use is iron-clad. Even those seedy punters trying to sneak in with a VPN would most likely be caught out and evicted. Responsible and legal gambling is definitely a byword of betting in the old world.

Top European Betting Sites
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£100 Welcome Bonus 9.9/10 Read Review
£30 Free Welcome Bonus 9.8/10 Read Review
£25 Deposit Bonus 9.5/10 Read Review
€5 Free bet 9.4/10 Read Review
up to €200 Matched Deposit Bonus 9.3/10 Read Review
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Regulating the Best Bookies in Europe: A Party Of Three

While legality is still very much debatable, there is an easy way to tell if a website is worth your time. See if the bookie you are having doubts about has certifications. In Europe, more so than anywhere else, the best operators will show their gambling licenses and credentials and wear them like a badge of honor. Of course, this comes with a few caveats. Even though a bookie has been certified, reading through the fine script of wagering requirements, deposits and withdrawals and suchlike is of uppermost importance, and yet nine out of ten players chose to forego that.
Currently, there are three major authorities that watch over your security and make sure payments are being processed as per the bookie’s own testimony. The Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), ESSA Sports Betting Integrity and GambleAware all appear on the best online betting sites in Europe. Later on, we will focus on where sports betting is allowed, looking into several main markets in Europe.

Continent Of Tax Havens, But What About Taxation Of The Industry?

Again, things tend to vary based on the country you are flicking a wager in. The United Kingdom may well be called a hotbed for all things betting. The majority of bookies there, which are also natives, have their licenses issued from Malta and Gibraltar. The practice is perfectly legal and you as a punter would not incur any taxes.
If you are a punter in the UK, then you enjoy the brick and mortar shops as well as the mobile iteration of the industry. On the tax end of things, you will be happy to know that you would not need to pay any taxes, both as a recreational and professional player. Things may look differently elsewhere. Some countries allow wagering, but prohibit advertising it on TV while others run the whole business as a state-backed gig. Some countries believe that the majority of bettors tend to lose and are more likely to chalk the whole thing up to a pastime.

Betting Exchanges, An Italian Affair

The best betting sites in Europe are not simply those that have been around for the longest time. Nor those that enjoy cushy weavers when it comes down to tax breaks and such, though it certainly helps. But Europe makes it big with its so-called betting exchanges – a platform that pits punters against each other and charges them not as dearly as you would expect. In exchange of a nominal fee, bettors can wager on the outcome of events against each other. The juice (check out our betting glossary and become a linguist of the betting jargon) tends to diminish as you spend more time at the platform and earn loyalty points.
Example of sport bet
An illustration of the 1X2 wagers at one of the world’s foremost betting exchanges.

Make Sure Your Next Flutter Is On-The-Fly

Hardly an exaggeration, Europe nestled in its arms the first online sports betting sites. Together, bookies saw the need to expand on their offers and introduce new ways for punters to lay or place wagers. Naturally, those new features had to be just as fetching and incentivizing so that punters would continue to participate and bookies would amass wealth in their coffers.
Buoyed up by a strong demand for smartphones and their proliferation, the betting industry in Europe made a decisive shift from land-based shops to online betting dens. Mobile apps have also been quick to sprout and today nearly half of all sports betting on the continent is done from one’s slick mobile device, be that an iOS-operated iPhone or an Android-puffing gizmo. Lastly, here are some of the attributes of a decent app, including quick navigation, live betting and streaming, app bonuses, deposits and so forth.

Top Betting Sites in Europe: Caught Between Countries

If you are interested in the European bookies, then you most likely live in one of the major states on the continent, which allows sports betting. We have perhaps managed to tease out a fairly good picture of the UK. After all, this can be rightfully called the cradle of European sports betting with people going to the horse racetracks for hundreds of years.
Let us look around and see how others handle the business of plunking down wagers. First will be France where until recently betting was exclusively run by the state. The EU stepped in, however, and managed to break the mold. Unlike the UK, professional gamblers in France will be asked to cough up and pay tax. Another whimsical side of France is that it has officially come to recognize electronic sports (or eSports) as, well, sports. And you can actually bet on it.
French government to introduce sports betting legislation
When we talk about top online betting sites in Europe we could not fail to mention Germany. You may have been biased and suspected Germany to have its own soaring reams of legal what-ifs. Well, you are right. Now, even though betting in the country is broadly sanctioned by the government, you may find yourself hard pressed to find a local bookie. The reason? There is a rather harsh levy on all wagers. However, the vast majority of offshore European operators quite happily sign up German bettors, and a handful specialize in catering to German punters.
Italy has been opening up to non-country-based bookies whereas Spain has been happy to slap us with a 20% tax on all proceedings exceeding €2,500. Greece has a similar tax. Denmark is adopting licensed bookies one step at a time and it comes down hard on any non-approved bookie.

Loading – How To Grab A Mobile App

For the most part, you go to a bookie’s website. The best online betting sites in Europe will gently take you by the hand and right to the mobile section. You will have to choose between the iOS and Android versions for the most part. Some Blackberry and Windows-friendly options may be lurking around dusty corners as well.
Up until recently, you mostly followed a download link for the Android app while the iOS counterparts were readily available in the Apple Store. No more, Google Store has also given the greenlight to bookies who are now happily loading their apps onto the racks.

Your Local, National, Daily Promotions Are Now Up

With the top betting sites in Europe, you will find a thicket of promotions to choose from. Those can be based on national holidays or broader topics that affect the whole region. Daily offers are also to be expected and weekend offers proudly make the bulk of those one-off special bargain deals. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest hot thing.

Cash Out Quick

Online means now. And live betting is a natural continuation of this. However, things seem to be happening at too quick a pace to begin with. So most bookies have responded by introducing their Cash Out feature, which allows you to sound a retreat on wagers that are usually picked by the bookies themselves. Rest assured that the best betting sites in Europe are well-equipped to cater to the swathes of in-play buffs who have long learned the subtleties of long-term betting and are now looking to bet as spur-of-the-moment thing.

Making Sense Of Money at European Betting Sites

If you think going legal on bookies is just a way for redtape-loving white collars to make your life difficult, think again. Legislation is needed so that your money may stay safe and transactions are processed on time. Every bookie operating in Europe will therefore explain to its punters how it handles both deposits and withdrawals.
You will be offered a host of options and increasingly, e-wallets will be one’s preferred way of handling online payments, if for matters of security alone. Some wallets, including Skrill, however, have been shaping up their promotions to specifically accommodate sports betting enthusiasts, and most European betting sites that ring familiar have jumped on that bandwagon.

Best European Bookies

BookmakersBonusRatingRead More
£30 Free bet Bonus9.8/10Read Review
€25 Free Betting Bonus9.8/10Read Review
£30 Refund Welcome Bonus8.5/10Read Review

Neteller – A Familiar Wallet

Neteller follows in the steps of its competitors. Alternatively, it would be more accurate to say that it is in lockstep with those. Here is another familiar, secure and pleasantly simple way to move your money around and splurge on your sports betting account without a hitch. Virtually every European betting site allows Neteller. Things look a tad different in Canada and the United States where local legislation has been a bit pesky.

Apple Pay – The New Kid

Apple Pay is the namesake’s company way of facilitating payment for you. It is true that the e-wallet was not designed to cater to us as sports punters, but then again bookies have been quickly to adapt it, somewhat slower in Europe admittedly. If you are placing flutters in Europe, you will not find it too difficult to use Apple Pay for that. It is arguably more secure compared to other modes of payment because of the finger print identifier. Other methods such as paysafecard and naturally PayPal are also available and much touted as reliable methods to move money around.

Bet European, Bet Right

All over the globe, bookies have their whimsical side. Europe betting sites are an awesome place to be risking your money. They are exciting, multifarious and offer an inexhaustible variety of markets, sports, and options. You will see athletic competitions as well as Olympic Games rear their heads in the very heart of Europe. With several countries driving steady inroads and bringing about major changes to the whole sector, you may bet your sweet hard-currency that things are looking up for punters on the continent.