Gambling Laws Across Europe: Malta, UK, Spain, The Netherlands & More! | Altenar & You

Gambling Laws Across Europe: Malta, UK, Spain, The Netherlands & More! | Altenar & You

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As a sportsbook software provider, Altenar understands the needs and the benefits of multi-jurisdictional compliance, regulation and much more. It’s within this adaptability that has seen Altenar become one of the leading sports betting solutions providers around the world, and this is especially true throughout Europe. 

Europe and the countries within it have a long-standing relationship with all things sports betting and more recent love for all things iGaming and online betting . Let us not forget that the earliest record of sports betting takes us back to the Olympic Games in 800 BC when we have evidence that wagering did actually happen. 

With this gradual and then all-at-once move to online gaming from the late 90s, Europe not only embarrassed the change but pioneered new ways for games of chance to be enjoyed, way to improve the player and bettor experience, as well as finding the best ways to ensure player safety, great regulatory frameworks and much more. 

Each European country has its own strict set of rules and regulations around the world of iGaming and sports betting and Altenar believes that a well-regulated market is a standout market in the industry. Regulation can offer safe forms of play, increased benefits to countries like taxable income that is then pipelined into education, health care and much more. 

This article will detail the must-have certifications, licences and regulatory requirements for a handful of European betting landscapes, as well as  a brief overview of what Altenar can offer in a host of these countries. 

Malta | A Mediterranean Haven For Sports Betting & iGaming Ventures


Malta has secured its position as a leading and well-regulated European gaming jurisdiction in the early 2000s.

The Gaming Authorisations Regulations (MGA) provide operators in both the online and land-based sectors require a licence when providing or carrying out a gaming service, or providing a critical gaming supply from Malta or to a person in Malta, or through a Maltese legal entity, unless exempt. A licence is required to provide or supply any of these games, with the exception of social gaming:

  • Online betting
  • Bingo
  • Casino
  • Lotteries
  • Fantasy sports
  • Poker
  • Social gaming

The below is a list of the types of licences that are available in Malta for the iGaming landscape, if you’re looking to enter the space you may qualify and be issued one of the following, which will offer you a duration of 10 years… 

  • Type 1 gaming services – games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is determined by a random number generator, and which includes casino-type games;
  • Type 2 gaming services – games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is not generated randomly, but is determined by the result of an event or competition extraneous to a game of chance, and whereby the operator manages its risk by managing the odds offered to the player;
  • Type 3 gaming services – games of chance not played against the house and wherein the operator is not exposed to gaming risk, but generates revenue by taking a commission or other charge based on the stakes or the prize, and shall include player versus player games such as poker, bingo, a betting exchange and other commission-based games.
  • Type 4 gaming services – controlled skill games.
  • A critical gaming supply licence – a business-to-business (B2B) licence to provide or carry out a critical gaming supply that is indispensable in determining the outcome of a game or games forming part of a gaming service, and/or is an indispensable component in the processing and/or management of essential regulatory data.
  • A corporate group licence – B2B or B2C corporate group licences may be issued to a corporate group that includes more than one company within its structure. This may be available where the entities concerned provide critical gaming supplies solely to other entities within the same group. In such instances, an additional B2B licence will not be required. However, if entities within the B2C corporate group licence provide critical gaming supplies in or from Malta to entities outside of the group, a separate B2B licence would be required. The entities that can be covered by the corporate group licence must be established in Malta or another EU/EEA jurisdiction.

United Kingdom (UK) | Betting In An iGaming Cultural Haven


Throughout the UK, betting, iGaming and everything this involves has been a generational and cultural pastime for decades, so the emergence of online gaming and increased regulation has created great demand for providers and operators within the space. 

So, what would an iGaming operator need to enter this space? 

Firstly, the UK, like most European countries, loves sports betting and having access to global leagues, tier-one features and technologies is a must and something that Altenar can provide. Secondly, you’ll need to adhere to the below regulatory requirements… 

Operating in the gambling industry in Great Britain has become increasingly challenging. In recent years, driven partly by a rising “anti-gambling lobby”, there has been a notable shift in the Gambling Commission’s approach to regulation.

The Regulatory Authority is the  UKGC and holding an ISO 27001 is also desirable for this space if not a very strong asset. 

  The following online sectors are regulated in Great Britain:

  • betting (live, in-play, fixed-odds and pari-mutuel, betting exchanges and intermediaries)
  • bingo
  • casino
  • fantasy sports
  • gaming machines
  • gambling software
  • lotteries
  • poker

The following licences are available…. 

B2B operators hosting games through B2C websites required a licence authorising remote casino, bingo, betting (virtual events) or betting (real events), in addition to gambling software, as hosting games constitutes providing facilities for gambling. However, new legislation introduced in April 2017, the Gambling (Operating Licence and Single-Machine Permit Fees) Regulations 2017 (SI No 303, 2017), created B2B-specific “host” subcategories:

  • casinos (game host)
  • bingo (game host)
  • general betting (host) (real events)
  • general betting (host) (virtual events

However, these licences are subject to various requirements, including:

  • the company must hold a gambling software operating licence
  • the company must not contract with players directly

Spain | iGaming In A Sport-Loving Country - Forecasting Success

As a highly regulated market, Spain is a popular and successful destination for the iGaming industry. Having the best sports and Esports offering could bolster your operations in this betting landscape. 

With a sportsbook solutions provider like Altenar, you can ensure the best content with low latency data providers, keeping your players engaged and satisfied. 

Gambling regulation in Spain is divided between online gambling that is offered at federal level and land-based or online gambling that is offered within one region. Online games offered at federal level require a federal licence or authorisation and entitle the holder to operate online in the whole territory. 

Online gambling at national level is regulated by the Spanish Gambling Act (Ley 13/2011, de 27 de mayo, de regulación del Juego) and each gambling product has its own regulation approved by a ministerial order. If a game is not regulated or does not fit in any of the regulations in force, that game is not permitted.

The games that are allowed: pools on sports betting, fixed-odds sports betting, pools on horse racing, fixed-odds horse racing, other fixed-odds betting, exchange sports betting, exchange horse racing, other exchange betting games, contests, poker, bingo, roulette, complementary games, blackjack, baccarat and slots.

Types of Licences that can be held in Spain…

At federal level, the available licences are classified as follows.

General licence for betting, which covers the following single licences:

  • pools on sports betting
  • pools on horse racing
  • fixed-odds sports betting
  • fixed-odds horse racing
  • other fixed-odds betting
  • exchange betting.

The Netherlands | Emerging markets Equals Opportunity 

As a newly regulated sports betting and iGaming market, the Netherlands offers inordinate opportunities for sportsbook solutions providers and operators alike. It offers the opportunity for greater regulation to take shape and for innovative features and products to be developed for the iGaming landscape. 

With Altenar, a sportsbook software provider, your business could find success in the Netherlands and have access to tier-one content and much more. 

Below is some insight into the regulatory needs for the Netherlands…

Online gambling had previously been prohibited in the Netherlands, but the passage and subsequent enactment of the delayed Remote Gambling Act (KOA) meant the market was finally able to launch.

The Regulation further specifies the regulations set out in the Decree and will govern the following:

  • Remote gambling licensing and operations.
  • The organisation of remote gambling: which includes the licensee’s integrity policy, access to remote gambling and management of gambling credits, consumer protection, the gambling system and the inspection of the gambling system.
  • Compliance supervision and enforcement : which includes recording and reporting requirements and a datasafe (control database) for monitoring purposes.

The amended BGA ( Betting and Gambling Act ) is not introducing a licensing system for B2B service providers. Service providers such as software suppliers and affiliates are, in principle, free to provide out services to locally licensed remote gambling operators, although we need to point out here that the Dutch market has a very strict regime regarding the allowance of advertising and the protection of the end users and this is considered a landmark due to its strictness 

Estonia | A Historic Love For Sports Betting

Estonia offers a unique betting landscape for operators, and as a well-seasoned provider to the country, operators can benefit from Altenar’s expertise by contacting the team today to enter the market space. 

Here is a brief overview of what is expected of iGaming operators and providers in Estonia. 

Estonia does not distinguish between B2C & B2B licences. A gambling operator is engaged in the organisation of gambling and needs a licence in order to engage in its activities.

Below is a list of the main legislation within Estonia… 

  • Gambling Act 2009
  • Gambling Tax Act
  • Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act 2008

Germany | Entering Newly Regulated & Changing Betting Landscapes 

Gambling Authority of the Federal States of Germany sets the regulatory laws and needs for Germany, and as the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021 (the “Interstate Treaty”) came into force in Germany and introduced the possibility of new licences for the online gambling market and greater opportunity for betting providers. 

Under the Interstate Treaty, online sports and horse race betting are licensable. All other forms of online betting are considered to be games of chance that are still not licensable. Betting on social or political events (eg, who will be the next German chancellor) is prohibited.

The regulatory approach in Germany aims to prevent gambling addiction, ensure the protection of minors and players, ensure fairness, channel players to licensed offerings to combat the black market and crimes related to gambling, and ensure the integrity of sport. The means envisaged by the Interstate Treaty to achieve these objectives are a state monopoly on lotteries; licensing opportunities in selected areas such as sports betting, online poker and virtual slot games; and player protection measures, including the range of permissible sports bets, the deposit limit database and activity database (LUGAS), and an exclusion database (OASIS), as well as stake limits in online poker and virtual slot games.

The above information has been adhered to and compiled by the Altenar team, who have spent years within these iGaming markets and more often than not, have helped to define and support the growing regulatory landscapes. As a provider that is prepared to take your iGaming business to the next level, you should contact Altenar today to access an award-winning sportsbook!

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