Online gambling is a huge industry in Europe and the EU has a lot to do with it. The 27 member states-organization has been a huge proponent for online casinos in the last decade. And thanks to its efforts, nearly every country in Europe hosts online casinos.
In all fairness, online gambling didn’t start ten years ago. Some European countries authorized the industry at the start of the millennium. Others didn’t have online casino laws but had no problems with citizens using offshore casinos.
All the same, these are some of the ways online gambling in Europe grew.
Although the first mobile casino launched way back in 2004, mobile casinos became popular in the last decade. The growth of iOS and smart Android devices catapulted mobile casinos into a new level.
No longer did people need a desktop computer to play a few rounds of roulette or slots. Instead, an iPhone or Android phone was all they needed to bet on casino games. These days, mobile casinos have become so dominant that they make over 50% of the iGaming business.
There are more mobile casino players than those who use desktop computers. And the reasons are compelling. To start with, mobile devices are cheap. Then they are portable, convenient and can handle all the games available on desktop casinos.
Improved Data Privacy Laws
For a long time, online casino players had little data protection. Casinos were required to encrypt customer data and keep their funds in separate bank accounts. But no laws prevented operators from sharing user data.
These days, laws protecting customer data are well-defined. With GDPR—created by the EU—online casino players have these rights:
- Access to your data
- The right to decline data collection
- The right to request data erasure
- The right to restrict data processing
The new GDPR laws also come with heavy penalties for rule-breaking. In the past, regulators like the UKGC could only apply fines worth up to £500000 if a casino violated a person’s data privacy laws. Under the new laws, casinos can be slapped with fines worth up to £20 million.
Rapid Popularity in Countries like Finland
Finland is one of the countries the EU has been pressuring to liberalize online gambling. It’s yet to yield and still runs online casino games through a monopoly. However, it’s experienced a trend in which Finnish players flock offshore casinos in search for better services.
The thing is, Finland’s only online casino, Veikkaus, has a lot of flaws. For starters, it works with a limited number of software providers: Playtech, Red Tiger and Yggdrasil. Although these developers supply 200+ games to Veikkaus, they don’t provide the large variety of games offshore casinos have.
Take casino Dreamz as an example. It’s based in Malta and provides 1000+ slots and card games from 30+ software providers. You could play NetEnt and Microgaming slots today. And switch to Play’n GO or IGT games tomorrow.
The best part is that Dreamz casino also features personalized content for players in Finland. When you sign up, you don’t have to stick to the English language. You can switch to your native language for a better experience.
New Advanced Slots
Online slots are significantly enhanced compared to games launched a decade ago. They have more colourful graphics thanks to advanced technologies. They are a tad more complex and have a series of features that spice up gameplay.
What’s more, the average slot today pays out a better rate. It’s not unusual for some games to have a Return to Player (RTP) rate of 98% (Jackpot 6000) or 99% (Mega Joker). These games also feature multipliers that magnify your profits or free spins that you more betting time.
Additionally, there are more games on the market. Top software companies like NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming release a new slot nearly every month. Smaller companies launch a few games per year. All the same, they keep adding games to the market.
Live Casino Games
Like mobile games, live dealers have been around for over a decade. But they only became successful in the past few years. The advancement of technology, more so Internet speeds, video quality and programming knowledge helped the new sector sprout.
These days, you can play roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker in a live setting at any standard casino. For clarity, that means playing casino games in real-time while interacting with human dealers and players.
Live casino games add a sense of social games to online casinos. They also make these games competitive now that you can play them with real people. Luckily, live dealers are inexpensive and you can play a round for poker from €5 to as much as you can afford.
Faster, More Secure Payments
Although many European casinos are generally safe, not all of them work professionally. Some companies slow your payouts intentionally. Others word with dodgy payment providers. Fortunately, these companies fall into the minority section of the industry.
The best online casinos keep innovating ways to increase customer satisfaction. And one of their methods is to adopt fast banking options. You don’t need to send a check for deposits anymore. Instead, you can use PayPal or Skrill, which are faster.
On average, you can choose from five or more banking options. Many of these companies are safe and protect your data and funds accordingly. Some of them also let you work with casinos without providing KYC documents.
Problem Gambling Protection Laws
Lately, European countries have been enthusiastic in creating problem gambling laws. They are steps in the right direction anyway and help ensure casinos don’t take advantage of vulnerable players.
In the UK, most casinos are required to have tools that help players manage their betting habits. They also allow players to suspend or close their accounts if it becomes necessary. Operators in Sweden and Malta have similar policies. And in the usual style, they hold casinos accountable if they fail to protect their customers.