The status of online gambling and online poker differs from nation to nation throughout Europe. However, most nations do make online poker available to their citizens in one form or another. In some countries, players have access to sites specifically regulated for their nation; others have access to worldwide sites that will allow them to play against competition from around the globe.
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Legality of Online Poker in Europe
In most European countries, some form of online poker is legal. In several nations, this comes in the in the form of nationally regulated online gambling networks, in which players can play poker and casino games online – but typically only with players within their own nation. Such regulatory frameworks have recently been set up in Italy and France.
Where there are restrictions, they vary from only allowing companies based on the individual country to service players in that nation (for instance in the Netherland and Greece) to outright bans in Germany and Norway. However, the European Union has said that these bans and restrictions are inconsistent with EU law, and has worked towards removing these regulations.
Issues with Poker Depositing from Europe
In some nations, restrictions on online gambling have been coupled with laws that prevent banks from processing gambling transactions. For instance, Norway’s online poker ban is mostly based around blocking the flow of money from players to poker sites. Much as in the United States, these laws have not prevented Europeans in these situations from playing online poker entirely; often, websites will invoke creative solutions to allow accounts to be funded and withdrawals to be processed.
Current Poker Deposit Methods Available To Europeans
In countries where online poker is regulated or legal, the full range of deposit methods should be available to players. This may include many or all of the following: credit and debit cards, online banking systems, e-wallets, checks, bank wires, or prepaid cards. These methods may vary greatly from country to country, with some nations having a wider range of options than others. However, almost all countries have plenty of choices for players to use when making deposits.
Taxes on Online Poker Winnings In Europe
There is a huge range of policies across EU nations when it comes to taxing income derived from gambling, whether online or offline. Here’s a quick look at how some of these nations handle gambling winnings. Some countries have taken the route of not taxing gambling winnings at all, while others (such as France) only require professional gamblers to treat their income as taxes. Other nations have a separate tax rate for gambling winnings, ranging from 10% in Greece to as high as 45% in Denmark (and Danes can face a second bracket of 75% for extremely large wins).
Local laws are always in a state of flux, so be sure to check with a tax professional in your country before making any decisions about how to treat your gambling income. For instance, while online gamblers in Sweden hadn’t paid taxes on their winnings, some well-known online poker pros have recently found that they may now face large tax bills; Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, for instance, was reported to possibly owe as much as $150 million (or approximately one billion Kroner) in taxes, depending on how Swedish officials interpreted their tax laws.
Future Outlook For Online Poker In Europe
Currently, it is difficult to forecast the short-term future of online poker in Europe as a whole. Various European courts have found for and against the online gambling bans imposed by various countries and a host of other restrictions and regulations are up in the air as well. How these cases play out may ultimately determine how much uniformity we see in European online poker laws.
On the bright side the “trendy” move in Europe appears to be to regulate national online gambling networks, allowing players in each nation to play legally – if only against other players in the same country as them. While this is not always ideal for those who would like to play against players around the world or have more choice in gambling providers, it does guarantee long-term access to online gambling for players in those countries.