Playing at European Poker Sites
Over the past few years, the popularity of poker has climbed to new levels. The European countries are a major market for online poker sites and the clamp down by the American Government on online gambling has forced operators to concentrate on the European poker markets in a big way. Although live poker is a passion with Europeans, online poker is fast catching up with net-savvy poker enthusiasts. Countries like the UK, Austria and Germany even host inter-nation poker tours and tournaments.
The continent of Europe is made up of several countries who are members of the European Union (EU). Online poker is viewed favorably by all members of the European Union – in fact, online poker sites have not been banned from operating in the European markets. However, each member country enforces its own set of laws as regards online gambling. As such, explaining the legalities of online poker for Europe as a whole is quite complex. All member nations of the European Union must accept services from other member nations but each of them has the freedom to decide on the legality issue of online gambling.
Consequently, some members of the EU have banned online gambling, a few have legalized it while some others are ambiguous in their approach. Although it is alright to gamble online, European online poker players must tread with caution – it is suggested that they check the local policy associated with online gambling before deciding to play. Even though online poker sites are taxed and regulated by the European Union, there are differences in the laws of individual member states as regards online gambling.
Best online poker sites for European players
European online poker players have a much wider choice of poker sites, compared to the US players. The two sites that stand out from the crowd are:
Pokerstars - the World's biggest poker room, with huge tournament prize pools, the best cash game action from lowest to high-roller levels and a $600 bonus offer on first deposit. To be eligible for this bonus, you have to use this download link, and by entering marketing code PSA2046 and bonus code STARS600 you can make sure that you get your bonus.
The second option is especially interesting for beginners - 888 Poker is another household name among European poker sites. And they even give new players a free bankroll of $88 - a totally risk-free start into real money poker! Plus, you are entitled to another $400 bonus on a later deposit of money. Click here to sign up with 888 and get $88 for free.
For example, United Kingdom allows its citizens to gamble online and also permits foreign gambling sites to operate in the country. Netherlands only permits the residents to play at online poker sites having a Dutch license. East European countries on the other hand were not into the online gambling race but of late, with easy internet access they too have joined the fray. Recently a proposal was put forth to the EU that there must be a uniform regulatory system for online gambling among the member states. This would help to standardize the licensing process across Europe and make it simpler as well.
As for the players at European poker sites, only taxation laws are applicable to them. Players are taxed by their respective countries as well as the EU when they make a deposit at an online poker site based on foreign shores. Different countries in Europe speak different languages. European poker sites generally cater to their clientele in the local language. However, some of the major poker sites today offer the website in various languages as the poker software supports multiple languages.
Customer support is also provided in various languages. Apart from English, the poker site may offer French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, etc. As with languages, European poker sites accept different currencies. Although the main currency is US dollars or UK pounds, the Euro is the common currency in the EU. Poker players from Europe prefer to use the Euro or the UK pound while making deposits at an online poker site.
European poker sites generally offer several deposit and withdrawal options to suit individual customers who hail from various nations of the European Union. Some of the banking methods commonly found at online poker sites includes debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, wire transfer, bank transfer, e-checks, etc. The easiest and the most popular method to fund an online poker account is by credit card. However, some credit card issuing companies may not approve of transactions to fund online gambling, so it is best to check this out before opting for this method.
Many poker players find it convenient to fund their online poker accounts with the help of e-wallets. Players can open an account with any of the e-wallet services and fund the account through their bank. The e-wallet account can in turn be used to make deposits into the poker account. Popular e-wallets offered by European include Neteller, Moneybookers, e-WalletXpress, to name a few. The player can choose from many other e-wallets depending upon the suitability.