Best Euro Poker Sites - European Poker Rooms

The Changing World of European Internet Poker Sites

Europe is a complex area when it comes to online poker rooms. While the stated objective of the European Union is to harmonize their economies and trading rules – this definitely does not apply to online poker! Some countries have segregated their poker markets, effectively shutting them off from the outside world. Other European nations regulate poker rooms, though allow cross-border play. Still others have no regulation at all.

Below you will find more information on the different approaches to poker regulation for Euro Poker sites. This includes information on some of the licensing bodies which are also based in Europe. After that I have covered the sites which allow you to deposit and play in Euros.

European Poker Sites – The Closed Countries

Three of the biggest European countries by population have sealed off their poker games. These are France, Italy and Spain. Only France allows any form of cross-border play – and this is in one direction only. Players from other countries are welcome to play at the French online poker sites, though French players can’t play at sites from other countries.

Each of these countries has its own licensing body, and all of them feature games in Euros.

European Poker Sites – The Regulated Countries

As different countries see the revenue generated by taxing and controlling online poker – regulation is spreading around Europe. Regulators control advertising and license the sites, though the amount of direct control varies. Examples include Denmark, Romania and the Netherlands. There are several other countries which have regulation in the pipeline – notably Poland, Belgium and Ireland. One country, Hungary, has rules which require licensing, though does not license any sites.

Players from each of these countries – and other non-regulated places such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria – are able to play at the big international sites and networks.

Licensing of Euro Poker Sites

As well as individual country licenses, the big international poker rooms require an operating license for their global operations. There are several jurisdictions around Europe which offer these licenses. These are considered to be reputable bases, and many of the biggest and best known brands are regulated by them.

Malta, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man all offer their services to several big players. There are others including Alderney and Jersey which also offer licenses to internet poker rooms (as well as casinos). While a license at one of these jurisdictions is not a guarantee that a site is legitimate and safe, this is a strong trust signal compared to operators which are licensed out in the Caribbean or in Central America. You should never play at an online poker room which does not have an operating license in at least one recognized jurisdiction.

Playing Poker in Euros

While the country specific sites for France, Italy and Spain all operate exclusively in Euros, US dollars are still the default currency for the international poker sites. There are some exceptions to this, with the iPoker Network now exclusively offering the real money poker games in Euros – and other sites having this as an option.

Even if a site has games in US Dollars, you will be able to deposit using Euros. The usual system is that your Euro deposit is instantly converted into USD, using the interbank ‘mid-rate’ at the time you deposit (sites are not actively using the spread between the buy and sell rate to make a profit). You then hold your balance in US dollars until you are ready to cash out. At that point your balance the conversion happens in reverse, so you’ll receive Euros back again. This system does help to cut out the huge charges (and bad exchange rates) imposed by banks.

PokerStars handle things differently – allowing you to hold you balance in a number of different currencies, including Euros, and to transfer between these in their cashier.

Which Are the Biggest Euro Poker Sites?

Of the sites which are available to all of the non-closed countries, PokerStars is the biggest site by a long way. There are separate PokerStars sites for France, Italy and Spain too. This site uses its size to offer the biggest promotions and tournament guarantees – as well as having the widest choice of cash games.

Next in terms of size comes 888 Poker. The default currency at this site is US Dollars, though you can deposit there in many different currencies and with a wide range of deposit options. 888 has seen significant growth recently, and their games are aimed at the more recreational players.

iPoker are a big poker network which supply games to some of Europe’s biggest sports betting brands. This network uses PlayTech software to power their games, which are all priced in Euros. Party Poker and iPoker are in a fierce battle for 3rd place in the traffic rankings.

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