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Recently regulated markets, growing economies, and established powerhouses: Central Europe is a fertile land for iGaming, offering investment opportunities of all sorts. Keep reading for an overview of the licensing requirements and regulatory frameworks in place in the region.

Central Europe is an exciting region for the iGaming industry. Dominated by Germany in terms of overall revenues, it is home to a handful of small but fast-growing markets, including two sleeping giants: Switzerland and Poland.

Switzerland, the second most prosperous country in the world in terms of nominal GDP per capita, has only recently regulated its online gambling market, which is now open for the taking. Poland is the sixth-largest economy in the European Union and has a population comparable to that of the Western giants, making it likely to turn into a blazing iGaming market in the coming years.

In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of Mitteleuropa to discover the status of its online gambling markets and all the opportunities it offers.

Check the latest laws for all the countries around the world in Slotegrator’s gambling regulations map.


Germany is without a doubt the largest market in the Central European region. In 2023, online gambling industry revenues are projected to reach €4.70 billion and it is predicted to reach €6.38bn by 2028.


In 2021, the German State Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) marked a pivotal moment, legalizing the operation of online casinos in Germany. A notable shift from the previous restriction to online sports betting, the new law now extends its scope to encompass online poker and slot games. Interestingly, table games have the flexibility to be offered as a monopoly to state lotteries or through licenses in states where lotteries opt out.

However, the legislation introduced a contentious element — a 5.3% tax on online slot and poker stakes. This tax has drawn criticism from operators who express concerns about its potential impact on the success of the new regulations.

Further developments unfolded in Germany's gambling landscape as of January 1, 2023. The responsibility for granting online gambling licenses underwent a significant transition, shifting from the 16 Federal States to the newly formed regulator, Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL). This centralized authority aims to streamline the licensing process by eliminating the need to navigate separate regulators from different Federal States.

Besides enforcement measures like prohibition orders and IP blocking, GGL now ensures uniform application and enforcement of German gambling law.

The German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG 2021) ushered in the possibility for private operators to apply for licenses coveringsports betting, virtual slot machines, and online poker. However, specific requirements for certain online casino games vary, and not all Federal States have finalized decisions on whether private operators can apply for licenses. Notably, states like Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia plan to issue licenses for online casino games to private operators.

Despite being perceived by some as a source of legal certainty, the introduction of new regulations remains controversial. As operators seek permission to operate within the new framework, criticisms are voiced, underscoring the tensions within the industry.

Adding to the discourse, a recent study conducted by the University of Leipzig, commissioned by the German Online Casino Association (DOCV) and the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), revealed a noteworthy statistic. Almost half of online gambling in Germany still occurs with unlicensed operators, despite the enactment of the 2021 law.

The study estimates that approximately three-quarters of online revenue is generated from the black market, leading to significant tax revenue losses. The report attributes the black market's popularity to factors such as easy access, online advertising by unlicensed brands, and restrictive stake limits and bonus regulations.

In response to these findings, the DOCV and DSWV advocate for urgent measures, proposing a comprehensive review of the regulatory environment. They emphasize the need for increased collaboration, improved taxation, and more flexible regulations to make the licensed environment more appealing to players.

Leave it to professionals. Slotegrator will help you obtain a license, allowing you to legally start and run online and land-based gambling businesses.

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The transformation of the Swiss gambling market commenced with the enactment of the Gaming Act in 2019, which heralded a new era of regulation for online casinos.


On January 1, 2019, Switzerland saw a culmination of significant changes in its gambling landscape with the implementation of the Swiss Gambling Act. This comprehensive legislative overhaul aimed to modernize outdated regulations and establish a robust framework governing various forms of gambling within the country.

Central to the Swiss Gambling Act was the introduction of a licensing system for online gambling operators. Eligibility for these licenses was restricted to Swiss land-based casinos and their technology partners, marking a strategic move to exert control over the rapidly evolving online gambling sector.

Oversight of the sector was entrusted to the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (ESBK), while the Inter-cantonal Lottery and Betting Commission (Comlot) assumed regulatory authority over lotteries and betting.

Navigating the Swiss market proved both rich in opportunities and challenging for foreign operators. Swiss authorities implemented measures to block foreign online gambling sites lacking Swiss licenses to safeguard the domestic market. This strategic move aimed to guide Swiss players toward licensed domestic operators and ensure compliance with the new regulatory framework.

The revised regulations not only expanded the spectrum of legal gambling options in Switzerland, covering traditional forms like casinos, lotteries, and sports betting but also permitted online gambling services, provided they were offered by operators holding valid Swiss licenses.

A significant aspect of the regulatory changes was the restructuring of the taxation landscape. Online gambling operators became subject to a tax on their gross gaming revenue, with varying rates across cantons. This financial dimension not only contributed to state revenue but also underscored the government's commitment to responsible industry regulation.

Crucially, the Swiss Gambling Act prioritized player protection by incorporating measures to prevent excessive gambling and combat illegal activities. These initiatives aimed to establish a safer gambling environment for Swiss residents participating in various forms of gaming.

Taking on the role of overseeing and enforcing these regulations, the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (Comlot) emerged as a pivotal player, ensuring compliance, fairness, and the overall success of the restructured gambling landscape.

Recent developments in the Swiss casino landscape include a notable shift from 21 to 43 land-based casinos, following the government's decision to award 22 new casino licenses for a 20-year period starting in January 2025. This decision has implications for business development, both for Swiss casino stakeholders and international partners. The licensing process involved defining geographic zones, receiving 29 applications, and making decisions based on factors like competition and local support.

The approved licenses cover various regions in Switzerland, with some zones having multiple applicants. Importantly, 12 of the casinos are permitted to offer online games starting in 2025, contingent on compliance checks. This decision significantly shapes the Swiss casino landscape, reflecting the nation's commitment to adapting to the evolving industry.

As the regulatory landscape in Switzerland continues to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities, it remains crucial for stakeholders, players, and interested parties to stay informed about any subsequent developments.


At present, Liechtenstein doesn’t regulate online gaming nor issue licenses for operating within the Principality’s territory. Land-based casinos, on the other hand, have been allowed since mid-2017. In their first full year of operation, these raked in just under €50 million.


The legal framework for gambling in Liechtenstein is primarily governed by the Law on Games of Chance and Casinos (Spielbankengesetz), which establishes the licensing and regulatory requirements for gambling operators. The law aims to ensure that gambling activities are conducted fairly, transparently, and following social responsibility principles.

Liechtensteiner casinos capitalize on players traveling from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.

While online gaming isn’t a thing there nowadays, Liechtenstein hosted the world’s first internet lottery, Interlotto (later renamed PLUS Lotto). Interlotto was licensed by the government in 1995 and ran until 2011. During this time, the charitable organization charged with its operation, the International Lottery in Liechtenstein Foundation (ILLF), also offered instant win games and scratch cards.


Until September 2027, the online offering of lotteries and casino games in Austria will be subject to monopolies, held respectively by Austrian Lotteries, and a joint venture between the same company and Casinos Austria. The tendering process that awarded these licenses has been heavily debated; however, the status quo is likely to hold at least until the end of the current licenses’ validity period.


The Austrian online betting market, on the other hand, is open. Licenses for online betting operators are issued by individual states, with no regulations applying at a federal level.

In most states, regulations only cover sporting events, but some jurisdictions allow bets on other types of events (e.g., political or cultural). Live betting is explicitly prohibited in some states.

Technically, state laws only regulate land-based betting. Nonetheless, operators holding a license are de facto allowed to offer their services online as well. The cost of a license depends on the state in which the operator is based. Betting-specific taxes amount to 2% of the turnover, plus additional charges depending on the jurisdiction.

Recently, the Austrian Ministry of Finance announced the intention to implement sweeping reforms to the gambling regulatory framework, following the German model. The proposal includes raising taxation on gambling revenues and creating a dedicated authority tasked with issuing licenses and enforcing regulations.


In Hungary, the regulatory authority overseeing gambling activities (SZTFH) issued a directive to implement new technical measures in response to amendments made to the country's Gambling Act.


The legislative changes, initiated in February 2022, sought to dismantle the state monopoly on sports betting previously held by the state operator Szerencsejáték — a monopoly declared unlawful by the European Union Court in 2017. The newly introduced licensing regime, effective from January 1, 2023, imposed several requirements on applicants seeking to operate in Hungary.

Applicants seeking approval from SZTFH were obligated to demonstrate a minimum of five years of experience in licensed online gaming within the European Economic Area. The law explicitly prohibited companies from obtaining a license if, within the five years preceding the application, they were involved in unlicensed gambling activities.

The regulatory framework also outlined financial obligations for operators, including an application fee of 10 million Hungarian forints (€26,000). Additionally, companies were mandated to have a registered capital of at least 1 billion forints and pay a license fee of 600 million forints, as well as supervision and gambling tax fees of 2.5% and 15% of the gross revenue from gambling, respectively. It's noteworthy that the supervision fee applies solely to a maximum expenditure of 10 million Hungarian forints.

For now, SZTFH has not granted permission for any foreign operator to commence operations in Hungary. Licenses were exclusively issued to the former state monopoly Szerencsejáték, operating through the online portal Additionally, three Hungarian land-based casinos were granted the right to offer online casino services.

In January 2023, Hungary introduced further amendments to the Gambling Act, focusing on technical changes to facilitate the operation of the new gaming market. Previously, the law restricted players to having only one account with an operator. However, under the new rules, consumers can now maintain multiple accounts, each linked to a specific game.


In Slovakia, the online gambling industry has experienced rapid growth. However, concerns have been raised about consumer protection and the rise of unlicensed operators due to outdated regulations. The previous gambling law from 2005 did not adequately address online gambling, resulting in an influx of unlicensed sites.


To address these issues, Slovakia enacted a new Gambling Act in 2022, which became effective on January 1, 2023. The key changes include the demonopolization of the market, allowing licensed operators to offer online gambling. A new licensing system was introduced, with national licenses for various gambling verticals. The Finance Ministry issues general licenses, and operators must have certain technical infrastructure in Slovakia.

The establishment of an independent Office for the Regulation of Gambling is a crucial development. This office is responsible for issuing licenses, monitoring compliance, and maintaining a blacklist of unlicensed sites. Advertising restrictions include a total ban on ads targeting minors or vulnerable individuals, restrictions on ad timing, and mandatory inclusion of responsible gambling messages. There is also a potential future ban on all online gambling ads.

While the demonopolization is viewed positively, the complexity of obtaining multi-tier licenses and adhering to advertising restrictions poses challenges for operators. The impact on the industry depends on effective implementation by the regulatory authority. The government aims to balance consumer protection with the growth of licensed operators, and the success of the new regulations hinges on pragmatic enforcement and potential advertising restrictions.

Czech Republic

The Czech gambling market is extensively regulated by the Gambling Act, which entered into force on January 1, 2017.


The original Act introduced stricter licensing requirements for operators. It imposed a tax rate of 23% on gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by sports betting operators and lotteries, and a tax rate of 35% on RNG casino games.

As of January 2020, lotteries, casinos, and bingo operators are subject to a 30% GGR tax, with the fixed-odds betting levy increased to 25%. This change was driven by a campaign by the Czech Ministry of Health and the National Drug Policy Coordinator to address the growing availability of addictive substances and services.

However, in 2023 Czechia refined its Gambling Act with a series of proposed amendments, marking a comprehensive effort to address various aspects of the country's gambling landscape. New amendments include measure such as the following:

Player protection

The introduction of a panic button, designed to empower players with immediate self-exclusion for 48 hours, enhancing player safety.

Players will have the option to extend the self-exclusion period, and the register will now encompass individuals under criminal investigation, strengthening regulatory oversight.

Diversification with live dealer games

The amendments are set to diversify the online gambling market by legalizing live dealer games, expanding beyond the existing offerings of random number generators (RNG) and digital table games.

Combating illegal online gambling

The regulatory focus on blocking illegal online gambling is intensified, with all operators whose games are accessible in the country considered active, irrespective of specific targeting.

This extends to applications and platforms facilitating illegal gambling, signaling a need for affiliates to collaborate exclusively with locally licensed operators.

Deposit adjustments for license applicants

License applicants will see changes in the deposit structure, with the sum paid determined by a series of four bands.

The deposit amount for both land-based and online licenses will be influenced by factors such as customer activity levels and the risk profile of offered games.


The Polish gambling market is by far one of the most interesting in the region.

The industry is regulated by the 2009 Act on Gambling Games. To deal with an imposing black market, in 2017 the Act was subject to a major overhaul, which gave the Ministry of Finance the power to blacklist websites offering unlicensed products. In wake of that legislation, the country’s gambling market has grown to be worth nearly €2 billion.


Regulations are among the strictest in Europe. In terms of online products, licensed operators can only offer betting services. A license covers both sports and race betting rights. The size of the online betting market is estimated to be €1.6 billion.

Other products, like slots and card games, are under state monopoly. Totalizator Sportowy runs the country’s only legal online casino, Total Casino, launched in December 2018.

Poland has suffered from high numbers of problem gamblers, which explains the strictness of the regulatory framework. The problem is being tackled successfully: in the last five years, the number of pathological players is estimated to have dropped by nearly 20%.

There is no limit to the number of applications for online betting licenses. The license itself remains valid for six years from the date of issuance. The cost of a permit is calculated on the base of economic indicators. Currently, operators are charged about €100,000.

Taxation is set at 12% of the turnover, except for bets placed on sporting competitions involving animals, which are taxed at only 2,5%.

However, the gambling business in Poland faces numerous challenges due to strict regulations. The complexity of obtaining a license, high tax rates, and stringent legislation have led to the active development of the "gray" market, particularly in the online sector. There are numerous offshore casinos and betting sites facing the Polish market. The Ministry of Finance closely monitors and penalizes law violations, including imposing hefty fines and blocking websites. However, the problem persists.

According to Polish media, the illegal gambling market in Poland reached PLN 27.7 billion in 2021, accounting for more than half of the entire market. As a result, the state budget is missing out on over PLN 780 million in gambling taxes.

This situation frustrates the "white" gambling business, which adheres to all market regulations and pays its taxes but is losing its competitive advantage. Experts argue that the local gambling industry in Poland can only thrive if the laws governing it are relaxed.

How can Slotegrator help?

Choosing where to base your iGaming enterprise can be daunting. Thanks to more than a decade of experience in the industry, our jurisdictional advisory services can help you pick the right market for your business needs and assist you in acquiring all the necessary licenses.

Ayvar Gabidullin
Ayvar Gabidullin
Business Development Manager
Ayvar has over five years of experience managing B2B and B2C sales departments in the online gambling industry. He started his career working in customer support for online casinos and grew to become the head of a department offering tailored services to VIP players. He joined Slotegrator with a strong focus on our company’s products and deep knowledge of what players need. His passion for the industry leads him to keep expanding his knowledge every day.

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