Many gambling enthusiasts would love nothing more than to visit some of the most renowned casinos across the US and Europe. Visit historic sites, enjoy exotic cuisine and enjoy the company of the best international gamblers. It’s the dream for many a casino lover.

However, you’d be surprised to know that you might encounter a learning curve when you go from American casinos to European ones. Seasoned gamblers know that there are a few subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the two, so let’s check out some of the most significant ones.

Different House Edge

The first difference you might notice between casinos in the US and Europe is the house edge.

You’ve heard the saying, “the house always wins.” And it’s true because casinos always have an advantage, known as the house edge. If we are to put it plainly, the house edge is the percentage that the casino keeps as its profit from a player’s bet.

As a general rule of thumb, American casinos, whether on their slot machines, or table games, tend to have a higher house edge – meaning that, in the long run, they take more money from you.

A good example of this would be roulette. In the US, virtually all roulette games have double-zero wheels, meaning there is a 0 and 00, plus the numbers from 1 to 36.  In Europe, most of the wheels are single-zero, meaning they don’t have that extra 00 pocket. This means that the odds are better on the single-zero European game, lowering the house edge from 5.26% to only 2.70%

Different Gambling Laws

Gambling laws are complicated wherever you go, and you’ll encounter some major differences between the legalities of European and American casinos.

In America, specifically, gambling laws can be pretty confusing because individual states determine them. That’s why casinos are illegal in some states and legal in others. You can join games in some casinos when you’re 18 years old; while in others, you need to be 21.

While the American government regulates the gambling laws, it doesn’t directly control casinos. In Europe, the laws are a bit more lenient, but governments tend to control casinos more directly. In some European countries, casinos are often government-owned.

You Can Expect Different Games

Gamblers in the US and Europe tend to enjoy playing different games. Craps, for example, is a trendy game in the US, and every major casino will have a craps table at the ready, but the game is much harder to find in European casinos.

Even the same games might appear to be different for American and European gamblers, especially when it comes to the game of roulette, as noted previously:  American roulette has two green slots instead of the single slot found in European games.

US Casinos Have More Slots

Slots are prevalent in America. The US has over 993,400 slot machines across its states, and millions of players rush to test their luck!

While slots are common in Europe as well, they’re not nearly as popular. The majority of Europeans prefer table games with roulette being the most popular game in their casinos. So, if you’re into slots, you’ll enjoy American casinos a bit more.

Online Casinos Are More Prevalent in Europe

The US casino industry has only recently adopted a more lenient attitude towards online casinos with just a few states legalizing them.

In Europe, however, virtually every country allows online casinos and it is a thriving industry.  In either case, players looking for the best online casino bonus offers have a good variety of casinos to choose from, with many casinos offering hefty bonuses and some even offering free slot tournaments.

Gambling Is More of a Taboo in the US

Finally, one of the most significant differences between US and European casinos is the people’s take on them. Gambling is still a bit taboo in the US, with two states, Hawaii and Utah, offering no gambling of any kind.

Europe, being quite liberal, doesn’t take gambling so seriously. Yes, there are laws, rules, and government control, but the people can openly enjoy visiting casinos without the need for secrecy. Perhaps it’s due to the appeal of James Bond movies, who knows?


Gambling in the US and Europe can be quite different experiences. Still, you’re bound to enjoy casinos on any side of the Atlantic. And, with some luck, you might even cash out.


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