A new law starting in 2024 will require US citizens to apply for further authorization beyond a passport when visiting many European nations, and it will impact travel for the thousands of poker players who do so each year.
For those heading to Barcelona, Cyprus, or Prague for upcoming European Poker Tour (EPT) events before the end of the year, there won’t be any issues. The law doesn’t go into effect until January 1.
What Poker Players Need to Know
At present, a passport is required of US citizens when entering and returning from a foreign land, including European nations, for pleasure or to play poker. That will continue to be the case, but come 2024 there’s going to be another step in getting approval to visit 30 European countries.
Even if you’re a regular traveler abroad, starting in 2024 you must apply for authorization through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). You can do so online at the ETIAS website where you’ll also pay a $7.79 administration fee. According to the site, approval will be done instantly in most cases, so it is a simple pain-free process except for those who may have some travel restrictions.
Once approved, it will be valid for three years. Tourists can visit a European Union (EU) nation for a period not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period.
Who Should Apply?
For those traveling to popular poker tournaments in 2024 such as the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) or most EPT destinations, it would be wise to apply for ETIAS authorization well in advance.
Citizens of the United States aren’t the only current visa-exempt travelers who will be required to apply prior to traveling to the 30 ETIAS European nations. Those in 57 other countries will have to do the same. Canada, Brazil, South Korea, New Zealand, and Mexico are among those countries.
Travel only to nations within the EU will be impacted. As such, this does not apply to United Kingdom travel. The full list of ETIAS travel authorization requirement are as follows:
Nationals of the United Kingdom will also be required to obtain ETIAS authorization when traveling to the EU nations. Those who are nationals of the EU nations will not have to apply for authorization when traveling country to country, however.
When applying for ETIAS authorization you must provide passport information, occupation, dates of planned travel, personal information, and disclose your criminal background, if one exists.