Countries That Allow Online Gambling: A Comprehensive International Guide

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When I was looking into gambling while abroad, I ran into some trouble finding legal sites to gamble on. My usual sites were blocked in the country I was in, so I decided to do some research. There are many countries where gambling is legal, but in some, it is not. Some of these countries also have restrictions, limiting online gambling to specific games or sports. I will tell you the major countries where online gambling is legal, breaking it down by continent or sub-continent. This way, you know in advance to avoid breaking laws and not get in trouble!

  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Asia

Europe

Europe, as a whole, is pretty gambling-friendly. There are regulated markets across Europe, with the biggest online gambling markets being in the UK, Germany, and Spain. The UK has one of the largest markets and pool of gamblers. It is not seen as taboo for children to help their parents bet in things such as horse races. There are many legal, regulated websites based in these countries for both online sports betting and other types of internet gambling. Some other countries with legal online gambling include Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, and Sweden. However, some countries in Europe have legal in-person gambling but illegal online gambling, such as France and Iceland. Moreover, there are countries with laws that ban online gambling. But most people from those countries still use websites to gamble without repercussions. Although, Turkey is the one country that you should never gamble in. Its inhabitants are predominantly Muslim, and like in most Muslim countries, gambling is strictly illegal and punishable with major fines, jail, or even corporal punishment.

The Americas

The legality of online gambling in North America varies from country to country, and even within the countries themselves. For example, online gambling laws in the United States vary from state to state. Online gambling is not deemed either legal or illegal by the federal government. Instead, the states themselves determine its legality, both online and offline. In most regulated states, online gambling is legal, but the majority of them have not yet legalized online gambling sites. In these states, the only options available are vaguely illegal offshore websites that accept US players. Payments through PayPal or other methods are the only ways to fund and withdraw and are not as direct as on the regulated sites. These offshore sites are also not as safe to use because the government does not monitor them, and many do not even accept US players.

Canada and Mexico also have legalized and regulated both online and offline gambling. Online gambling in Canada is also monitored differently from province to province, so make sure to check local laws before gambling in Canada. This can help avoid major fines or jail time. Most South American countries are fine with online gambling, although you generally have to use offshore websites. Although, two countries to be careful in are Ecuador and Cuba. Both have made online gambling expressly illegal, with heavy penalties for participating in all forms of it.

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has rather vague restrictions on online gambling. Although the authorities recognize the activity as illegal, people are able to access online casinos due to the lack of enforcement of the laws regulating online gambling. Moreover, government officials are currently in the process of legalizing the activity, so the overall situation may be different in a matter of several years.

Africa

Gambling has been becoming increasingly popular in African countries as well. Between the 54 countries that make up Africa, more than 30 of them have legalized all forms of gambling. Major countries with legal online gambling are Egypt, Kenya, Botswana, Cameron, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and the South African Republic. While it is legal in some other countries as well, it is these countries that make up the largest portion of gamblers in Africa. It is important to note that if you do try to gamble on unregulated sites in Africa, especially in countries where it is illegal, your winnings may be confiscated by the African National Gambling Board. This means you ought to be especially careful where you play, as you don’t want to lose money by having your winnings taken!

The Middle East

Most countries in the Middle East are Muslim countries. Since gambling is forbidden by the Quran, it is essentially illegal in all Middle Eastern countries. There are a few exceptions, however. Lebanon has one government-sanctioned land casino. Dubai also has large casino resorts, even though it is located in a country where gambling is illegal. Moreover, Israel has land-based casinos too. However, online casinos are strictly forbidden everywhere, despite Israel being the location of many online casinos that accept players from other countries (but not from Israel itself). It is best not to gamble online in these countries because heavy penalties will follow.

Australia and New Zealand

The gambling industry in Australia used to be very open and free. However, new laws enacted in 2017 now prevent Australians from accessing regulated online casinos, which sums up the subject of online gambling in Australia. Online casino operators that once accepted Australian players no longer do so. So now, the only way for Australians to gamble online is to play on sites that use bitcoin. However, gambling on sports and other events is still legal within Australia, so these options exist.

When it comes to New Zealand, there are no laws regarding online gambling. While there are no websites hosted in New Zealand, the ability to play on regulated offshore casinos exists. This offers Kiwis to gamble online without fear of government repercussion, but it does restrict the ways they can pay and withdraw funds.

Asia

Asia is a varied country as well when it comes to gambling laws. Some countries used to allow online and live gambling, such as Singapore, but have outlawed it in recent years. Others, such as Japan, used to be very much against gambling, but have since begun to set up land-based casinos and allow sports betting online. Many other countries have outlawed gambling, but some places like Taiwan have legalized certain kinds of betting, such as sports betting, which is also legal to do online. Malaysia and South Korea have one legal casino each, but the latter allows sports betting online similar to other countries. However, there is one big location for both land and online gambling in Asia — Macau. This country has many casinos and online casinos for both locals and visitors to take advantage of. This is easily the biggest market in Asia, and one of the largest in the world! One final note is India. While gambling as a whole is generally banned in that country, games of chance have been popular for hundreds of years, so floating and online casinos are legal in certain areas of India.

These are the locations around the world where gambling is legal. It is important to always check laws before you gamble because they are constantly changing. Being able to avoid jail, fines, or other punishments is important if you wish to gamble online and keep your winnings!

Summary

EuropeDepends on the country.
The Americas Depends on the country in the United States; legal in Canada and Mexico; officially illegal in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
AfricaMostly legal.
The Middle East Mostly illegal.
Australia and NewZealand Officially illegal in Australia; not regulated in New
Zealand.
AsiaDepends on the country.

People Also Ask


In What Countries Is Online Gambling Legal?


Laws that regulate online gambling differ from one country to the next. Whereas it is officially illegal in certain regions, such as Trinidad and Tobago and Australia, people who engage in the activity are not prosecuted. It has been fully legalized in Canada and Mexico, and partially legalized in Europe, the United States, Africa, and Asia.


Are Offshore Gambling Sites Legal?


The view of offshore gambling sites depends on the country. Generally, they have not been legalized but exist as an option in regions where the activity is vaguely regulated. Examples are the United States and New Zealand. Moreover, offshore gambling sites are often popular in countries that do not allow online gambling, such as Australia.


Can You Gamble Online?


That depends on your country of residence. The safest regions for online gambling are those that have legalized the activity. However, online gambling is also possible in regions that have not officially prohibited it. I highly advise you to attentively read the terms and conditions section of a gambling website prior to engaging in real-money gambling on it.


Is It Legal to Gamble Online in Malaysia?


Malaysia has only one legal casino, which answers this question. It greatly resembles South Korea in terms of the laws regulating the activity. However, online gambling in Asia is widely popular in its gambling center — Macau.

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