Gambling Laws by Country

Gambling Laws by Country

Gambling is a thriving branch of industry. However, whether it is legal or not depends on each individual government. We have made sure to provide you with the necessary information regarding the gambling industry in different countries on this website.

Gambling Regulations in Different Countries

Both land-based gambling and internet gambling have been gaining popularity ever since they first appeared. The expansion of the Internet has paved the way for a variety of online casinos. Nowadays, the industry is developing quickly due to the presence of both online gambling sites and land-based casinos. But even though the Information Age has created a whole new target audience for this activity, the old-school players have not abandoned its traditional form. Therefore, the gambling market is now more widespread than ever.

Nevertheless, the fact that casino games and other forms of gambling are so easily accessible does not mean you are free to gamble without restrictions. Depending on your country of residence, you may be allowed or prohibited to engage in this form of entertainment. Even the law in the countries that have legalized gambling differs in some aspects. Some gambling legislations imply taxing the gambling winnings directly from those who have obtained them, whereas others require casino operators to pay the taxes.

However, in order to be certain the form of gambling you are eager to engage in is legal, you must study the law of the respective country carefully. Luckily for you, we have done the research in your stead so that you can concentrate on the very act of gambling instead of dealing with legal technicalities.

Gambling Worldwide

Some countries allow the traditional form of gambling, which comprises bricks-and-mortar casinos, live horse racing, and sports betting, while others do not. However, the status of virtual gambling is not so clear due to the fact that the field is constantly changing and developing. There are jurisdictions that have precisely stated the rules and restrictions in terms of online gambling.

Nevertheless, there are those that do not address the matter thoroughly or don’t deal with it at all. Therefore, the Internet is fertile ground for all kinds of gambling scams. Even though the legal repercussions of illegal virtual gambling usually reflect on the operators and not gamblers, you must be careful when it comes to choosing a gambling website. After all, you have to be certain who you trust with your funds.

Gambling in Europe

Europe Gambling

In general, Europe approves of gambling, as the activity is legal and regulated in the majority of European countries. Even though you are unable to find a gambling paradise such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City anywhere on the territory of the European continent, the gambling market is well established and organized. The most prominent examples of the European gambling market are the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.

The large part of the continent recognizes all forms of gambling as legal. That comprises both live gambling, lotteries, bingo, and sports betting included, as well as their virtual counterparts. However, there are certain exceptions. For instance, France and Iceland prohibit online gambling, but their authorities approve of the traditional form of the activity. Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine allegedly prohibit virtual gambling, but the government pays no attention to the players accessing websites hosted offshore.

The United Kingdom is among the best-organized regions when it comes to gambling. The British law regarding the subject is rather clear and easily comprehensible. In addition to that, the UK Gambling Commission is one of the most reputable and reliable jurisdictions in the world.

Generally, online gambling in Europe implies a vast number of high-quality software providers, which is an essential aspect of virtual casinos.

Gambling in North America

When it comes to gambling in North America, the first thing that comes to mind is the luxury and extravagance provided in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. However, things are not that simple. First of all, North America does not consist only of the United States, and second of all, there are major diversities from country to country.

Generally speaking, Mexico and Canada have legalized all forms of gambling, and both countries regulate the industry well. Nevertheless, the Canadian gambling law differs depending on the province, so the Canadian gambling enthusiasts need to pay close attention to the local regulations.

The situation in the United States complicates the matter further. Licensing does not imply provisions, which has resulted in the prohibition of operation of a great number of quality online casinos in the USA. However, certain states, such as Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have recently taken an interest in the matter. These states have been looking into the possibility of legalizing online gambling.

Gambling in South America

Casino in America

As opposed to North America, South America has a rather straightforward view of gambling. The majority of countries consider this branch of industry legal, in both its forms — traditional and virtual. The exceptions are Chile and Brazil. The authorities of the two countries formally prohibit gambling. However, they seldom punish engaging in virtual gambling on the websites hosted offshore.

Ecuador used to approve of gambling until recently. With the arrival of president Rafael Correa, all fields of the industry became illegal. However, not even the government of Ecuador will prosecute people who seek entertainment at foreign online casinos.

Cuba is probably the only country from the region that has strictly banned gambling. Due to the significant political differences between this country and the other ones, gambling is illegal in Cuba.

Gambling in Asia

If you think American gambling law is complicated, you have not studied the Asian law regarding the matter. The rules and restrictions in terms of gambling in Asia differ significantly from one country to another.

For example, gambling never used to be an issue in Singapore until 2014 when the authorities prohibited the activity. Japanese gambling law, on the other hand, changed in reverse. It used to be so strict that the gambling enthusiasts from the country had to search for loopholes and come up with elaborate plans in order to be able to engage in gambling. Nevertheless, the situation has recently changed, so the Japanese government nowadays allows land-based casinos in certain parts of the country.

On the other hand, the Taiwanese authorities have banned all forms of gambling, with the exception of sports betting, both live and virtual. Thailand essentially does not allow gambling, but the country is not likely to prosecute people who gamble on foreign websites. Malaysia has legalized land-based gambling, but there is a catch — there are very few licensed operators. Vietnamese law prevents the residents of the country from gambling but considers the activity legal when it comes to tourists.

Alternately, Chinese gambling law is more strict in comparison to Taiwanese law. China prohibits all forms of gambling except for live sports betting. Nevertheless, local gamblers have an interesting option for expanding their views. The Macau Special Administrative Region is considered the Chinese Las Vegas. India, on the other hand, is rather open towards games of chance since they have been incorporated into the local culture for decades. In fact, the Indian government has been looking into the possibility of legalizing online gambling.

Gambling in the Middle East

Countries of the Middle East are rather strict when it comes to gambling. In fact, their view of this activity is closely related to their religious views. According to the Quran, gambling is forbidden, which is why these countries prohibit the activity. In their opinion, games of chance are undesirable, which is why their residents are not allowed to access virtual casinos.

Nevertheless, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Some cities, such as Dubai, have a number of land-based casinos in their territory. In addition to that, Israel and Egypt have a less strict policy regarding gambling. Not only do they have brick-and-mortar casinos within their borders, but they also don’t downright prohibit online gambling. That particular form of gambling does not have a clear status, which is why local gamblers usually don’t encounter problems when engaging in it.

Gambling in Africa

The African continent is an expanding gambling market. This branch of industry is surprisingly popular among African residents. Not only do they enjoy playing their favorite games online, but they also regularly gamble in virtual reality.

Over half of all African countries have legalized gambling. South Africa is the leading gambling center in the region. Over forty land-based casinos are located there. Other than South Africa, a vast number of countries, such as Botswana, Cameron, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have come to be some sort of gambling resorts. The fact is, the African gambling market attracts the biggest number of gambling enthusiast, in spite of its relatively short existence.


When it comes to those countries that have not approved this activity yet, the citizens are free to access gambling websites, but they must be cautious. Even though those authorities do not prosecute people for illegal gambling, you can end up with all your winnings confiscated by Africa’s National Gambling Board if you happen to acquire them from a casino that doesn’t have a license.

Gambling in Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

Australia has been a famous gambling market for years. The most popular forms of gambling used to be sports betting, online poker, and slot machines, commonly referred to as pokies by the locals. Used to be, because the Interactive Gambling Bill of 2017 prohibits the majority of gambling websites within the Australian territory. The ones to face the consequences in case of breaking this law are the casino operators, which is why the Australian gambling enthusiasts have had a hard time finding an online casino recently.

When it comes to New Zealand, gambling law is not that strict. The government prohibits hosting online casino but doesn’t prevent Kiwi gambling enthusiasts from accessing gambling websites hosted elsewhere. However, local gamblers still have to carefully choose an online casino, because gambling at a casino without a license deprives them of the protection the local authorities would normally provide for them.


As you can see, gambling laws differ from one region to another, sometimes drastically. That is why you need to take all the circumstances into consideration before you engage in any form of gambling. In case your country of residence has legalized the activity, you must study the law to see if there are any restrictions. If your local authorities don’t prohibit nor allow engaging in this activity, but instead turn the blind eye in case you access an online casino, you must be careful in order to prevent yourself from facing financial consequences. However, if your local government recognizes gambling as an illegal activity, you must obey the law if you don’t want to face legal consequences. Fortunately, we have provided all the relevant information regarding gambling laws by country, so you can know what your rights and responsibilities in terms of gambling are.