Online Gaming Laws Around the World
As each country around the world has its own laws, it’s only normal that the online gaming laws will also differ from country to country. Regardless of whether you plan on moving to another state or simply having some fun while traveling, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the local laws concerning this practice. Here is what you can expect.
When it comes to Europe, there is a wide variety of approaches to online gambling. Some countries have laws in place that regulate this activity, others banned it altogether, while there are also those that do not regulate it at all. As there are around 50 countries in Europe and some nations are further divided into regions, there are a lot of laws to cover.
However, it’s important to note that most countries don’t concern themselves with individuals’ actions when it comes to gambling. They mostly care about online casino operators and bookmakers.
For example, the United Kingdom is considered to be one of the most successful gambling industries in Europe. Here, private operators can offer all sorts of gambling to UK citizens if they obtain the necessary licenses. The situation is the same in Serbia and Portugal. Then, countries like Finland have a state-owned monopoly that controls all casino games.
On the other hand, Poland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland prohibit online gambling all together.
In terms of North America, the laws are also various and can oftentimes be quite confusing.
For instance, every state in the US is free to draft and pass its own laws when it comes to
online gambling. With that in mind, the practice is currently legal in New Jersey, California, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Delaware, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Moreover, the topic of whether gambling sites that operate outside the region are legal is also much debated. And, in the end, states that strictly forbid any kind of gambling online are Utah and Hawaii.
The situation is similar in Canada. Each province regulates online gambling within its borders. For example, British Columbia and Manitoba offer games to citizens through government-owned websites. On the other hand, most provinces allow residents to play on offshore sites. The Mexican government also permits joining overseas sportsbooks and gambling operators.
The world’s second-largest continent is home to 54 countries, each operating under its own set of laws. As all of the countries have developed unique qualities over time, countries like South Africa and Libya, for example, couldn’t be more different despite being on the same continent.
For starters, there are countries like Sudan where Islamic law prohibits all types of gambling. What is more, those that get caught are punished by public lashing. Online casino providers are also banned in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, and South Africa.
However, according to CasinoMobile, it is possible to play mobile casino games in South Africa, for instance, as the players are not prosecuted by law if they indulge in these practices. Moreover, online sportsbooks that have a license in one of the provinces of South Africa are allowed to operate.
Then, in Nigeria, local online casinos are banned while residents are free to use foreign sites. On the other hand, most African countries such as Kenya and Egypt don’t have specific laws regarding online gambling.
In Australia, there are no laws that address one’s ability to place bets online. Therefore, residents simply need to worry about finding a safe casino to join. That being said, operators are faced with a long list of requirements they must meet if they want to offer their services in the country.
New Zealand passed an act in 2003 that made all laws regarding online gambling explicit and easy to understand. It states that the use of offshore gambling sites is legal, but they are banned from advertising in the country.
Given the size of the continent, it should not come as a surprise that gambling laws throughout Asia are various. For example, in mainland China, online wagering is illegal and punishable by fines and imprisonment both for patrons and operators. Furthermore, even special administrative regions like Macau and Hong Kong don’t have systems in place that would allow online gambling. On the other hand, countries like South Korea and Malaysia don’t allow online gambling but don’t stop residents from playing on foreign websites.
India’s online gambling laws are open to interpretation. As there are no laws that criminalize the practice, residents are free to bet online, which has made India a fast-growing market for online gambling.
Lastly, the iGaming sector of South America is a bit of a grey area. In most countries, online gambling laws are rather unclear, which allows players to make the most of their opportunities. For example, while online gambling in Chile is illegal, players still wager an estimated $12 million a year on offshore sites.
Colombia is the only country where online gambling is legally permitted, and players are also allowed to play on foreign platforms. In Argentina, each province is in charge of the online gambling laws, while the practice has been legal in Buenos Aires since 2019. Moreover, Brazilians are prohibited from gambling on the internet.
Seeing as how online gambling laws are wildly different across the globe, it’s always best to familiarize yourself with them before you start placing bets.