Gambling laws certainly aren’t universal. In fact, it is completely safe to say that every country in this world can be categorized in no more than 3 different groups. There are the countries where all the casinos (whether online or land-based) are completely legal and regulated. Then there are the countries in which the online casinos are not legal, and yet no one can say that they care if any citizens play in foreign casinos. Lastly, there are countries where casinos are not legal in any way, and any player who dares place a chip on any table (virtual or physical) would be arrested!
Of course, it’s not all black and white, and there are indeed some variations. For instance, the land-based casinos may be legal, while the online ones may not be, and vice-versa. So, let’s take a look at the most influential countries per continent and where exactly they all stand when it comes to these categories. Naturally, we simply cannot cover all of the countries out there, so apologies if you don’t find yours in here!
Europe and Its Gambling Laws
Generally, it is fairly easy to play some bets when it comes to Europe, since in practically all of it, any gambling forms are perfectly regulated and legal. The largest markets in this case are Germany, the UK, and Spain.
Like we said, most European countries have no problem with the player placing all the bets they want! Still, there are a few exceptions. Iceland and France are 2 truly ‘interesting’ examples –both of them have placed a ban on online casinos, but not on land-based ones, or on any other gambling forms! Then there’s the case with Poland, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic, which, on paper, have placed a ban on online gambling. No one would care though, if you were to gamble in foreign casinos.
To put it simply, as far as European countries go, just be wary of Turkey. Like most other Muslim countries, it isn’t really all that fond of gambling.
What About the Americas?
Since N. America doesn’t exactly abound in countries, we’ve decided to place it with its ‘Southern cousin’. The U.S. is a clear exception, but North America generally seems okay with gambling, since both Mexico and Canada have legalized all forms of it. It seems that U.S. can’t figure out whether it loves gambling or hates it with a passion. Of course, Nevada is entirely fine with any forms of gambling (after all, Las Vegas is this state’s largest moneymaker!).
Furthermore, Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, New York, and Illinois have all stated that online gambling is okay, and there are even some American online casinos directly aimed at the U.S. market. Still, plenty of foreign online casinos (around 70%) won’t allow American players. If you happen to be American, you can still play in those that do, even if it is illegal in your state!
As for the Southern sibling, things are rather ‘divided’. Most countries seem okay with gambling, while the rest of them have this ‘it’s fine as long as we don’t know about it’ unwritten rule. Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Argentina, and Panama have perfectly legal and regulated gambling, with tons of online casinos to choose from.
Chile and Brazil don’t seem to be such big fans of it, but even these countries will ‘let it slide’, usually. Even Ecuador wouldn’t prosecute someone for playing in foreign sites. Indeed, Cuba may very well be the only ‘dangerous’ country on these 2 continents when it comes to this topic.
Next up, Africa!
Surprisingly, it seems that Africa has recently been enjoying quite a bit of success when it comes to both offline and online casinos. In fact, from the 54 different African countries, over 30 have regulated and legalized all forms of gambling! Botswana, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, Cameron, Zimbabwe, and South Africa have become large gambling centers! The African gambling industry is predicted to increase even further in the upcoming years!
One more thing, which we cannot stress enough, is that you need to make absolute sure that any casino you choose to play at has already been registered by the NGB. Otherwise, you might be facing a fine, or even some jail-time.
Australia, non-surprisingly, is rather ‘chill’ when it comes to gambling. It’s quite comparable to, say, the UK with how the gambling establishments work here. Both the online and land-based casinos are legal, assuming they are properly licensed and taxed.
Moving on to New Zealand, it doesn’t appear as ‘friendly’ towards gambling as its larger brother. There are 6 casinos currently operating in NZ, all of which are land-based. Online gambling is currently kind of a ‘grey zone’. If you live there, you’re still free to play in foreign casinos…that is, if you can find any!
Asian Gambling Laws
Finally, let’s take a look at the Asian gambling market! The reason for this continent being last is due to Asia being really, really complicated. Meaning, it has drastically different laws going from country to country. Singapore, for instance, used to be ‘just peachy’ with all gambling forms…until the government out-lawed it back in 2014.
On the other end of this spectrum, Japan, even though very strict when it comes to this, has recently softened up when it comes to gambling and has begun allowing for land-based casinos to operate, as well as online betting on sports. A step in the right direction, to be sure! We certainly hope to see this unique country legalize and regulate online gambling entirely by the end of this decade!
Then there are some nations in Asia which, just like Singapore, have fully out-lawed gambling, but much like everything when it comes to Asia’s casino scene, it is rather complicated. Taiwan, for example, has banned just about everything except for the sports betting, which is legal both online, as well as at physical bookmakers.
Thailand has also banned gambling of all kinds, but, as is the case in a lot of other countries, its government doesn’t really care much if the player plays in foreign sites. In Malaysia, the land-based casinos are legal on-paper, but there’s just one in the whole country, and the online situation is a fairly closed-off one, either way. Likewise, in Vietnam the land-based casinos are legal, but only for any foreign visitors. The locals, sadly, are banned from all kinds of gambling, whether online or offline.
In China, all forms of gambling (minus the physical sports betting) are totally illegal, which is precisely why many Chinese players turn towards Macau for all of their gambling needs (either physical and online). That’s because Macau is the Asian country with the laxest laws. Much like Malaysia, there is only one licensed casino located in South Korea (we feel we don’t even need to mention the situation with North Korea), but players can still bet on sports both offline or online.
India is an intriguing case, since any gambling has been out-lawed by a really old law which no one seems able to overturn. The result is the set-up of many illegal, improvised casinos, which can be found in the very homes of the natives!
No matter where you live on this globe, you will encounter all kinds of gambling laws, as well as players who wish to bend these to their own liking. Either way, depending on your location, you can probably give these online casinos
a try, and give your luck a chance at playing the many different online slots