In some countries online gambling is legal while in other countries around the world it is not yet or still in a state of development. There are others still that have legalized only certain types of online betting such as online poker or online sportsbetting. So before you start playing, and especially if you are a new player, you should refer to this simple guide which summarizes everything you need to know about the legality of playing online from your country.
It is wise to be in the know because while many countries have become more welcoming of the online casino industry over the years, there are some remaining countries that still impose internet gaming restrictions on their citizens. Plus, it is an ever changing system in some parts of the world and can be a highly complex issue. Nevertheless this handy guide is kept up to date so you can be confident that you are always informed.
Below is a quick point of reference to determine the legal status of online gambling in your country whether that be regulated, partly legalized, banned or still undetermined.
Online gambling is legalized in this island territory. The island nation of Antigua
Online gambling is legal in Argentina, where separate licenses must be sought by casino and gaming operators for each province, with country-wide licenses provided to some.
Online gambling is legal in Austria, but there are restrictions. Austria issues licenses to companies within the country to run online gambling sites, but these sites can only accept Austrian players. This is how the Austrian government regulates online gambling. Austrian players are however allowed to play at international sites if they like.
Online gambling has been legal in Belgium since 2002. The government proscribed foreign online casinos from operating in Belgium but the EU has since put pressure on Belgium to open up to the international online gaming market.
Online gambling is legal in Bulgaria. In 2008, the Bulgarian government made the decision to regulate, legalize and tax online gambling. However, in 2014, the Bulgarian Parliament loosened those laws by passing the Gambling Act. Now, licensed companies will only pay a one-time fee and tax on gambling profits. The notorious blacklist has been removed.
Online gambling in Chile is completely legal. In fact, it is very popular among the 17 million citizens of the Latin American country. Chile does not grant licenses to online casinos and gambling sites within Chile, but allows for online gambling at sites based abroad.
All forms of gambling activity are legal in Croatia. However the majority of Croatian Internet gambling occurs at overseas sites. The Croatian online gambling market is developing slowly. The official methods for licensing are difficult to obtain and all gambling in Croatia is monitored by the state organization Hrvatska Lutrija.
Online gambling is currently legal in Cyprus. The government issues licenses to foreign companies to run betting exchanges, bingo rooms, online lotteries, casinos, poker rooms and even sportsbooks. Many global casino powerhouses are licensed and hosted in Cyprus. However there are moves afoot to ban online gambling altogether, with a draft bill already approved, owing to public outcries on the issue.
Online gambling is legal in Denmark under the supervision of the Danish Gambling Authority. Beginning on January 1, 2012, companies that hold a license from the Gambling Authority may provide online gambling services in Denamrk.
Dominica offers licenses to online casinos and sportsbooks. There is no tax on profits or income of non-permanent residents. The company must maintain a physical presence in Dominica.
Estonia has legalized online gambling. This was done in an effort to raise revenue via taxation on online gambling activities. The state-operated sportsbook, Spordiennustus, provided the first online gambling facilities in Estonia in 2004. E-Lotto provides bingo, state lottery and other games on the net.
Online gambling is legal in Finland. According to the 2002 Act on Gaming, only one license can be operational at any time. The state-run online gaming operator is the only legal gaming operator. ATG and Svenska Spel Ab are Finnish online gaming providers.
Online gambling is legal in Gibraltar. This jurisdiction has been issuing online casino licenses for several years.
Online gambling is legal in Ireland. Irish online gambling winnings are tax free.
Online gambling is legal in Italy. According to the Decree on Liberation, article 38, passed on the 1st January 2007, online gambling in Italy is legal pending a license issued by Italian authorities. This came into effect in September 2008.
Online gambling is legal in Jamaica. Jamaica operates the Poker World online casino. All forms of online gambling are regulated by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission.
Online gambling in Latvia is legal since 2003, under a revised law that sets regulations and enforcement of the rules. The online gambling law includes a requirement to hold a General Gambling license and pay a 10% gambling tax on all revenues. In addition, Latvia has turned out to be an attractive destination for online gambling companies to base their headquarters or other regional offices in. leading online casino software provider Playtech has based its Live Dealer games for the European market headquarters in Riga.
Online gambling in Malta is legalized. Malta functions as the central hub for major online casino licensing operations.
Mauritius has been offering licenses to online gaming operators based in the country since 1996.
Online gambling in Mexico is legal. The government of Mexico began issuing gambling licenses as early as 2002. However Mexican nationals are not allowed to gamble at domestic sites, they must use foreign online casinos.
Panama began to regulate electronic games of chance and wagering activities in 2002. Internet gaming providers can essentially operate tax-free when accepting foreign wagers.
Online gambling has been deemed legal in the Philippines. There is currently no legal precedent to warrant the de-legitimization of online gaming, however bills have been proposed to this effect.
Online gambling is of legal status. The government has been loath to issue online gambling licenses and as such the industry is largely unregulated. However, players are free to gamble online.
Online gambling is now in a legalized status in Romania. Online casino operators are required to receive a license in order to operate in the country.
Seychelles offers licenses to online gaming providers under the Interactive Gaming Act of 2003. Companies need not be based in the Seychelles but must have a company representative living on the island.
Online gambling is legal in Singapore but it is strictly regulated. According to Singaporean gambling laws, only the government is allowed to offer lottery services, act as a sportsbook, to offer horseracing odds and slot machines. This is done via the 2 regulated resort-casinos in the city-state.
Online gambling is legal in Slovakia. The introduction of foreign online casinos has been so successful that the state-owned lottery company Tipos has applied for emergency bailout funds from the state.
Online gambling is legal in Spain. The majority of online casinos and land-based casinos are run by national companies.
In December 1999 the Gaming Control Act was amended, legalizing online gambling in Tasmania and providing a licensing system for fixed-odds wagering, sports betting, simulated games and lotteries.
Online gambling is legal in the United Kingdom. The UK is a booming online gaming market.
Online gambling is partly legalized in Australia. While Internet gambling is restricted, the Australian government licenses companies to run online casinos. Australians are allowed to gamble online, provided the casinos are hosted in other countries.
Online gaming licenses may be issued to companies operating from Belize, in line with the Gaming Control Regulations of 2004. Sites licensed in Belize, however, are not permitted to accept wagers from Belize residents.
Online gambling is party legal in Brazil. As it stands, there are no gambling sites in Brazil, owing to the fact that the government does not license local/foreign companies. Brazilian players can still play at foreign online casinos. However, lottery gaming is legal in Brazil.
All forms of gambling in Costa Rica are partly legalized. This includes all online gambling activity, with restrictions however. The local government awards licenses to companies that offer online gambling services to non-local Internet casinos. Since no specific license is required, all gambling entities operate under a "Data Processing License" obtained at the Municipality. The issues in Costa Rica have been those of standards, as most Costa Rican Internet gambling companies are self-regulated.
Online gambling is partly legal in the Czech Republic. The sportsbook gaming industry lobbied for the legalization of Internet gambling. The Fortuna Group is leading the charge and the five largest Czech sportsbooks are already operating online.
The Dominican Republic licenses online sportsbooks. No new license, however, has been granted to a sportsbook operating primarily from outside the Dominican Republic since 1996.
Greece passed its gaming law in August 2011. Although a public tender for online gaming licenses was supposed to follow, that has not yet happened. Instead, Greece issued temporary permits to 24 operators on the condition that they ante up two years of back taxes. All operators who lack licenses must leave or else be blacklisted, which will have them blocked and persecuted.
Online casino gambling is not currently legal in Hong Kong. However players from Hong Kong are able to access sites hosted by other jurisdictions. The Hong Kong Jockey Club offers betting on horseracing, lotteries and football.
Online gambling is partly legalized in Liechtenstein. The International Lottery Liechtenstein Foundation is allowed to function and it runs myriad lottery sites. Each of them donates a percentage of takings to charity. PlusLotto has been in operation since 1995.
Online gambling in New Zealand is partly legal. TAB (Totalizator Agency Board) provides sports betting games. TAB and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission are the only official bodies permitted to provide online gambling. However foreign operators do ply their trade in NZ.
Online gambling is partly legal. Norsk Tipping is a state-run company controlling lotteries and sports betting in the country. The Norwegians are considering filtering IP addresses against gambling companies that are undesirable in the country.
Online gambling is partly legal in Portugal. All sports and lottery gaming are conducted under the Games Department of Santa Casa da MisericÃ³rdia de Lisboa (SCML). Other online gambling precedents are conducted in concert with EU regulations. In 2015 Portugal approves online gambling regulation to tax the different sectors.
Swaziland-based sites are banned from accepting wagers from South African residents. Piggs Peak Casino, however, is authorized to offer online Rand gambling to Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.
Online gambling is partly legal in Sweden. Svenska Spel, the state-run operator, is responsible for all online casinos, online sports betting, Internet lottery and online bingo in Sweden. Strict regulations are enforced in Sweden. Regulations are not expected to change before 2014.
Online gambling is of undetermined status in Canada. The government of Canada does not issue licenses to online casinos; however Canadians are not prevented from playing at online gambling sites hosted outside of Canada. Quebec's government has independently legalized online gambling.
Gambling was regulated in 2001, but the laws do not make reference to online gambling. Gambling must take place in places licensed by the government, and there is a state lottery and a few sports betting sites. Lithuanian players can play at online casinos without the government taking an active role in blocking them.
There are no specific laws legalizing online casinos. The government does not prevent players from playing on foreign sites. Legislation for legalized online gambling might be in place in the near future.
As of May 24, 2010, both the PMU and FdJ lost their monopoly on online gaming activity. By August 2010, the French acceded to EU rules and now online gambling sites officially accept French gamers. As much as we would like to report on legal gambling in France, the status is still murky.
The status of gambling legality in Germany is undetermined. German websites are unable to offer games of chance or skill for real money, but they are able to enjoy online gambling at sites hosted in foreign countries. On February 15, 2011 the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig issued a de facto ban on advertising by private lotto, state controlled and casino operators.
Online gambling in India is of undetermined status. There are no provisions in Indian law proscribing online gambling activity. Goa is a popular gambling jurisdiction in India.
Online gambling legality in Macau is of undetermined status. There are no regulations in effect proscribing or catering to online gaming. Traditional gambling has been legal in Macau since the 1850s when the Portuguese government legalized it in the colony.
Online gambling is of an undetermined legal status in the Netherlands. Gambling is strictly controlled and monopolized by the state-run Holland Casino. The Netherlands is on course to grant casino licenses in 2015.
Online Gambling in Slovenia is not clearly addressed in the law, and is neither legal nor illegal. While the government ordered ISPs to block foreign gambling sites, the order was not enforced and gambling on foreign sites continues until today. This leaves Slovenians an option to bet and gambling at foreign based online gambling sites, a few of which offer their services in the Slovenian language, though most are in English.
Online gambling is of undetermined legal status in South Africa. The National Gambling Amendment Act endorsed a provision to license the South African Internet casino industry, as early as 2008. However the government is now trying to backtrack on this.
Online gambling in Switzerland is not allowed, but it is not enforced by legislation and so it takes place freely in the country. While there are no Swiss online gambling companies, Swiss gambling fans can play at foreign sites. There are many gambling sites in German, French and Italian, basically catering to Swiss players and providing for them in all ways. None of these sites are blocked.
Online gambling is of undetermined status in Taiwan. The new casino bills package recently passed in 2011, by a vote of 71-26. This will see Taiwan becoming a safe haven for mega-casinos - along the lines of those in Singapore.
Currently, all forms of gambling save the state lottery are illegal in Vietnam, but the country is considering regulating an online gambling industry.
Online gambling is banned in China. The only legal gaming activities are the Welfare Lottery and the Sports Lottery. However, Macau and Hong Kong are considered Special Administrative Regions and they have an abundance of online gambling activity. The Chinese government works hard to filter out all foreign gaming sites from accessing the Chinese market, but many players enjoy playing at foreign-based gaming sites
Online gambling is illegal in Indonesia. However, there are some online casinos that accept Indonesian Players.
Most forms of online gambling are illegal in Luxembourg, even though the laws do not specifically refer to internet gambling. The Loterie Nationale has an internet site where players can purchase tickets online. Luxembourg does not have online casinos, but many international casinos will accept players from this country.
Online gambling is currently banned in Hungary. The country proscribes its banks from processing payments to
Online gambling is banned in Israel. However there are official state-run lotteries and sports betting systems.
Online gambling is banned in Japan. The Japanese government does not grant operating licenses to Internet gambling websites. Japanese players are limited from using foreign online gaming sites.
Online gambling is banned in South Korea. However there are foreign-based online casinos providing gambling services to South Koreans.
Online gambling is banned. Malaysia is governed by strict religious laws which proscribe online gambling and casino gambling. However there are limited forms of sports betting.
Online gambling is banned in Russia but in the summer of 2015 the government is set to consider regulation and licensing. Currently, there are 4 regions in Russia where traditional gambling is now legal.
Online gambling is banned in Saudi Arabia as it is governed by Islamic law. Foreign-based online casinos do operate, but of their own accord.
Online gambling is banned in Thailand. Limited opportunities exist for sports betting and the lottery.
Online gambling is banned in Turkey. However the government operated sports book is legal. Further restrictions on Internet gaming are in place with a 4-tier filtering system imposed on citizens by the government.
Online gambling is banned in the Ukraine. Online casinos operated from outside of the Ukraine were not considered illegal, but the government enforced regulations to close that loophole.
Online casino gambling is illegal in the USA. The UIGEA prohibits US banks and financial institutions from transferring funds to online gambling operators. State lotteries are legal and sportsbooks in designated jurisdictions are legal too.