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Every country has gamblers but only some legalized it. Find out which countries legalized online gambling and how they regulate this industry.

Online Gambling Laws in Different Countries

iGaming is quite popular around the world, but it is also subject to different regulations in different regions. For example, a website like can operate legally only in certain countries. In this article, we will explore the online gambling regulations in various countries and regions, providing an in-depth understanding of the legal landscape of this industry.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is probably the best example of regulated online gambling. It is not only safe and convenient but also entirely legal. Online casinos wishing to offer services to UK residents must get a license from the Gambling Commission and adhere to the standards set out by the same agency. Established in 2005, this organization oversees the entire casino industry in the country. It also requires a lot of safe casino practices, such as bonuses with no or very low wagering and mandatory self-exclusion tools in casino sites. In general, Gambling Commission-licensed casinos are considered to be among the best in the industry in terms of security and reliability. The reasons for this include the fact that it is quite difficult to obtain this license. Indeed, to obtain a Gambling Commission license you need:

  • An excellent background, with no criminal or administrative sanctions – even an unpaid parking ticket can prevent you from obtaining a licence.
  • An insurance account is to be opened in a UK-based bank. Casinos must deposit a certain amount of compensation in advance to a bank account against any losses that players may incur.

However, Gambling Commission-licensed casinos generally have very poor bonuses. the low wagering requirement and many other restrictions have caused most casinos to almost completely give up offering bonuses.

European Countries

While some other European countries followed the UK’s model, most of them implemented their regulations. The European Union has no specific legislation or regulation for gambling. The only condition is that each EU country must comply with the provisions set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In other words, regulations on this matter can be made freely by any country as long as they comply with the TFEU.

Some countries, such as France, only legalised certain forms of gambling, poker or sports betting, for example. Italy, on the other hand, legalized online casinos a long time ago. Malta, Denmark and Romania are among the countries that also fully legalized gambling and established their licensing bodies. 

United States

The United States has complex regulations for casino activities. In general, it is prohibited on the federal level, so there can be no “gambling license” for operators that covers the entire country. However, each state can regulate gambling within its borders, so they can legalize it, for example. Such legalization will only be valid for that state, and the license for it won’t cover any other regions. New Jersey, for example, has fully legalized online gambling, it has online casinos, too. In Nevada, online casinos are not legal, surprisingly – only land-based casinos are allowed. Lately, many states have legalized sports betting, but online casinos are still a “taboo” for most of the United States.


The situation in Canada is somewhat similar to that in the United States. The federal legislation forbids gambling, but each province has the authority to regulate it within its borders. And when it comes to using offshore casinos, we can say that Canada is much more “liberal” than the United States.

As of 2023, almost every province in Canada legalized gambling, but this is usually limited to sports betting. Some larger provinces, such as Ottawa have legalized online casinos too but this only covers owners of land-based casinos. In other words, to get a license for an online casino, you must already have a license for a land-based casino. Lastly, there are some autonomous regions in this country, such as Kahnawake, which have their own laws and regulations. The Kahnawake region is controlled by tribes, and they legalized all forms of gambling. In fact, they have their own licensing authority (Kahnawake Gaming Commission) that issues licenses on a global basis.  

Asian Countries

Countries like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have very strict regulations on iGaming: even sports betting is considered illegal. However, as you move south, it is possible to see that the laws become a little more flexible. For example, Macau – Hong Kong is already known as the “Las Vegas of Asia” and is home to some of the largest casinos in the world. Although it is located at the bottom of the borders of the People’s Republic of China, which strictly prohibits gambling, it can do this because it is considered a SAR (special administrative region). In some countries, gambling is completely a “grey area” because there are no regulations on the subject. For example, it is not possible to say whether iGaming is legal or illegal in East Timor, Bhutan, and Mongolia, because there is no regulation.

Australia & New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand have only legalized sports betting. Online operators are allowed, but they are subject to fairly strict restrictions. For example, online betting sites cannot offer live betting, they are only allowed to accept live bets over the phone. Horse racing betting is also legal, and each region has its own specific licensing authority. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain a single license that covers the entire country; a different license must be obtained for each region. Online casinos are completely banned, and the governments of both countries are actively fighting offshore sites.

South American Countries

It is possible to see quite different legal regulations here. For example, Brazil and Chile legalized online gambling, but they only issue a license if the website is operated within the country’s borders. Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela have fully legalized gambling, and Venezuelan casinos even officially accept cryptocurrencies.

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