Gambling Laws – Regulatory and Licensing Authorities

Home » Gambling Laws — Regulatory and Licensing Authorities

When it comes to internet gambling, international law is rather complex. Different countries have different laws and regulations affecting their online gambling space. While some nations are widely accepting of the online gambling industry, others are working hard to outlaw all forms of gambling. Furthermore, different jurisdictions within the same country might result in diverse approaches to internet gambling.

While online gaming is completely legal in some states and open to anyone who lives within the state’s borders; authorities in some other states are trying to remove the mere existence of licensed gambling websites. For example, the United States has different gambling laws that vary from state to state. The federal laws may seem pretty complicated to an average person.  

Thus, we are here to make it easier for you to understand this complex, yet very important aspect of gambling online. We begin this section by outlining some of the fundamentals of online gambling law and regulations. Following that, there is also some detail on gambling laws in different parts of the world. We’ve also included links to other websites where you can discover more about the legal framework in different countries. This includes both online and offline gambling. 

We’ve divided this page into different sections to make it easier to find the exact location you’re searching for down below.

  • North America
  • South America
  • United Kingdom
  • Europe
  • Australia/Oceania
  • Africa
  • Asia 

The Basics of Online Gambling Laws

As an online gambler, one of the most vital things for you is to understand how various gambling laws and regulations affect you. In this regard, there are two critical points for you to keep in mind.

  1. It’s very unlikely that you’ll come across online casinos that are illegal. Most legislations don’t have explicit restrictions on such sites.
  2. It’s very unlikely that you’ll come across online casinos that are illegal. Most legislations don’t have explicit restrictions on such sites.

If you are concerned about whether it is legal for you to gamble online, the first point will put your mind at ease for sure. It is very unlikely that you will be breaking the law or facing repercussions just by participating in online gambling or betting.

Most of the online gaming regulation is aimed directly at the businesses running the sites, rather than the users. However, the gambling laws differ depending on where you are located. It’s indeed important to understand whether your local laws have gambling restrictions. 

Secondly, most of the reputed online gambling sites are licensed and regulated under at least one jurisdiction. They have to maintain a certain set of standards set by the licensing authorities in order to operate. Gambling websites will usually announce licensing information on the very first page to prove their credibility. It also helps them attract potential customers by showing that they are legal and regulated.

However, you suggest you keep in mind that different licensing authorities operate in different ways. They all have a different set of criteria, which means some entities are stricter and more vigilant than others.

Let’s check a real-life example here, the state of Nevada has quite strict regulations. They thoroughly investigate any gambling website before issuing a license for it to operate online. Therefore, any online casino registered under the state of Nevada is safer and has more legitimacy.

On the other hand, there are gambling authorities who essentially offer licenses to anyone willing to offer enough money. So, gambling websites licensed under these authorities don’t seem to be secure enough.

We, therefore, compiled a detailed guideline for licensing authorities all over the world keeping all these perspectives. We want to help you understand what it actually means when a website claims to have an operating gambling license. You can utilize this knowledge to find a secure gambling platform.

There are some of the highly credible licensing authorities in the online gambling space.

  • Alderney– Alderney Gaming Control Commission 
  • Panama– Panama Gaming Control Board 
  • Isle of Man– Gambling Supervision Commission 
  • Antigua & Barbuda– Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling License 
  • Curacao– Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority 
  • Malta– Lotteries & Gaming Authority 
  • Kahnawake– Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Online gambling regulations are extremely important. Even though they may seem very complicated and tiresome to read, it is for your best to go through them before you start wagering. Its main objective of these licensing bodies is to protect you. Your safety is the first most priority. You ought to be able to gamble online under fair and secure conditions. The reputable licensing authorizes ensure that you would not be subjected to any unethical activities. 

Gambling Regulations in North America

When it comes to the internet gambling industry, the United States indefinitely the largest hub. As we have already stated previously, the federal government in the US leads to different laws being implement in different states. It can very be confusing for any American gambler. A lack of coherence is present in most of the legislation. There is also some disagreement on whether US laws allow its citizens to gamble on offshore websites, that operate from outside of the country.

Things aren’t any different in Canada either. While the central government has passed legislation for gambling, every provincial authority has the power to control gambling regulations regionally. When it’s about playing in foreign online casinos, there is no specific law that can be confusing for Canadians.

We are including a few links that help clarify the relevant laws in these two nations in depth. If you are interested to know about the gambling laws in other North American countries, we have got you covered as well.  

Gambling Regulations in South America

South America has somewhat of a liberal stance for online gambling. That being said, certain forms of gambling and betting are prohibited in some nations on the continent. For instance, casino titles are considered illegal to be played in Brazil. We have created a guideline to South American gambling laws mentioning these restrictions in greater depth.

Gambling Regulations in the United Kingdom and Europe

Coming to gambling laws in Europe, there are different approaches to the regulation of online gambling that varies from country to country. Some European countries completely outlawed gambling, while others have officially legalized it.

The best example of legalized gambling would be the United Kingdom. All types of online gambling operators are entirely legal and strictly regulated. They established relevant legislative structures to monitor the situation as well. The UK Gambling Commission was formed in 2005, replacing the Gaming Board. All the online casinos operating in the United Kingdom must meet the criteria set by the Gambling Commission.

Few other European countries have pretty similar legal structures to the United Kingdom. For example, France has a rigorous licensing system. They also allow French players to play on offshore gambling websites, under certain terms and conditions. However, for some reason, all types of casino games are officially prohibited. On a positive note, the country has very clear gambling laws in contrast with other regions in the world.

We are providing a complete overview of the UK and European gambling restrictions, as well as information on the regulations in each of the continent’s nations.

Gambling Regulations in Australia or Oceania

Australian gambling laws are very strict. The gambling companies of this region will allow you to participate in traditional sports betting and lotteries. However, casino games and live sports betting are prohibited. If you are planning to wager on an Australian gambling site, we have some good news for you. There are no regulations prohibiting Australians from visiting foreign websites since they are not under the control of the Australian government.

Coming to neighboring New Zealand, the country has specific laws governing online gambling. In 2003, the nation passed a new act to ensure that its rules were clear and easy to understand. The act also states that residents can play in foreign gambling sites. But these sites cannot promote or advertise themselves in the whole region of New Zealand. 

You can get to know more details about these laws in detail by visiting the following links.

Gambling Regulations in Africa

Limited African countries have enacted online gambling laws, with South Africa being a significant exception. But land-based casinos are legal in most parts of Africa and can be found in a number of countries. As these casinos are quite popular, we have given information on the various gambling laws in Africa. 

Gambling Regulations in Asia

Asia has 48 countries, home to people from different religions and governing structures. This means different countries have different perspectives when it comes to gambling. This leads to the gambling laws across Asia being quite inconsistent. Considering the continent’s size and the diversity of nations, creating a comprehensive guide or even a summary of Asian gambling laws can be tiresome and indeed quite difficult. Hence, we have included separate pages for each of the Asian countries.

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