Global Gambling Laws, Regulations, and Licensing Authorities

International online gambling laws, regulations, and licensing are immensely complex subjects as every country has its own specific set of guidelines. While some regions wholeheartedly embrace online gambling, others have gone to great lengths to ban it outright, and some have even gone as far as criminalising it by putting placing hefty fines and possible jail-time in place for those caught participating in this popular pastime. We have put together a broad overview of gambling laws and regulations per region.

The Basics of Online Gambling Regulations

It’s important that players understand how region specific gambling laws and regulations affect them and there are two key points to consider.

  1. Use of online gambling sites is rarely completely illegal and/or criminalised for players, and most online gambling regulations focus specifically on the companies or organisations offering their services to players, and not on the players themselves.
  2. Building on the first point, most online gambling sites are licensed in at least one gambling jurisdictions, and operators have to meet specific criteria in order to obtain a license.

Legitimate Licensing Authorities

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

Gambling Laws of North America

There are wildly different attitudes towards gambling throughout North America. The United States has state specific laws and the use of offshore operators is at this point still a grey are. The laws in Canada are similar in that its dependent on region, the legality of offshore operators is a grey area, but there are still plenty options for Canadian mobile casino.

Gambling Laws of Europe and the UK

Europe consists of many countries, each with their own approach to gambling. Some countries have outright banned online gambling, while others have legalised it and put the proper regulatory frameworks in place. For example, land-based and online gambling in the United Kingdom is 100% legal and well regulated.

Gambling Laws of Australia / Oceania

The laws for operators in Australia are very strict as they are allowed to legally offer some gambling services to Australian residents, but currently only traditional sports betting and lottery-style games are permitted. However, players are 100% permitted to use offshore gambling sites as they fall outside of the Australian government’s jurisdiction.

Gambling Laws of Asia

Due to the size of the continent, as well as the number of countries the continent is made up of, it would be a futile exercise to attempt to compare the gambling laws across Asia. There is very little consistency, and players should rather research country specific gambling legislation.

Gambling Laws of South America

The general approach to land-based and online gambling across South America is relatively liberal, but there are restrictions on certain types of gambling and sports betting in some countries – for example, casino games are not permitted in Brazil.

Gambling Laws of Africa

Very few countries in Africa have passed specific legislation for land-based and online gambling, but South Africa is the exception. Land-based gambling is 100% legal in South Africa, and certain types of online gambling are permitted.

If you’re unsure of what the land-based and online gambling laws of your country are, we suggest doing country specific research ahead of getting started.