Legality of Online Gambling: Guide to Global Regulations in 2024

If someone asked about the sketchiest industry, you’d likely bring up gambling. Sorting out the rules for gambling sites can be tricky, especially for newbies.

When entrepreneurs think about starting or growing an online gambling business, the big questions are: Which markets should they aim for? Where is online gambling legit, and where do you need a license?

Check out the insights below to get the lowdown and figure out the best markets to focus on.

Europe

In Europe, the gambling scene is booming, set to hit a whopping 126.3 billion euros by 2026, as per Statista. Each European country runs its own gambling show independently. Europe’s been a pioneer in regulating online gambling, with many nations putting solid rules in place.

Big players like the UK, Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, and Alderney are where online gambling is legit and overseen by licensing authorities. These countries make sure online gambling is fair and protects consumers.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is on a mission to create a transparent, competitive, and well-regulated market for online gambling operators in Europe.

America

Online gambling’s legal landscape in the Americas is a real patchwork. In North America, the United States is a complex puzzle, with each state having its say on whether to allow or ban online gambling. As of 2022, about half the states, like New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, are on board with legal online gambling. In Canada, online gambling is allowed, but the rules depend on the province.

Down in South America, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Mexico has given the green light to online gambling, and it’s regulated by the Ministry of the Interior. Argentina is also in, with regulation happening at the provincial level, and some provinces handing out licenses.

Brazil has taken a step towards legalizing sports betting but hasn’t fully jumped into regulating online gambling. Meanwhile, Colombia is all set with legal and regulated online gambling, complete with a licensing system to keep things in check. On the whole, Latin America’s online gambling revenue is expected to see some significant growth until 2026.

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Asia

Across Asia, the scene for online gambling legality varies widely. Some countries have it fully legit and regulated, while others slap on strict restrictions or an outright ban. Take the Philippines, for example – it’s a hotspot for online gambling operators, handing out licenses to those meeting the criteria.

On the flip side, China’s playing hardball, putting the kibosh on all gambling except welfare and sports lottery. Hong Kong and Macau, being special administrative regions, roll with their own set of rules for online gambling. Meanwhile, in places like Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, online gambling gets the nod in certain regions.

Oceania

In Oceania, Australia’s got a thriving online gambling scene. Aussies can legally jump into online sports betting and lotteries. Just to give you an idea, the gambling industry pumped around 420 million AUD into the economy in 2022.

But hold on, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 throws a spanner in the works, making it a no-go to provide or advertise any interactive online gambling within the country.

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand, online gambling gets a green light, but the catch is that the operators need to set up shop outside the country. Both Australia and New Zealand are all about keeping things in check with regulatory frameworks that aim to safeguard consumers and ward off gambling issues.

It’s a wild ride when it comes to the legality of online gambling worldwide. Some places are all in, setting up solid rules, while others are playing it tough with strict regulations or straight-up bans.

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