Legal Info on Gambling !
Casino enthusiasts certainly welcomed reason behind developments into online gambling industry but it raised a few questions with the governments of the world. Because of the different attitudes towards gambling, different countries have varying laws and can generally be split into three categories:
a.) Countries where both online and land-based casinos are legal.
b.) Countries where both types of casinos are illegal.
c.) Countries where they’re illegal on paper but the governments don’t prosecute their citizens if they play in a foreign casino.
Based on this categorization a distinction will be made from country to country. Lets discuss about Legality of Gambling continent wise :
1.) Gambling Law in Asia :
When it comes to gambling in Asia the situation is quite complicated. This complication arises from the fact that each country has different laws when it comes to gambling and the legal status of gambling tends to shift from time to time. An example of this is Singapore. The country banned all forms of gambling in 2014 and up until that year, the online and land-based casinos were legal. The situation in Japan is the opposite of Singapore.
At first, the country was against all forms of gambling so people had to find legal loopholes to play their favorite games. It’s because of this that public sports exist. People can place legal bets on horse, bicycle, powerboat and asphalt speedway motor racing. These public sports are regulated by local governments so special laws allow them to be legal. The lottery is also legal. Due to the Japanese’s love for all electronics, the government changed their mind about gambling in casinos and has recently adopted new laws regarding that matter. The first casinos are expected to be available in 2020.
Similar to Singapore, Thailand has banned all forms of gambling. However, their government doesn’t really care if people play casino games on foreign sites. In Taiwan, it’s only legal to bet on sports for which online and land-based sportsbooks are available. In Vietnam, there are land-based casinos but they’re off-limits to natives so only foreigners are allowed, and finally, in Malaysia, the government doesn’t have anything against gambling on paper but online gambling isn’t allowed and there’s only one casino in the country.
China bans all sorts of gambling except for physical sports betting. The game that satisfies their gambling needs both offline and on land is Macau. The situation in South Korea is similar to the one in Malaysia. In addition, India’s situation is downright confusing since there’s an Act from 1867 that prohibits all types of gambling. Despite this countries are free to make up their own minds about gambling which is why states like Goa, Daman, and Sikkim have land-based casinos available.
Online casinos aren’t technically legal but the government doesn’t prosecute those that play casino games online. Because of this many Indian players can play their favorite traditional and casino games online without fear of penalties. This also contributed to the rise of local casino sites as most casino sites don’t accept Indian players due to their currency. To make matters more confusing, state-approved lotteries are legal in India. Sports betting is also legal in regular and fantasy sports.
2.) Gambling Law in North & South America:
Much like the rest of the world, the governments in the Americas have split their minds when it comes to gambling. Some have a positive attitude towards it while others view it negatively. When it comes to North America the majority of states, if states in the US are viewed separately, are against it. Canada and Mexico have completely legalized and regulated all types of gambling. However, the legality of gambling in Canada varies from province to province. Despite being casino-friendly, people caught in illegal gambling can face jail time of up to 2 years and pay huge fines. The USA on the other hand, can’t seem to come to a decision whether it wants gambling legal or not. That’s why it’s legal in some states and it’s illegal in others. Nevada was the first to legalize casinos and online gambling.
Other states that followed Nevada’s example are New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, Delaware, and New York. Casino websites were also launched from these states to cater to the needs of the American punters. Since states are allowed to make laws for or against any kind of gambling it’s highly likely that more states will join the fold of ones that are already for gambling since not a lot of top-ranking casino sites allow American players. This is good for American casino enthusiasts as home-based online casinos are just what they need to keep themselves entertained.
Countries in South America also have divided opinions when it comes to gambling. The majority of countries are fine with gambling and the rest are against it on paper but don’t prosecute anybody. The countries that have legalized and regulated both online and land-based gambling are Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. Brazil and Chile aren’t particularly fond of gambling but they won’t punish players for playing in offshore casinos. Gambling is immensely popular in Brazil and many are pushing for it to be legalized so maybe the situation will change in the future. Ecuador’s gambling situation is similar to that of Singapore except that it banned gambling in 2010. Despite the ban, the government won’t prosecute anyone who plays games at foreign casinos. The only country where gambling is illegal and you could be prosecuted in is Cuba.
3.) Gambling Law in Africa:
The state of gambling is Africa is pretty well as 30 of 54 countries have legalized all forms of gambling. Those countries include Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Cameron, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ghana who have established themselves as reputable gambling centers. It’s no secret that gambling is popular in those countries and those casino enthusiasts are going to increase the operations of the gambling industry in the near future. The African casino market is relatively the biggest one and the only one that has grown quickly in a short span.
The thing that makes the situation in Africa interesting is that the countries that haven’t legalized gambling won’t prosecute anyone who engages in the activity. The things that people need to look out for are unregulated casinos. The African National Gaming Board is ruthless when it comes to unlicensed casinos and will close them down on the spot. If you’ve won something then you can forget that money as they will be confiscated and placed in the Unlawful Winnings Trust. People being caught playing at these types of casinos have been known to pay fines and even spend some time in jail.
4.) Gambling Law in Middle East:
If you look at the Middle East you’ll notice that most countries there are Islamic and that pretty much sums up the gambling situation there. According to the Quran, all forms of gambling are prohibited unless they’re used for charity so anyone caught engaged in any kind of gambling will face severe punishment. With that being said, countries like the UAE, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Brunei, Kuwait, and Qatar have all banned gambling and anyone caught doing this will face severe penalties. Despite being an Islamic country, Dubai has managed to establish a few land-based casinos on its territory. Egypt along with Israel also has several casinos on land since they’ve legalized gambling. One interesting case in the Middle East is Lebanon because the country has only one casino in which casino enthusiasts can play their favorite games. All other forms of gambling are illegal.
5.) Gambling Law in Australia and Newzealand:
Australia is one of the few countries that is alright with gambling on its territory. Sports betting as well as online poker and slot machines were played by Australian casino enthusiasts without a care in the world until 2017. Because of the Interactive Gambling Gaming Bill, most online sport betting sites were restricted and it made it impossible for Australian players to enjoy their games in any offshore casinos. Luckily, there are no clear sanctions for people who engage in online gambling however, if a player decides to visit and offshore site it’s extremely risky as they leave the protection of the local law. Online scams are raging and anyone who decides to play offshore is a visible target.
On the other hand, New Zealand has a few land-based casinos that operate on its territory. These 6 casinos are land-based and are licensed and regulated by the local government so no one will prosecute players if they visit these spots to enjoy a game or two. When it comes to online gambling there are no prosecutions for people that play casino games on offshore sites however, those sites are few since most won’t accept New Zealand players.
6.) Gambling Law in Europe:
When it comes to gambling in Europe, it’s evident that the majority of countries have legalized all both land-based and online casinos. Countries that have done so include Serbia, Sweden, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, and others. Some of the dominant countries are the UK, Spain, and Germany whose online gambling sites take care of the needs of players worldwide. In fact, the UK’s gambling reach is so big it takes up a large chunk of the US market.
Nevertheless, people in these countries are free to play their favorite games both online and in casino premises without the fear of being prosecuted. That being said there are a few exceptions. France and Iceland are the odd ones as they have banned online gambling sites but other forms of gambling like playing in land-based casinos, bingo and betting on sports are perfectly legal. Since Turkey is a Muslim country gambling is banned and those caught in the act will face severe repercussions. Finally, there are countries like Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic that are against online gambling on paper but won’t prosecute anyone playing casino games online on a foreign website.
As mentioned before, people and governments have different opinions when it comes to gambling. The countries that have it legalized and regulated take a careful approach to it but also reap the benefits that come out of it. The gambling industry is a profitable one so it receives heavy taxation from countries gambling is legal in. Governments can use this money for various purposes and in ways that the whole society can benefit from. On the other hand, countries that have banned gambling could either stick to their decision or change their minds and have these benefits as well. Gambling is a bit controversial so anyone can understand their position. Whatever happens, the legal situation with gambling will remain divided and in flux for a long time.