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If you’ve ever spiced up a game of football by placing a wager, you’ll know how much it can augment the experience. When there’s money at stake – whether it’s real or imagined – the outcome of the match suddenly becomes much more personal. Every dramatic development and unexpected goal hits home far more effectively than it would otherwise. We’d strongly recommend trying sports betting out, even if you’re not ready to commit real cash to the endeavour.
With that being said, when you do want to “graduate” to betting real money – if you ever do – you might run up against restrictive sports betting laws in your country. If you’ve ever scoured the internet looking for the best online casino only to realise they’ve all been blocked in your home nation, then you’ll know how painful and frustrating this can be. We’ve collected some of the most important online sports betting laws and regulations around the world so you can go into your sports betting journey as informed as possible.
The vast majority of European countries allow you to gamble online, and this usually includes sports betting. Spain, Italy, France, the UK, and many other places in Europe permit sports betting and casino gaming, although operators usually have to apply for a license in order to set up and operate businesses within those jurisdictions. As a gambler, however, you’re safe to play online to your heart’s content pretty much anywhere in Europe.
Of course, this isn’t true everywhere. Russia is a transcontinental country for geographical purposes, but the vast majority of its population lives on the European side, so we’re classing it as European. The Russian attitude towards online gambling is complex to say the least, and there are several other more restrictive countries in Europe where you’d be better off staying away from online gambling of any kind.
Asia and Australia
The situation in Asia is as diverse as the landmass itself. Given that Asia technically incorporates India, Japan, Thailand, and the Middle East, the rules governing online gambling in these territories differ from nation to nation. As you might expect, online gambling across the Middle East is largely forbidden, and while there are pockets with a more liberal approach, you generally won’t find operators willing to establish online sports betting businesses in the Middle East.
Happily, the Australian attitude towards online casino gaming and football betting is slightly more liberal. If you want to place a wager on this year’s Euro 2021 tournament or check out the best Aussie online casino, then you have plenty of options for doing so. That being said, Australia does limit the licenses it provides, and some online gambling activities are outright prohibited. It’s best to know what you’re getting into before you approach online gambling in Australia.
Given its attitude towards capitalism and free enterprise, one might expect the USA to approve wholeheartedly of online gambling, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Many states still prohibit online casino gaming or sports betting, but the situation is changing, albeit somewhat slowly. More and more states are opening up their online casino legislation so that it’s easier for citizens to access online casino platforms or sports betting sites, with the Supreme Court legalising sports betting on a nationwide basis in 2018.
Canada takes a province-by-province approach to online sports betting and gambling. There are technically no restrictions preventing Canadians from betting on football, whether it be the Premier League, Euro, or the World Cup, but there are slightly more laws governing whether operators can set up online gaming businesses within Canada. Things are looking up for the online gaming industry, but Canada still has a little ways to go in this regard.
Central and South America
Much like Asia, South America is a diverse sprawl of countries, each with its own laws when it comes to online sports betting. Bolivia, for example, completely prohibits any form of online betting, while Brazil takes a much more liberal approach, as does Mexico (despite a common misconception that online gambling is illegal there). Many countries, such as Peru, permit online gambling by default simply because there’s no specific provision for prohibiting those activities in the constitution.
However, you should be aware that not everywhere in South America is as permissive as these countries, nor is it as straightforward in many territories. In Uruguay, for example, most citizens play on offshore casino platforms, while in Chile, online gambling is prohibited except in certain circumstances. It’s worth remembering that in many of these countries, you can still access international sports betting platforms; a lack of local options doesn’t mean you can’t look further afield.
Across much of Africa, there still isn’t sufficient legislation for governments to declare that online gambling is illegal, so it remains permissible by default. For a long time, the South African government prohibited online gambling, but it appears that regulators are beginning to think about relaxing laws in that country to allow more operators to establish businesses and to allow gamblers to play.
Right now, the most popular countries for sports betting in Africa are Uganda and Kenya. This does also mean there is increased scrutiny on those territories from lawmakers as they watch to see if businesses are exploiting consumers, but more regulation is arguably good for the gambling industry. If you’re in Africa, finding a sports betting platform and placing a football bet shouldn’t be too hard.