Where is Online Gambling Legal?

Where is Online Gambling Legal?

Online gambling in 2024 is already a $100+ billion dollar industry which is currently experiencing exponential growth across the globe, yet its legality varies by jurisdiction, causing confusion for businesses and consumers alike.

So where is online gambling legal?

Since rules and regulations can be extremely complicated, we put together this post for you, broken down by regulated & unregulated markets, as well as reviews of specific regions.

Let’s dive in.

Legal and regulated markets

Europe’s regulatory framework, a paragon of comprehensive governance, stands out.

Countries like the United Kingdom, Malta, and Spain enforce stringent regulatory standards, ensuring fair play and protecting both operators and consumers.

Their robust systems serve as a benchmark for emerging markets exploring similar legal structures.

European countries overview

In Europe, the regulatory landscape for online gambling is highly fragmented.

Each country enforces its own laws, ranging from strict regulations to nearly complete prohibitions.

The United Kingdom, for example, operates under the Gambling Act 2005, making it highly regulated.

Conversely, countries like Norway have stricter limitations on online gambling operations.

Malta serves as a leading hub for online gambling regulations and licensing in the European Union.

Malta’s well-structured regulatory framework, administered by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), ensures a streamlined licensing process that fosters a stable and predictable operational environment for online gambling companies.

Additionally, Malta offers advantageous tax rates and robust legal protections, making it an attractive destination for businesses in the industry.

The European market is dynamic: For example, while Sweden’s licensing regime was introduced back in 2019 they are still in the process of amending gambling regulations, and amending AML requirements, both of which are being reviewed until 2026.

Germany, on the other hand, continues to evolve its legal framework after years of deliberationtowards gambling.

Operators must stay informed to navigate these diverse regulatory environments.

North American legislation

In North America, online gambling legislation varies significantly between countries and even within regions.

Since 2016, Canadian provinces, in a landmark decision involving regulatory autonomy, permitted each province to craft its own online gambling laws. In general, gambling activities are prohibited in Canada unless otherwise regulated by the province.

Québec was among the pioneering regions to establish a regulatory framework.

In the U.S., it’s an intricate tapestry where individual states determine the legality of online gambling. States like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have legal and regulated online casinos, whereas many others remain restrictive.

Mexico as a whole has a more unified approach on a federal level, which has allowed the online gambling industry to thrive legally within the country.

Countries Where Online Gambling is Legal

When it comes to gambling online freely and legally there are a handful of countries in Europe where you can do so, with Malta leading the charge.

North America also includes a few US states as well as Mexico and some areas in Canada.

Besides those two large markets, there are individual countries spread out around the world that have also come to embrace this exciting industry.


  • United Kingdom
  • Malta
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Denmark

North America

  • New Jersey, USA
  • Pennsylvania, USA
  • Delaware, USA
  • Québec, Canada
  • British Columbia, Canada
  • Mexico


  • Australia
  • New Zealand


  • Philippines
  • Japan (under specific regulations)
  • South Korea (under specific regulations)


  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Ghana

These countries have established regulations that make online gambling legal, assuming operators and participants adhere to local laws and guidelines.

Unregulated and illegal markets

In unregulated and illegal markets, a lack of formalized regulatory frameworks means online gambling operates without oversight.

These conditions foster environments where consumer protection is minimal, and untrustworthy operators can proliferate.

Engagements in such markets carry significant risks, including legal repercussions, financial instability, and compromised player security.

Many Asian countries impose stringent restrictions on online gambling to curb illegal activities and protect their citizens.

In 2016, Singapore implemented a comprehensive online gambling ban, targeting illicit operators while offering a state-controlled avenue for limited activities, such as the Singapore Pools’ online lottery.

China even takes a much stricter stance, enacting an overarching prohibition on both online and offline gambling, with the exception of state-run lottery systems, enforcing heavy penalties on violators.

Japan and South Korea, on the other hand, permit certain regulated gambling activities, including sports betting and fantasy sports, but continue to ban many forms of online gaming to maintain control over the industry and protect public interest.

Compliance with these restrictions varies widely, necessitating that businesses and players thoroughly understand the local laws to avoid legal complications and ensure fair play.

African regulatory challenges

The African online gambling market faces a complex array of regulatory challenges.

In 2016, South Africa, a major player in the African gambling landscape, introduced stringent regulations prohibiting most forms of online gambling, sparking significant debates and disagreements within the industry. As a result, the opposition party has even introduced online gambling legislation.

Conversely, Kenya’s more permissive stance has contributed to its thriving online gambling sector, allowing businesses ample room for operations while still maintaining strict licensing requirements to ensure consumer protection. Furthermore, Kenya is also in the process of overhauling the gambling industry as the Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023 is still discussed.

Similarly, Nigeria, one of the largest markets on the continent, has developed a regulatory framework that combines robust oversight with supportive measures to encourage growth, although enforcement and execution remain problematic in some regions.

Countries Where Online Gambling is Illegal

In general, countries in Asia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East are unfriendly to online gambling, as most of them have at least some level of prohibition.

  • China (with the exception of state-run lottery systems)
  • Singapore (with limited exceptions such as the Singapore Pools’ online lottery and the Singapore Turf Club)
  • South Korea (for most forms of online gaming)
  • Japan (for many forms of online gaming)
  • Norway (stricter limitations)
  • South Africa (prohibits most forms of online gambling)
  • United Arab Emirates (strictly prohibited)
  • North Korea (prohibited)
  • Cyprus (internet gambling is restricted except for state-controlled operators)
  • Iran (prohibited)
  • Indonesia (prohibited)
  • Brunei (prohibited)
  • Qatar (prohibited)
  • Lebanon (prohibited)

Payment Options for Online Gambling

Traditional Banking

Traditional banking methods remain a cornerstone of online gambling transactions due to their widespread acceptance, and of course include options like credit and debit cards, which are globally recognized.

Bank transfers are another prevalent option in the online gambling industry.

They provide a direct method of transferring funds between bank accounts, although the process can be slower compared to other methods.

However, traditional banking methods are not without their drawbacks, such as higher fees and slower transaction times.

Consequently, operators and users alike are increasingly exploring alternatives like e-wallets and cryptocurrencies, which offer more efficiency and lower costs.

Nonetheless, traditional banking methods often remain a preferred choice because of their familiarity and established trust levels.

Related: Online Casino Payment Methods (2024): A Complete Guide

Cryptocurrency Benefits

Cryptocurrency offers substantial benefits for online gambling transactions, including enhanced security, faster processing, and lower fees.

This decentralized nature reduces the risks associated with traditional banking.

For instance, transactions are both irreversible and transparent, ensuring fairness and accountability.

Security is further bolstered through advanced cryptographic techniques, which protect user identities and transaction data, fostering a secure gambling environment.

Another key advantage is the potential for international transactions without worrying about exchange rates, making it more accessible globally.

This circumvents the restrictions often imposed by financial institutions on gambling-related transactions.

Lastly, the use of cryptocurrency can attract tech-savvy users and offer them a unique, innovative gambling experience. This can differentiate a platform from its competitors, leveraging cutting-edge technology.

Enable seamless, secure, and efficient payment solutions for your iGaming business with CryptoProcessing.

How CryptoProcessing Can Help

By supporting 20+ cryptocurrencies along with 40+ traditional currencies, and integrating robust anti-money laundering measures, CryptoProcessing.com offers a secure, reliable payment solution for iGaming operators and users alike.

Although the benefits are numerous, let’s just take a quick look at the main advantages below.

Key Benefits:

  • No Rolling Reserve: With no rolling reserve, there is no need to freeze a percentage of your money as there is no central authority or chargebacks.
  • Enhanced Security: Utilizing advanced encryption techniques, CryptoProcessing ensures that all transactions are secure, protecting user data and financial information from potential threats.
  • Almost Instant Transactions: With Cryptocurrency, transactions are processed almost instantaneously, allowing for quick deposits and withdrawUPGRADE YOUR CASINO
    WITH CRYPTO PAYMENTSals, enhancing the user experience significantly.
  • Lower Fees: Fees on CryptoProcessing.com are around 1% or less. This allows operators to offer competitive pricing while maximizing their profitability.
  • Global Reach: Cryptocurrency transcends national borders, enabling operators to accept payments from users almost worldwide without the complications of currency exchange rates. This feature makes it easier to tap into international markets.
  • Seamless Integration: CryptoProcessing offers easy integration with existing platforms, ensuring a smooth transition and minimal disruption to operations.

CryptoProcessing Features:

  • API Integration for seamless and fast implementation.
  • Real-Time Transactions that boost efficiency and user satisfaction.
  • 24/7 Support to address any technical issues promptly.

Take advantage of the benefits of cryptocurrency payments for iGaming and set your platform apart in the competitive online gambling market.

Experience faster transactions,
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and global accessibility