With online casinos becoming more and more popular and with a higher demand for online gambling services than ever before, governments around the world are realising their citizens want to enjoy online gambling in a safe, secure and honest way. While some countries outlaw online gambling completely, the majority of Western-countries allow it with various regulators ensuring casinos and game developers offer a fair and honest gaming experience.

If you’re looking to play at an online casino, but are not sure whether it’s legal in your country or just want some more information on who the regulator is, then keep reading. We'll have a look at a variety of countries, detailing their gambling laws and regulations. Each country section below is then linked to a longer, more in-depth guide to the country, which explains the exact law and regulations in place, alongside advice on where to play.

USA

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Online gambling laws within the United States are complex with many thinking it’s against the law for citizens to gamble online. This is, in fact, untrue, and despite many common misconceptions, online gambling is legal, although there are some curve-balls, which you can read more about in our full guide.

Despite its legality, however, many online gambling companies refuse to enter the US due to the confusing legislation, and as such, US players generally have access to only a small handful of games, most notably from software providers, such as Rival and Realtime Gaming.

You can read the full guide to online gambling in the United States here.

United Kingdom

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The UK has some of the strictest online gambling legislation in the world – although it’s worth pointing out that this is to protect players. The tough laws are seen mainly by the online casinos who must adhere to many regulations in order to be able to offer UK players gaming. All online casinos operating in the UK must adhere to the laws if their offer real-money gambling – regardless of whether the company is based in the UK or overseas. They must also be licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) with the Commission responsible for regulating the industry.

Players within the United Kingdom have access to a wide-variety of games with software providers, such as NetEntertainment, Microgaming, Play 'n Go, Playtech and Quickspin. Software providers without a UK license include Rival and Realtime Gaming render themselves unplayable to UK players.

Read the full guide to online gambling in the United Kingdom here.

South Africa

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Gambling online in South Africa is less-liberal than most of the countries we discuss on this page, and unfortunately, due to a High Court decision in 2010, all forms of online gambling are illegal, aside from Sports Betting. However, despite this, millions of South African players gamble online each year with offshore betting companies.

Government and Law enforcement bodies seem to turn a blind-eye to this and instead choose to only target companies who break the law by offering gambling to South African players while based within South Africa. While this sounds confusing, it basically means that South African players can gamble online, however, they do so at their own risk, because, at the end of the day, it is illegal.

Read the full guide to online gambling in South Africa here.

New Zealand

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New Zealand does not benefit from the flexibility of online gambling like its sister Australia, and players from the country are often confused when it comes to the legalities of online gambling. The short side of the story is that online gambling in New Zealand is illegal when done using a company based on New Zealand soil.

However, players may choose to gamble with offshore companies that are not based in New Zealand. While this does offer players less protection for when things go wrong, thankfully, there are a number of online casinos and software providers that offer online gambling to New Zealand players.

Read the full guide to online gambling in New Zealand here.

Canada

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The gambling laws in Canada are somewhat 'in the middle' between the UK’s very liberal, yet regulated regulations, and the US’s confusing and unregulated market. It can be summarised relatively simplistically though, with Canadian players able to participate and enjoy online gambling services, so long as the company providing the players with the service is not based within Canada.

With over 1,400 off-shore companies offering Canadian players a great range of casino games, including Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and video slots, amongst casino table games and Video Poker, it’s clear Canadians have a decent amount of choice when it comes to choosing which online casino they want to play at.

Read the full guide to online gambling in Canada here.

Australia

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Players from Australia have an interesting conundrum. They can enjoy regulated online gambling, so long as it’s Sports Betting or Lottery gaming. However, if they want to enjoy casino games and Poker, Australians need to play at a casino that is not based within Australian territory.

Thankfully, there are many hundreds of online casinos offering Australian players an online gambling experience, and so long as players choose a reputable, trusted online casino, the lack of regulation is very rarely a problem.

Read the full guide to online gambling in Australia here.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the legality of gambling online varies between countries and it is your responsibility to verify that your actions are legal in the country you reside. Please play responsibly - if you feel you may have a problem and need advice please visit Gamble Aware (UK) or Gamblers Anonymous.