Legalization of Betting: Do All Countries Support It?

World leaders are torn between legalizing gambling for its financial benefits and banning it entirely for their moral obligation to their charges. Are we overthinking gambling and its impact?

Over the last several years, countries have been banning and legalizing gambling for various reasons. Those that legalize it have been formulating methods to protect citizens from the shackles of addiction through tough regulations, while those against it stare at the financial opportunity cost with glee. Online casinos have been rising, and their earnings can no longer be ignored. How’s the world treating gambling, and how is the industry fairing in parts where it has been legalized?

Here’s how betting in different countries looks like today.


The expected compound annual growth rate of the gambling market in Europe between 2020 and 2025 is 9.2%. European countries do not operate as a block where betting regulation is concerned. They are to do this separately, but each has to follow these two pointers: KYC requirements and the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive to reduce the risks of money laundry and fraud. This means players have an easy time finding casinos where they can deposit £10 and get bonus spins for slots. Almost all of Europe has now legalized online gambling, with the companies going through thorough audits and licensing requirements. Here, gambling sites give gamblers deposit bonuses and other incentives to keep them coming back.

Here are the bodies that regulate gambling in Europe:  

  •       Gambling Commission – UK
  •       Autorite de regulation des jeux en ligne – France
  •       Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato – Italy
  •       Comision Nacional del Juego – Spain
  •       Gaming Authority – Malta
  •       Gambling Control Commission – Alderney
  •       Belgian Gambling Commission – Belgium
  •       Danish Gambling Authority – Denmark
  •       Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) – The Netherlands

Taxes from gambling activities are handled per state.

The Americas

The situation in South America is similar to what we see in other countries in the world. Colombia ignores offshore sites but prohibits those registered locally from offering these services, while Brazil is entirely intolerant to internet gambling. In Argentina, provinces must meet strict regulations to get licenses, but online gambling is legal in Buenos Aires.

In the USA, legalization is now allowed at the state level as opposed to what was before a 2018 ruling. These states have either already legalized online gambling and/or sports betting or are working on it: New Jersey, Delaware, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, and Iowa. Canada allows those provinces that have attained licenses from their respective provincial governments to carry out real money gambling activities.


In Thailand, gamblers have to go to land-based casinos to withdraw their winnings from online betting since they are disallowed from doing this online. Horse racing and the state lottery are allowed without question. Australians are free to play any game online for monetary rewards, which partly makes this market the second-largest in the world. Casinos have to be regulated either locally or internationally.

Players in New Zealand can access and play from any offshore site without breaking any law. In Japan, any form of betting is illegal, apart from motorsports and horse racing. Online betting is illegal in China, but Macau and Hong Kong, part of the larger China, allow sports betting and horse racing. The Philippines PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) regulates online sites and land-based casinos, while Indonesia and Vietnam have only licensed online lottery. India bans online gambling but allows bets on sports activities and the national lottery.

Middle East

The Middle East is a religious region, so online gambling is completely out of the question. However, gamblers still gain access to offshore sites using VPNs. Moroccans are free to play any online casino game through offshore sites, while residents of Lebanon cab legally bet on sports activities and the national lottery.

Pros and Cons of Gambling

Like any industry with so much potential, there are benefits and dangers to the growth of gambling.


  •       Land-based gambling promotes tourism and job creation.
  •       Earnings benefit economies.
  • Gambling sharpens personal skills – math, critical thinking, and bankroll/money management.


  •       It can be addictive when players turn it into an escape or primary income earner.
  •   An unregulated online casino can cheat gamblers out of their earnings and personal information.

What the Future Holds

Some countries will legalize gambling fully, while others will stay closed to the idea. The one thing that those opposed to it cannot do is entirely prevent their people from playing slots and other online games, thanks to offshore sites and virtual private networks. Eventually, they may all have to legalize gambling but regulate it the way The Netherlands and other parts of Europe have done. Since there is so much money in the industry and the attraction to betting is too high to suppress, it may be time to trust the people to make the right decisions for themselves.


Latest news