Casinos by Country
When you look around the world at how different countries approach to online casino gambling – there are two distinct camps. These are the ‘prohibit’ countries and the ‘tax’ countries. I am sure that the ‘tax’ countries would prefer to be known for their ‘fair regulation’ and ‘protection of problem gamblers’, though realistically the money involved is too big for governments to resist. Even within the anti-online casinos stance of the US, individual states are beginning to pass laws allowing online casinos to be licensed and taxed. With a thriving offshore casino industry, there are still plenty of options for US players seeking to legally gamble online.
You’ll find an overview of the main English speaking markets here at OnlineCasinoRealMoney.com – each on its own page. Below is a summary of the legal situation and other key points for those markets.
Many US players (incorrectly) believe that Federal law prevents them enjoying real money casino games online. What you’ll find is that those laws only target the banks. There is a thriving legal online casino industry offshore in the Caribbean or Central American countries. You can enjoy the games legally there. The only challenge will be making a real money deposit. This is helped by innovations like Bitcoin – though credit cards and money transfers are both welcomed too. Find out more in our page on US Online Casinos.
Canadians enjoy some of the most liberal gambling laws around – with a choice of playing at any casino which is not physically located within Canada. This includes all the big international brands, as well as many of the smaller offshore outfits welcoming US players. There are casino games available at sites operated by the governments of the different provinces too. Credit card deposits are made difficult by some Canadian banks. Many players use Interac or alternative methods to get money on board. For more details, check out this page covering Canadian Online Casinos.
A few years ago, the UK regulated and taxed online casino activity – bringing this under the control of the UK Gambling Commission. Most of the big brands are now licensed, with only a handful of smaller operators pulling out. Personal winnings are not taxed in the UK, which has always had a liberal approach to gambling. Many of the biggest online casinos evolved from the ‘high street bookmaker’ brands. Deposits and withdrawals are seamlessly easy from the UK. Find out more in this more detailed UK Online Casinos overview page.
Ireland has yet to fully implement their licensing framework – though legislation passed in 2015 allows for that. This is another country with a long gambling tradition, and some very liberal laws. Residents of Ireland are explicitly permitted to gamble online at sites located outside the country. With the Euro as a currency, making deposits (and playing in Euros) is very straightforward too. Check out this page on Irish Online Casinos for more detail.
In theory the European Union mandates open trade, though this does not apply to casino gambling – which has been segregated and separately regulated and taxed by many different countries. 3 of the biggest countries have their own licensing and control (France, Spain and Italy) with many more countries at different stages of regulation. There are even some countries which block casinos completely at the domain level. Find out more on the diverse European Online Casino market here.
It is not illegal for residents of either New Zealand or Australia to gamble online. Though there are some restrictions on the casino site operators. No online casino based in Australia can offer real money online gambling there. In theory, the international sites should also not offer this. Since they are based outside of the jurisdiction of Australian law, they continue to operate. Only a small minority operate games in AUD – though you will be able to deposit in that currency at most places. For an overview of the legal situation, check out this page covering Australian and New Zealand Casinos.
Officially, online gambling is not legal in South Africa – though many international operators continue to offer real money games there. An act was accepted back in 2008 which put a licensing framework into place for regulated casinos. This has been stuck in political limbo ever since – with live casino interests also involved in the debate. The good news for South African gamblers is that you can enjoy real money casino games, and deposit (though not play in) Rand. Check out this guide to South African Online Casinos for more.
Casino Gambling in Different Countries – Summing Up
As you will see, even among just a handful of countries there is a huge difference in the regulation of online casinos. As more governments see the opportunity to tax this activity, I expect to see both nations and further US states regulate this activity moving forward. The chances of a common approach to casino law (even within the supposedly ‘open’ European Union) is looking like a very distant prospect at this point.