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Are online casinos legal?

Gambling by its very nature will always have certain laws and restrictions attached to it. With the advent of interactive online gambling, more regulations have needed to be implemented. So is online gambling allowed, and are online casinos legal? The simple answer is yes, but the detailed answer is a little more complicated. Read on for a more detailed explanation.

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Available to residents of United States
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Available to residents of United States

Global online gambling laws

Like all legislation, online gambling laws vary from country to country. Some countries have taken a strict stance against online gambling, banning all forms of online betting, while others have embraced the new gambling format offered by changing technologies and have gone to great lengths to regulate the industry to make it safer for players, while ensuring revenue stays within the local economy.

Online casinos often accept players from a wide range of countries, and it is completely up to you as the individual player to be aware of the online gambling laws that apply to you. Just because a casino accepts sign-ups from your location, it doesn’t necessarily mean online gambling is legal in your country, and with some countries imposting penalties for users found gambling online, you must do your research before you start betting online.

We have provided an overview of the online gambling laws for the countries below, along with a list of reputable casino sites that accept players from each country. Please note that we are not lawyers, and the information provided is based on our independent online research only.

Legal, safe online gambling jurisdictions

There are several trusted jurisdictions that are certified to provide online gambling services to players from multiple countries, with each jurisdiction operating within its own set of laws, regulations and guidelines. Most leading casino sites are licensed and certified by one of eight major jurisdictions, including Malta, United Kingdom, Curacao, Gibraltar, Alderney, Isle of Man, Kahnawake and Panama. Follow our links in the table below to learn more about each safe online gambling jurisdiction the online casinos licensed by that body:

JURISDICTION Accepts Australia Accepts USA TOCS Approved Safety (1-10)
United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGB) 10
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) 9
Curaçao eGaming 9
Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) 8
Kahnawake Gaming Commission 8
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission 8
Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) 8
Panama Gambling Control Board 7

Online gambling laws in the USA

While the United States was one of the first countries to enjoy the online gambling boom, with online poker in particular drawing in a huge following, the USA has since introduced some of the most strictest online gambling laws of all. In 2006, the American government introduced the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which effectively made it illegal for any online gambling operator to host online gambling services within US borders or to offer real money gambling services to American citizens, stopping the thriving online gambling industry in its tracks.

In more recent years, individual USA states are beginning to introduce their own laws on a state-level, allowing state residents to gamble for real money online at locally licensed casino and betting sites, although this is a slow process. Some offshore casino sites, namely those licensed in Panama, continue to service the American market, and while USA players don’t have as many choices as players from other Western countries, there are several options out there. Read our USA casinos guide for more information about Americas online gambling laws and the online casinos still accepting USA players.

Legal Casino Sites for All Your Gaming Needs

The following casino sites are the top licensed, regulated and secure recommended platforms to gamble on the World Wide Web, all which are also compatible with mobile phones and tablets. Whether or not you can gamble at these sites depends on the online gambling laws that apply in your country – read our country guides to find out more about the online gambling laws in your area.

  • Web & mobile casino games: play slots, roulette, blackjack, poker against the dealer, live croupier games, baccarat, video poker, craps, sic bo, casino war, computer-generated bingo, keno, scratchies and more @ leading, licensed casino sites likeRoyal Vegas, House of Jack and All Slots.
    Click here for our full list of leading licensed casino sites.
  • Dedicated Web & mobile poker platforms: indulge in real cash games, sit and go tournaments, and Satellite tournaments against other players just like you @ 888 Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.
  • Live lotteries – national and state: Sign up for a free account at Oz Lotteries – our exclusive Internet-based distributor of state and national lottery tickets for Tattslotto, Powerball, Super 66, Oz Lotto, The Pools and more – and score a free game.

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