This entire section of OnlineCasinoSites.com is dedicated to organizing and recommending casino websites by location. Here you’ll find the information you need to find safe online casino sites worldwide. The goal is to help you find gambling sites that cater to the language, culture, currency and banking system in your nation.
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There’s more to choosing global casino sites than looking at its welcome bonus and game selection. Those are important factors of course, but what’s even more important is whether or not that casino accepts customers from your country. Gambling laws are complex and every country on the planet takes a different approach to legislation.
The laws are very lax in some areas and very strict in others. What’s legal in one country may be illegal in its next door neighbor. Some countries have laws that aren’t enforced. Others enforce laws that don’t even exist,and that’s the world of online gambling.
It’s always best to play at a site that specializes in your region. It’s more than just dealing with the law; it’s also catering to what people in your nation tend to expect from a gaming site. The wants and needs of Europeans are completely different than those of people in most Asian countries. A site that understands the market is able to provide you with a better, more fulfilling experience.
Some sites come pretty close to appealing to everyone regardless of location. Large, international brands have the resources and personnel they need to make their services available in a wide variety of countries. Each of the casino sites on this page has a presence in at least a dozen countries.
You can consider these sites international in nature because they work well for users in many parts of the world. Their software and customer support are available in multiple languages, they accept deposits in multiple currencies, and work with your country’s banking options to process transactions quickly.
Some of these casino websites may even hold licenses in your nation depending on where you live. For example, many casino sites holds multiple licenses in the UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Australia. These licenses should provide additional peace of mind for the security-minded gamblers out there. If something goes wrong, you have a legitimate licensing authority that can mediate disputes between customers and gaming sites.
On that note, you don’t have anything to worry about if our recommended sites don’t hold a license in your particular jurisdiction. These are all major sites that operate with flawless reputations for security and safety.
This is why you’ll see the same brands recommended for multiple countries. If a site has a presence in the UK and Canada, and it’s a reputable place to play, it’ll get a spot on both pages.
Other factors such as security, reputation, and game selection, and still factor into our casino listings. Just because a site accepts customers from a certain country doesn’t automatically qualify it for a spot on our top lists. Sites absolutely must meet certain standards of safety, security and timely withdrawals before they even have a chance of being recommended.
Casino Sites Worldwide: Country-by-Country Recommendations
Below is a collection of links to pages that recommend gambling sites by country. Visit any of those pages to read more about why we chose those particular sites and a brief overview of the current legal situation of online gambling.
North American Online Casinos
European Online Casinos
Europe as a whole has a mostly positive outlook on gambling. It is a region that offers gamblers many online casinos to choose from. When it comes to European online casino sites in particular, there are literally hundreds of real money gambling websites open for business right now.
The purpose of this page is to provide safe online casino recommendations and talk about the state of online gambling in Europe today. As you can see here, we’ve started with a quick list of the best European online casinos. We’ll continue the discussion below with an explanation of what you should look for in a gambling site and then talk a little more about making deposits, getting paid and the legal status of real money betting in Europe.
The best European gambling sites distinguish themselves with a wide selection of games and acceptance of multiple currencies. Most sites even let you place wagers in all the most widespread currencies in Europe. This makes depositing, playing and withdrawing fast and easy.
Below we discuss individual European markets. These summaries serve to give you a very general overview of the legal situation in most European nations.
Albania Online Casinos
Albania, like many countries, has a history of lawmakers promising to regulate online gambling but failing to deliver. Laws have been passed in Albania that should eventually create a licensing system, but the licensing system has been delayed for years. The good news in all this is the government does not seem too intent on preventing access to international casino sites.
Armenia Online Casinos
Both local and international casino sites operate freely in Armenia and provide players with plenty of options when it comes to finding a place to play. A small number of domestic operators can be used if you like to support the local economy, but you’re also free to visit some of the world’s largest gambling sites for even more variety.
Austria Online Casinos
Austrian gaming laws are restrictive and the government has granted itself a monopoly over online gambling. However, there are no laws that prohibit players from going online and visiting any number of other online casinos headquartered in other countries. Foreign online casinos offer better odds, better promotions and more game variety than Austria’s one monopoly provider.
Belarus Online Casinos
Belarus is one of the most anti-online gambling nations on the planet. Not only are online casinos prohibited, but people are prohibited from attempting to gamble online as well. People who are caught placing bets online are subject to fines. Additionally, the government actively blocks access to known gambling sites.
Belgium Online Casinos
Belgium permits online gambling, but only at licensed casino sites. This is one of the few countries on the face of the earth that will actually fine players for daring to do business at an online casino not authorized by the government. You can see a list of legal and licensed Belgian casino sites at the following link.
Bulgaria Online Casinos
Bulgaria has a licensing system in place that allows customers to visit regulated, legal gambling sites that are authorized to do business. Previous gaming laws were unworkable with tax rates so high it basically destroyed the industry. Fortunately, Bulgarian lawmakers are some of the few in the world capable of learning from their mistakes. Bulgaria’s new gaming laws are sensible and players now have a variety of licensed online casinos at their fingertips.
Croatia Online Casinos
Croatia is largely a gambling-friendly nation with many options open to players looking for an online casino. The licensing process for Croatian casino sites is a bit heavy-handed and has resulted in a limited number of operators from applying. However, the government does not actively attempt to stop international casino sites from offering their services to Croatians.
Cyprus Online Casinos
Gaming laws in Cyprus allow online sports betting but not casino games. Of course, many sites headquartered overseas are happy to serve Cypriot customers nonetheless. Both sides of the island are fairly restrictive when it comes to online gambling, but we have not yet seen law enforcement target players for playing online.
Czech Republic Online Casinos
After years of uncertainty, the Czech Republic finally enacted new gaming legislation on the first day of 2017. The new gaming laws have proven a bit onerous as we have not seen as many international online casinos apply for licenses as we would have liked. Players do have a few options among locally-licensed casino sites and many more that are licensed outside the Czech Republic.
Denmark Online Casinos
Denmark is home to a healthy and well-regulated gambling industry that affords players choice and protection. The licensing authority is strict in terms of holding operators up to high standards, but does not go overboard with taxes and fees.
Estonia Online Casinos
Estonia has legal online gambling and has issued licenses to a number of qualified casino sites. The licensing process is not overly burdensome and Estonia now has a healthy number of licenses casinos that are safe, fair and regulated.
Finland Online Casinos
Finland’s gambling industry is broken up and ruled by a small handful of monopoly operators. Online gambling is supposed to be done exclusively at Play Among Friends (PAF), but there are no laws preventing citizens from visiting foreign gambling sites in order to take advantage of bigger promotions and more variety.
France Online Casinos
Certain forms of online gambling are legal and licensed in France. This is a massive market for international operators, but local operators have a hard time showing growth owing to high taxes and over regulation. Many of the big-name European gaming sites have separate licenses for the French market. If you live in France, your options are pretty decent. The industry isn’t quite as healthy in France as it is in the UK, but it does show promising signs of growth.
Germany Online Casinos
Germany’s gambling laws are a mess thanks to inept, feckless politicians intent on protecting the state-enforced monopoly over real-world gambling. Feeble attempts to pass new gaming legislation have either failed in practice or have been overturned by the EU for being anti-competitive. Throughout all this mess, players have no trouble playing at online casinos headquartered in other countries.
Greece Online Casinos
Greece has been attempting to change its gambling laws for over a decade now, but just can’t quite get it done. Lawmakers have been slow to act, they have failed to follow their own timeline estimates and they seem absolutely intent on taxing the industry as much as possible. While the government commissions study after study, players can visit Greek casino sites headquartered overseas to play today.
Ireland Online Casinos
Online gambling is widely available in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland’s gaming laws mirror those of the UK and opens the door to all of the world’s largest names in online gambling. Many of those same online casinos are also available to residents of Northern Ireland.
Italy Online Casinos
Online casinos in Italy operate in a similar environment to what we see in France. Italy issues licenses to gaming sites (they must operate on separate .it domain) and taxes online casinos a bit on the excessive side. Most big name companies have Italian licenses but there are also a number of smaller foreign operators who have found it either too expensive or too burdensome to get a license. Unlicensed sites operate contrary to Italian law and players may break Italian law by visiting such sites, but we haven’t yet seen prosecutions of individual players.
Latvia Online Casinos
Latvian casino sites are legal as long as they hold a license from the government. The licensing process has been described as costly and burdensome, and this has resulted in only a handful of online casinos entering the Latvian market. Fortunately, there are still several high quality options for players that are legal and licensed.
Lithuania Online Casinos
Lithuania legalized online gambling in 2016 and now issues licenses to online casinos and betting sites. The list of operators that have received licenses is small, and many players continue to look to offshore options in order to get access to bigger game selections
Luxembourg Online Casinos
Luxembourg’s legal system does not currently have a strong opinion on online gambling one way or another. The national lottery offers a few games online and most other forms of gambling are banned in the real world, but the government has not taken any action to prevent citizens from going online and using the services of casino sites licensed elsewhere.
Poland Online Casinos
Poland’s gambling laws are not good for gamblers… at all. The government only approves of online sports betting, and only specific companies are permitted to offer that. Online casino games are prohibited and players have been threatened with legal action for playing online at unapproved gambling sites.
Portugal Online Casinos
Portugal introduced online gambling regulation in 2015 and began issuing the first licenses shortly thereafter. A handful of operators have been authorized to offer online casino games, poker and sports betting in Portugal, but high taxes and burdensome regulations have stopped the market from reaching its full potential.
Romania Online Casinos
Online casinos, sports betting and poker are all legal and regulated in Romania. It took a while for lawmakers to finally get over their natural impulse to overregulate the industry, but updates to the laws in 2015 made it become a much more feasible market. Now, players have access to a wide range of large, reputable casino sites.
Slovakia Online Casinos
Slovakia’s strict gaming laws only allow online bookmakers to apply for licenses. Casino games, poker and the lottery are all subject to a state monopoly and it looks like things will remain that way for some time to come. There are no laws making it a crime to access foreign casino sites, but Slovakian regulators do maintain a blacklist of known gambling sites that local internet service providers are obligated to block.
Spain Online Casinos
Spain is a regulated market with legal online poker, casino games and sports betting. Spanish gambling laws are strict and impose high taxes on operators, but the people love to gamble and Spain is one of the biggest markets for online gambling. If you live in Spain and want to play online, there are many legal options.
Sweden Online Casinos
Swedish lawmakers have been talking about getting around to passing new online gambling laws for years and have so far failed to deliver. We have seen some signs of progress recently, but we will not be holding our breath. The state-owned monopoly is the only entity authorized to offer online casino games in Sweden, but many international betting sites accept Swedish players as well due to a lack of enforcement.
UK Online Casinos
The UK should serve as a model of legislative commonsense for every other government when it comes to online gambling. The UK’s Gambling Commission issues licenses, monitors the industry closely and allows players to enjoy all forms of online gambling in a safe environment. If more countries follow suit, gamblers around the world will be better off.
If you live in the UK, you can visit the link below to learn more about gaming in the UK.
Ukraine Online Casinos
All forms of gambling are prohibited in Ukraine, but government enforcement of the ban is weak. The law has no means by which to enforce the ban and there is no legal mechanism to prosecute players who violate the ban by playing online. The end result is Ukrainians can choose from all the world’s biggest online casinos.
How To Find Safe European Online Casinos You Can Trust
With so many options to choose from, it’s understandable if newbies feel a little overwhelmed at first. Visit any typical gambling information website and you’ll see dozens of flashing banners claiming that Random Casino A is the best or that Random Casino B has the most games. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of these recommendations are made haphazardly.
Figuring out which casino sites really are the best takes a little work. Our team has done all the hard work: reviewing and rating online casinos so you don’t have to. Our reviews are unbiased, straightforward and in-depth. You won’t get the typical “sales pitch” you see on most websites.
One of our primary goals is to narrow down the options so you have an easier time choosing where to play at. As nice as it is to have options, it’s a major undertaking to come in as a newbie and choose among hundreds of casinos all vying for your attention. We consider our own experiences, visit casinos ourselves, and conduct hands-on reviews from the inside when determining which sites we should recommend to readers. The recommendations you see on this page consist of only the best gaming sites. Simply put, we wouldn’t list a brand here if we wouldn’t play there with our own money.
Our favorite operators are the ones that offer players a varied game selection, easy deposit methods and fast payouts. There’s no excuse for a limited game selection. Casinos that have lots of slot machines, every mainstream table game, and a big bank of video poker titles get higher rankings than casinos with limited offerings.
Deposits and withdrawals are just as important. This is real money we’re talking about here, so there’s no good reason for any online casino to ever delay payouts or provide you with limited withdrawal options. If you want to get your money in hand quickly, the sites you see on this page are your best bet.
Deposits and Withdrawals In Europe
European gamblers will never experience a lack of deposit options. As a gambling-friendly region, Europe does not have excessive online gambling banking regulations. Dozens of companies specialize in processing payments to and from casino sites. They support multiple currencies and languages, and are designed to work within the banking systems of individual countries.
Generally speaking, deposit methods can be divided into three major categories. First of all, credit card and debit card deposits. Most major credit card brands can be used to send money straight to your casino account.
Players can also use prepaid gift cards and vouchers to fund their gambling accounts. Ukash and Entropay are two well-known online casino prepaid gift cards.
E-wallets are another option, acting as middlemen between your bank account and online casinos. PayPal, Neteller and Click2Pay are three prominent examples of online gambling e-wallet services.
And the third category is direct bank transfers: using e-checks, wire transfers, and electronic bank transfers. Simply transfer money from your bank account to your casino account. Bank transfers are often free.
All the major European casino sites support deposits and withdrawals with numerous currencies. Wherever you live, there’s a site somewhere that accepts your native currency. Sometimes you can even wager with your currency. However, if you use a “smaller” currency, the casino will automatically exchange it for you every time you join or leave a game.
European Gambling Laws
Europe has a mostly positive view of gambling. The UK and many European Union countries have legalized and regulate online casino sites. Some countries don’t address the issue at all.
It’s always best to check local gambling laws (OnlineCasinoSites.com does not offer legal advice).
Asian Online Casinos
The demand for gambling is huge in Asia. Today, gambling in Macau alone is worth $45 billion. That makes it a market 7 times bigger than Las Vegas.
Online casino sites are doing big business in the Asian market as well. Gamblers from Asia have plenty of places to play real money casino games right now. Asia encompasses quite a bit of territory, so the options will vary from one country to the next. However, we list online casinos that are available to customers from most Asian countries.
Keep in mind, Asian countries may have certain general similarities, but the laws vary by a wide margin from country to country.
Bangladesh Online Casinos
Bangladesh is home to outdated gaming laws that prohibit online gambling in theory only. The reality is players can easily go online and find casino sites that accept Bangladeshi customers. Gaming laws do not present the biggest challenge here, banking laws do. Banking laws make it difficult to deposit via certain popular payment methods, but there are alternatives. You can read all about those alternatives and more by following the link below.
Cambodia Online Casinos
Cambodia resembles many other countries by prohibiting gambling, but doing very little to actually prevent people from playing online. Finding online casinos in Cambodia is easy and the options are plenty. Our advice is to stick with international casino sites that are headquartered in other countries and licensed by their local gaming regulators.
China Online Casinos
China is one of the most difficult countries in Asia when it comes to gambling online thanks to strict anti-gambling laws and the Great Firewall that seek to prevent citizens from visiting casino sites. Even so, China is known for having a huge gambling appetite and many online casinos are happy to accept Chinese customers.
Hong Kong Online Casinos
Hong Kong is one of a small number of countries in the world that actually punish individual gamblers for visiting online casinos. Being caught visiting a casino site in Hong Kong can result in jail time and fines. It is difficult and risky to find places to play online here for these reasons.
India Online Casinos
India is in the process of modernizing its gambling laws and things are bound to change over the next few years. Some states have changed their laws to permit online gambling, but progress has been slow and much work remains to be done. Many international online casinos happily accept Indian players and support local language plus rupee deposit methods.
Indonesia Online Casinos
Indonesia does not have much of a gambling culture owing to its Muslim sensibilities and strict anti-gambling laws. That being said, some casino sites do accept Indonesian customers nonetheless. Players should be aware that the law does prohibit all forms of gambling. Additionally, an internet censorship policy can make it difficult to access gambling websites.
Japan Online Casinos
Japanese gaming laws prohibit the operation of online casinos and participating in unauthorized gambling, but there is little-to-no enforcement when it comes to individual people choosing to play online. You will have few issues finding online casinos that are happy to accept your business. Until the law changes, the best Japanese casinos sites will be those that are licensed and regulated by overseas regulators.
Malaysia Online Casinos
Malaysian gaming laws clearly prohibit participating in unauthorized gambling, but all indications to date are that the authorities are more concerned with providers than they are with players. Many people from Malaysia have played online with no trouble even though the law could, in theory, be applied to the mere act of playing online. However, we have no indications that Malaysian authorities spend their time bothering individual players.
Philippines Online Casinos
The Philippines has had an on-again-off-again relationship with online casinos in recent years. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued licenses to casino sites for a time, rescinded those licenses on orders from President Duterte, and then began issuing licenses once again. The gaming laws here are confusing, but gamblers do have a few options for playing online today.
Russia Online Casinos
Whether or not Russia counts as an Asian country is up for debate, but one thing that’s certain is the country has an appetite for gambling. A nationwide ban in 2009 nearly destroyed the domestic gambling industry, but Russia is slowly coming around to embrace online gaming once again. A handful of sports betting sites have been granted licenses in recent years, but Russia is still fairly restrictive in terms of casino-style gambling.
Singapore Online Casinos
Singapore prohibits online gambling, but appears to take little interest in actually prosecuting individual players. Care should still be taken when deciding whether or not to play online, however, because the law clearly prohibits the act of playing online. All online casinos that accept customers from Singapore are headquartered overseas in countries that are not hostile to online gaming.
South Korea Online Casinos
South Korea is home to fairly restrictive gaming laws, but has so far refrained from going after people for playing online at overseas casinos sites. The government does not block access to offshore online casinos and players have a decent number of international casino sites to choose from. However, players should know the government did once threaten to go after citizens for playing online at foreign casino sites.
Turkey Online Casinos
Turkey permits a few limited forms of gambling managed by state monopoly providers and prohibits everything else. Current gaming laws call for players to be fined if caught playing online, but it is unclear if the government actively targets players today. Banking restrictions and internet censorship further complicate the matter. Depsite all this, there are a few online casinos that accept players from Turkey today.
Vietnam Online Casinos
In Vietnam, there is a vast disparity between what the law declares and what the people actually do. Nearly every form of gambling is prohibited, but Vietnam is home to a thriving underground gambling industry. Underground casinos are frequently raided in the real world, but the authorities do not seem too concerned with rounding up people who place a few bets online.
Stick with the Big Names
There are a lot of small Asian casinos with odd names out there. Sometimes these casinos with funny names are run by smart people who serve a specific niche market, but you need to be very careful. Online gambling law is unclear in many parts of Asia and that means you won’t necessarily have recourse if something goes wrong.
Your money will be safer if you stick with the big Asian casino operators listed on this page.
The legality of online gambling in Asia is a complex topic. Our country-specific pages dig deeper into the details and give you more useful information.
Many Asian countries have anti-gambling laws, but enforcement is inconsistent and sporadic. For example, it’s supposed to be illegal to place wagers online in China, but the Chinese online gambling market is huge.
Online casinos reside in a legal grey area in most of Asia.
Internet censorship is becoming one of the most common and effective ways anti-gambling governments are fighting against online casinos. For example, Singapore recently instituted a country-wide internet block of known gambling sites. Visitors to online casinos may now be greeted with messages that explain online wagering is prohibited.
Meanwhile, the Philippines have become a major licensing hub for Asian gambling sites. The situation there is interesting because sites licensed in the Philippines may accept customers from other countries, but NOT customers from the Philippines. However, Filipinos can safely bet at casinos licensed in other jurisdictions.
In the end, it will serve you best to do some research and understand local laws where you live before playing real money games from any Asian country.
Depositing and Withdrawing at Asian Online Casinos
Asian casinos often use a different system of financial processing, accepting unique currencies and local deposit methods.
Local debit cards, Skrill, and Entropay are all fairly popular deposit methods that are often found at Asian gambling sites.
As convenient as these deposit methods may be, cash is still king in the Asian gambling culture. The best casino sites understand this and go to great lengths to make it possible for gamblers to convert their cash into digital currency that they can wager online. This is sometimes accomplished via anonymous prepaid cards and withdrawals that can be claimed at ATMs. In other cases, local agents are used to facilitate cash transactions.
Gambling on Credit is Big in Asia
In most countries it’s illegal for casino websites to grant credit to customers. It’s a whole different story in Asia. The laws are different and even the biggest Asian casinos operate under questionable legality.
Some Asian online casino sites grant lines of credit to customers.
The system of betting online with credit is associated with all sorts of problems, but it is very profitable for Asian casino operators.
Middle Eastern Online Casinos
African Online Casinos
South Africa is the biggest gambling market in Africa with reports that South Africa accounts for more than 90% of the gambling market share in sub-Saharan Africa. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, total casino gambling revenue in South Africa amounted to R17.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2014. Many forms of gambling are available in South Africa, but casino games account for the lion’s share of the overall gambling market in South Africa.
Unfortunately, casino games are only legal in the real world in South Africa. The National Gambling Act of 2004 and the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 function together to permit online sports betting but prohibit online casinos in South Africa. However, many South Africans do visit foreign casino sites every day to play real money games from the privacy of home.
Read more: Online Casinos in South Africa
Morocco bucks the trend for a Muslim-majority nation by permitting a handful of brick-and-mortar casinos and a national lottery. Marocaine des Jeux & des Sports (Morocco Games and Sport) is also authorized to offer online sports betting.
Current gaming legislation does not address online casinos in Morocco. There is no process by which local online casinos could acquire an operating license, but the government also does not prohibit people from using the internet to place bets with foreign providers.
Read more: Online Casinos in Morocco
Algeria has one of the worst outlooks in Africa for gambling growth as a Muslim-majority nation with strict anti-gambling laws. You will not find legal sports betting shops, poker rooms, or casinos in Algeria now or any time soon.
Online casinos from other parts of the world do serve the Algerian market contrary to local law. As these casino sites are headquartered thousands of miles away in other countries, local authorities can do little to put an end to online gambling in Algeria.
Read more: Online Casinos in Algeria
Angola is home to a handful of physical casinos and has gambling laws designed to offer some regulation over the industry. Online casinos are not regulated, although a new law introduced in 2016 does indicate Angolan authorities plan to consider the issue. Currently, there are no online casinos headquartered in Angola, but there are no laws prohibiting people from visiting online casinos based out of foreign nations.
In early 2016, Angolan parliament passed new gambling legislation seeking to regulate casinos, lotteries and online gambling. The law also seeks to tax the industry and provide the government with great revenues derived from gambling. Furthermore, the law gives the state absolute control over all gambling, but the state does reserve the right to permit private entities to enter into business.
Gambling is legal in Benin, but the industry is not very well developed due to the small population and economic hardships faced by the Benin people. The Benin Marina Hotel in Cotonou once had an attached casino that has since closed. Hundreds of gaming machines once operated across the country, but a law passed in 2002 banned all gaming machines.
Online casinos are not regulated and none are located in Benin. However, residents do have the option to visit foreign casino sites. Reliable internet access and payment methods pose serious challenges, but there are no laws that make it a crime to gamble online in Benin.
Botswana has a well-regulated and functioning gambling industry that permits all the most common forms of gambling. Online casinos are also permitted in Botswana provided operators apply for and receive proper licensing.
The Gambling Act, 2012 and the follow-up Gambling Regulations, 2016 provide the legal basis for all gambling that takes place in Botswana. These newer laws significantly tightened regulations over the industry and now require all forms of gambling, including online and via SMS, must be licensed. Players remain free to visit offshore casino sites if they wish.
Most forms of gambling are legal and regulated in Burkina Faso, but the industry is not very well developed here due to widespread poverty. The state lottery has a monopoly over lottery games, scratch cards, betting on horse races, and a few other forms of gambling.
Casino games and slot machines are also permitted if offered by a licensed operator. Gambling laws do not mention online casinos in Burkina Faso and we believe there are no laws preventing people from visiting casino websites. In any case, the internet situation in Burkina Faso isn’t conducive to online gambling.
The precarious political climate in Burundi has all but killed any chance of a normal, functioning gambling industry. There was at least one brick-and-mortar casino and a national lottery in Burundi at one time, but the status of those operations is unclear at this time. To put it simply, gambling occupies a very low place on the order of priorities for Burundi and its people.
Gambling laws drafted in 1989 legalized horse racing betting, casinos, and gaming machines in Cameroon and the Finance Law of 2005 instituted taxes and tighter regulations, but gambling regulation remains lax. The government has cited corruption and money laundering as serious concerns as lawmakers discuss new legislation to modernize the gambling laws.
There is word that the new law may address online gambling, but currently, online gambling is unregulated. There are no locally-based casino sites in Cameroon at this time. However, players are free to visit foreign casino websites to play real money games online.
With a significant source of Cape Verde’s income deriving from tourism, the government has worked to pass sensible gambling legislation and attract foreign investment. Those efforts have yielded fruit in the form of five gambling zones and, more recently, a major investment from Macau Legend Development Limited to build a $273 million casino resort.
The development firm reached an agreement with the Cape Verde government to grant Macau Legend a 75-year land concession, 25-year land concession, and 15 years’ exclusivity over gambling on Santiago Island. The agreement also grants Macau Legend a 10-year monopoly over online casinos in all of Cape Verde.
As such, online gambling is legal but tightly controlled in Cape Verde. Players remain able to visit foreign casino sites at present, but it is possible the government will take additional actions in the future in order to forcibly funnel residents to the one authorized provider of online gambling in the nation.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic is in the midst of a violent political upheaval that renders any discussion of gambling or gambling law nearly useless at present. There are some gambling laws on the books that make it illegal to run unlicensed casinos in the Central African Republic, but when basic institutions such as healthcare and criminal justice are unrecognizable, mere gambling laws take a back seat to nearly everything else.
There are no known functioning casinos in the Central African Republic and there are no online casinos headquartered here. It is highly unlikely you would get in trouble for gambling online here, but it is equally unlikely that doing so would even be on your mind given the current political situation.
Gambling is permitted to an extent in Chad, but only if offered by approved operators. The gambling industry here is underdeveloped given the widespread poverty and unstable political climate in Chad and neighboring countries. There was a casino called Casino du Chari at one point, but it is unclear if that casino is still operational.
Chad’s gambling laws do not mention online gambling and there are no casino sites headquartered in Chad. Internet access is extremely limited in Chad, so the issue of online gambling has not been addressed. There are no laws that explicitly prohibit participating in online gambling for anyone who does have access to the internet.
Comoros is a small but gambling-friendly nation that permits most forms of gambling as long as operators are licensed by the government. Comoros has all the potential in the world to become a tourist destination with a booming casino industry, but political upheaval and problems associated with poverty have conspired to keep Comoros a relatively untapped land on the international stage.
Online gambling is also legal and regulated in the Comoros, although this industry too remains untapped for the most part. The Computer Gambling and Licensing Act of 1999 and the Betting and Gaming Act 2005 both address online casinos and do make it possible for international gambling sites to acquire local licenses.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Legal gambling options in the Democratic Republic of the Congo consist of physical casinos and the national lottery run by the Loterie Nationale du Congo. The biggest casino is located in Kinshasa but there are reportedly smaller gambling establishments located in other parts of the country.
DRC gambling laws are sufficiently relaxed that it is not too difficult for would-be operators to go through the licensing process to enter the gambling industry. However, widespread poverty in the DRC is not conducive to the establishment of a notable gambling industry. Online casinos are not licensed or regulated in the DRC at this time, but there are no laws that make it an offense to gamble online.
Djibouti does allow gambling in licensed casinos, of which there are three in the country. The small population of Djibouti has made it difficult for any major gaming industry to emerge, but locals do have a few options. There are no laws that specifically mention online casinos in Djibouti and as far as we can tell, it is not a crime to visit online casinos.
The gambling laws of Equatorial Guinea permit authorized lotteries and brick-and-mortar casinos. The vast majority of the country’s wealth is concentrated in Malabo and that is also where the vast majority of the gambling options exist. Games World International operates two casinos in Malabo with a variety of recognizable games such as roulette, blackjack and slots.
Gaming laws in Equatorial Guinea do not address online gambling one way or another. Thus, there is no means for casino site operators to acquire licenses or legal status, but there are no laws that prevent people from visiting foreign casino sites.
Eritrea does not permit gambling and has no casinos or other legal gambling options. As one of the poorest nations in the world and marred by decades of violence, the legalization of gambling is very low on the country’s list of priorities. Online gambling is unregulated although it appears there are no laws preventing people from using offshore online casinos to play.
Casino gambling and sports betting are legal in Ethiopia, but there are currently no licensed operators. The National Lottery Administration (NLA) controls all gambling in Ethiopia and issues licenses in addition to managing the national lottery. The NLA has issued permits in the past, but it appears there is simply little interest for operators to open shop in Ethiopia.
At one point, a company called Dagooo Bet opened to accept sports wagers in the real world and online but went out of business not long after opening. If you want to gamble online in Ethiopia, you will need to visit a foreign gambling site.
Gabon is a fairly well-off nation by African standards and has a handful of casinos in operation today. The biggest of these are located in Libreville and Port-Gentil. The regulations that actually guide gambling in Gabon are difficult to find online, but it appears that casinos must have an operating license to be considered legal.
Gabonese law makes no mention of online casinos or sports betting and we are unable to locate any casino sites headquartered in Gabon. The penal code makes it a crime to operate unauthorized gambling houses or to host games of chance in public, but there are no codes that make it a crime to participate in online gambling with foreign providers.
Gambia’s gambling industry came to a screeching halt in 2015 after president Yahya Jammeh declared a complete ban on all gambling. Sports betting shops, casinos, and even the national lottery were unable to escape the new prohibition. This pronouncement came just a few months before the president declared that Gambia would henceforth be recognized as an Islamic republic.
Although online casinos were not specifically mentioned in the president’s statement, internet gambling was presumably included in the ban as it declared all forms of gambling to be illegal. A number of foreign casino sites still accept customers from Gambia, but
Most forms of gambling are legal and regulated in Ghana under the Gaming Act, 2006. The legal options for players include brick-and-mortar casinos, sports betting shops, horse racing, bingo, slot machines and online casinos and sportsbooks. The Gaming Commission of Ghana oversees all gambling in the country and is responsible for issuing licenses, collecting licensing fees, and ensuring compliance with all regulations.
A small number of online casinos are licensed and headquartered in Ghana, but their reputation on the internet is not the greatest. As such, it is probably best to consider playing at overseas gambling sites if you live in Ghana.
Legal gambling options exist in Guinea, but it is difficult to find much information about how, exactly, casinos are regulated. What we know for sure is there are at least a few casinos and a national lottery in Guinea. In Conakry, for example, the Riviera Royal Hotel features a small casino.
Online casinos appear to be legal in Guinea, although we are unable to locate any casino sites headquartered in Guinea. Your best bet would be to visit a foreign online casino that accepts customers from Guinea.
The legal status of gambling in Guinea-Bissau is completely unknown at this time. The government does not publish its laws online and our own research resulted in no additional information. Guinea-Bissau has struggled since winning independence from Portugal in 1974 and most of its government institutions are highly dysfunctional.
Between 1980 and 2012, Guinea-Bissau experienced multiple military coups, political violence and uncertainty. To put its troubles in perspective, one president was assassinated in 2009 and then his replacement died of disease just three years later. The proper regulation of gambling in Guinea-Bissau is a far off prospect while Guinea-Bissau sorts itself out as a functioning nation.
Casino games, sports betting, and the national lottery are all available to varying degrees in the Ivory Coast. Sports betting has proven particularly popular in recent years, but there is at least one casino attached to a hotel.
The National Lottery of the Ivory Coast (LONACI) runs a number of gambling games to go along with the lottery. They provide a form of sports betting, virtual sports betting games, and possibly more. The National Lottery has always developed an online gaming portal and iOS/Android gambling apps that allow players to bet on sports, place virtual sports bets and play in other virtual games. Players who win money online can withdraw cash from the numerous cash points located across the country.
While the National Lottery website offers a number of gambling options, there are no full-fledged online casinos operating on Ivory Coast soil. Anyone wishing to play at a casino site with a full range of games can do so by visiting international casino sites that accept customers from the Ivory Coast.
Kenya is very open to gambling with most forms completely legal, even online casinos. The first online casino went live in 2011 at BetKenya.com and since then others have also gone live. BetKenya later closed for business, but more than a dozen others have since stepped in to fill the void. Some Kenyan gambling sites have done very well for themselves – to the point of expanding internationally and inking sponsorship deals with major UK football clubs.
Mobile sports betting has proven especially attractive in Kenya where mobile phones are often users’ primary access point to the internet. The growth in mobile sports betting has been so significant that mobile money transfers were reported to have grown by 20% in the first half of 2016.
Read more: Kenyan Casino Sites
Casino gambling has been legal in Lesotho since the Casino Order of 1989. The Casino Order requires that all casinos be attached to hotels rather than operate as standalone businesses. In doing so, Lesotho has made it clear they want to keep gambling restricted mostly as a tourist attraction rather than as a nation-wide business that attracts locals.
There are currently two casino hotels in Lesotho. Both are owned by the AVANI Lesotho group of hotels. Lesotho AVANI and Maseru AVANI each offer a small number of table games and slot machines. Any business wishing to open a casino in Lesotho must apply to the Casino Board in Lesotho and prove its suitability both in terms of financial capability and integrity.
Online casinos are not mentioned in any Lesotho gambling laws and there is no mechanism providing for the licensing of gambling websites. However, individuals are free to visit foreign casino sites to play for real money.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed new legislation into law in 2015 to legalize and regulate most forms of gambling. With the new legislation in force, prospective gambling operators may apply for licenses to offer casino games, sports betting, slot machines, and practically any activity that involves risking money on future events / unpredictable outcomes.
The newly-created National Lottery Authority (NLA) adopted its first regulations in 2016 to grant the NLA oversight over all forms of gambling in Liberia. The new regulations lay out the licensing procedure for prospective operators, set licensing fees, and grant the NLA power to impose penalties over gaming activities that are run contrary to the law.
It has also been reported that the NLA has the power to issue licenses to online casinos in Liberia. No gambling sites have yet been opened or licensed in Liberia, but locals do have the freedom to visit foreign casino sites in the meantime.
Gambling was banned in Libya for decades under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi and remains prohibited to this day. As an overwhelmingly Muslim country, it is unlikely gambling will be legalized any time soon in Libya. The people here have been without gambling for so long and the religion of Islam is so clearly anti-gambling that there is little-to-no desire to change the status quo.
Participating in gambling is also illegal, although it is unclear if the government actively pursues those who place bets online from the privacy of home. Other websites indicate that there is little risk in visiting foreign casino sites, but some caution should be exercised nonetheless if you do decide to play online.
Gambling is legal in Madagascar, but the options are limited with just two casino hotels located in Antananarivo. The gambling laws of Madagascar are unclear, but the government appears content in relegating gambling to a small role in Madagascar.
Online casinos are similarly restricted in Madagascar and there are no casino sites headquartered here. It would be best to consult with an attorney before gambling online in Madagascar, but the legal risk is likely nonexistent.
Casino gambling and sports betting are legal in Malawi at establishments licensed by the Malawi Gaming Board (MGB). Regulations issued in 1996 and amended in 1998 created the MGB and gave it the authority to issue licenses, revoke licenses, inquire into complaints against licensed establishments and issue regulations.
The Gaming Act (1998) first made it possible to establish casinos in Malawi along with smaller gaming houses and sports betting operations. Today, there are two licensed casinos, two licensed gaming houses, and one sports betting operator called Premier Betting. The two casinos are called the Colony Club Casino and the American Pirates Casino.
Online casinos are not regulated in Malawi, but the MGB has stated that participating in unlicensed gambling games is illegal. A news article published in 2016 described the MGB’s plans to crack down on unlicensed gambling games both in public places and in peoples’ homes. Authorities seem focused on stopping retail gambling, but it would probably be best to avoid participating in online gambling in public.
As a predominantly Muslim nation, Mali does not take kindly to gambling. All forms of gambling are prohibited in Mali. The prohibition includes both being in the business of gambling as a provider as well as participating as a player. Nowhere in Mali is it legal to play casino games, sports betting, compete in poker, and so on.
Although Mali treats participating in gambling as an offense, we are unable to find reports of anyone being charged for visiting foreign casino sites from the privacy of home. The odds are good that you will not have any problems if you visit an offshore gambling website, but you should know the authorities could charge you for doing so if they choose.
The official name of Mauritania (Islamic Republic of Mauritania) offers a hint as to the legal status of gambling in this northwest African country. Gambling in all its forms is prohibited here and there are no legal establishments people can visit to place a bet on sports or play casino-style games.
Participation in gambling is likewise prohibited in Mauritania. There are no online casinos headquartered here and probably will not be any time soon. Theoretically, the law prohibits placing bets online, but local authorities have so far shown no desire to go out of their way to look for internet gamblers.
Mauritius takes a much more friendly approach to gambling with laws that permit and regulate the activity. Legislation passed in 2007 established the Gambling Regulatory Authority to oversee local casinos, online casinos, sports betting operators, racebooks, and more. Overall, people living in Mauritius have a wide variety of gaming options open to them at any given time.
Online gambling is also regulated under the Gambling Regulatory Act of 2007. Section XVIII of the law states that no one may operate an online casino in Mauritius without a license and that the Gambling Regulatory Authority does have the authority to order local internet service providers to block access to offshore casino sites.
For reasons unclear, the authority has not yet issued a license to any gambling sites. The GRA website keeps a list of licensees for all types of gambling and simply states that part XVIII of the GRA Act dealing with online gaming is “not in operation.”
The GRA Act also states that anyone who participates in “any gambling or betting activity which is not regulated under this Act shall commit an offense” and is liable to a fine of up to 25,000 rupees and to imprisonment of up to one year. It is unclear if the authorities apply this section to people who visit offshore casinos. We do not know of any cases in which someone has been charged for participating in online gambling, but you should proceed with caution nonetheless.
Both retail and online gambling are legal in Mozambique thanks to laws enacted in 1994 and amended in 2009. The original law was a bit restrictive in nature as it only permitted casinos to be built attached to hotels with at least 250 rooms, required startup capital of at least $15 million and failed to address online gambling.
Lawmakers amended the law in 2009 in a bid to make Mozambique a more attractive destination for casino-related investments. The amendments dropped the 250 room requirement and changed it to where casinos may now be built in association with hotels that are rated at least 4 stars regardless of the number of rooms. The law also reduced the capital startup requirements to $8 million.
Most importantly for our purposes, the amendments also legalized online gambling. However, no casino sites have been established in Mozambique to date. No problem – players may still visit online casinos headquartered in others parts of the world. All you need is a connection to the internet.
Brick-and-mortar casinos are legal in Namibia and were first regulated by the 1994 Casinos and Gambling Houses Act. There have been numerous subsequent efforts to update the 1994 in order to better regulate gambling, but to date, nothing firm has been passed into law. The most recent change came in 2015 when a new board for casinos was appointed in order to assist lawmakers in drafting laws that could better protect the vulnerable, cut back on crime and raise money for charitable causes.
Online gambling has never been addressed one way or another by Namibian gambling law. It appears as though there are no laws that prohibit gambling in Namibia even though no casinos are headquartered here. In any case, anyone with internet access will have no problem finding foreign casino sites to play online.
Niger does not have much of a gambling industry to speak of as one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. The gambling laws here are unclear, but we know at one point a casino was attached to the Hotel Gaweye in Niamey. We are unable to confirm if the casino is still active at this point. Recent reviews on travel booking websites make no mention of the casino.
Broad swaths of Niger remain essentially lawless to this day so it is possible underground gambling takes place. Online casinos do not exist in Niger, although anyone with internet access will be able to visit foreign gambling websites.
Nigeria ranks second only to South Africa in terms of total annual gambling revenue. The gulf is wide with Nigeria reportedly seeing gambling revenues of $40 million in 2014 compared to South Africa’s $1.6 billion that same year, but Nigeria does have the fastest growth rate in Africa for total gambling revenues.
Local laws prohibit most forms of gambling with the exceptions of licensed casinos (of which there are three in Nigeria), backgammon and card games of skill. Dice and pure gambling games are outlawed across the country except in licensed casinos.
Nigerian casino sites are not addressed by current gambling laws, but a local online casino called NairaGames.com opened briefly before shutting down amid legal and financial troubles. Today, Nigerians wishing to gamble online are free to visit offshore casino sites that are licensed in other countries.
Read more: Nigerian Casino Sites
Gambling legislation introduced in 2011 and enacted in 2012 regulate casino gambling and sports betting in Rwanda today. The local gambling industry grew quickly after that – in fact, it grew too quickly as locals unfamiliar with gambling found themselves losing significant sums of money.
Widespread public outcry soon followed and the government enacted a temporary prohibition of all gambling activities until it could find a way to better regulate the activity. The government introduced new regulations later in 2016.
Sports betting is especially popular in Rwanda with three operators controlling the majority of the sports betting market. Casino Kigali in Kigali serves as the largest and most well-known casino in the country. Rwandan law does not address online gambling one way or another.
Sao Tome and Principe
Legislation drafted in 2004 regulates all gambling today in São Tomé and Príncipe. The law “Dos Jogos de Fortuna Ou Azar em São Tomé e Príncipe” specifies that gambling may only be offered by licensed casinos on the island. To date, only one casino has been authorized to offer real money games in Sao Tome and Principe.
The primary gambling law only addresses online casinos with two paragraphs of text that basically say a land-based casino license does not authorize that casino to offer online games and that interactive licenses are considered autonomous. The law does not specify how or under what conditions an online casino license may even be acquired.
Neither the gambling law nor the penal code mention any penalties for players who participate in unauthorized gambling. The penal code does provide serious punishments for those who operate unauthorized gambling operations, but it does not mention anything regarding players. As far as we can tell, there are no laws preventing players from visiting foreign online casinos through the internet.
Between brick-and-mortar casinos and a variety of games offered by the national lottery (Senegal National Lottery), gamblers in Senegal have a decent number of options. The national lottery has been expanding its reach in recent years with new lottery games, virtual horse racing betting, and mobile offerings.
A handful of land-based casinos operate throughout Senegal. One of the more well-known of these is the casino at Terrou-Bi Dakar. Terrou-Bi offers slot machines, video poker, traditional table games, and a poker room that hosts the annual Dakar Poker Tour in addition to daily cash games.
There is no licensing mechanism for online casinos in Senegal, but the law also does not prohibit locals from going online to visit international gambling websites.
Seychelles is one of the most gambling-friendly nations in Africa with legislation that permits both retail and online gambling. The Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014 (PDF) regulates all legal gambling in the country and grants the state the ability to issue licenses for land-based casinos, slot machines, and online gambling sites.
Legal online gambling in Seychelles includes sports betting, casino games, lottery-style games, and virtual sports betting. AmazonBetting.com is one of the more prominent casino sites headquartered here and is licensed by the Seychelles Licensing Authority.
Gambling options in Sierra Leone include the national lottery, sports betting, and a single casino. The government of Sierra Leone issues licenses to gaming providers but provides almost no regulation of the industry. For the past two years, lawmakers have called for new gaming laws and a repeal of the 1962 Lotto Act in order to better regulate the domestic gambling industry.
Mercury International and the national lottery are the only two providers currently permitted to operate the lottery and sports betting. Mercury International betting products can be found in more than 1,000 locations across the country.
Current gaming laws do not address online casinos or other forms of interactive gambling. No local casino sites are licensed to do business in Sierra Leone, but there are also no laws prohibiting people from visiting foreign casino websites.
Somalia is strongly influenced by Islamic tradition and all forms of gambling are prohibited by default. The law restricts the operation of casinos and other forms of gambling as well as participation as a player. There are no legal options to place wagers or otherwise risk your money on uncertain future events in Somalia.
Reports from Somali locals claim that participating in online gambling may be considered prohibited in certain parts of the country but that there is no enforcement. If you are fortunate enough to have a working internet connection in Somalia, you should be fine visiting online casinos headquartered in other nations.
South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, but the region has been wracked by war and political instability dating back decades. The latest civil war supposedly came to an end in 2015, but violence and the threat of renewed war continues to this day. As a result, the regulation of gambling in South Sudan rates very lowly on the government’s priorities list.
The closest thing South Sudan has to gambling is the National Lottery which offers national drawings, scratch games, and other lottery-style games. The lottery holds weekly drawings and sells tickets at various locations across South Sudan as well as online.
We are unable to find any laws that address online gambling in South Sudan today. The country has more pressing issues to deal with so we do not expect a burgeoning casino industry here any time soon. It may or may not be legal to gamble online, but there is almost zero risk if you do choose to visit an online casino given the current political climate. Authorities and police forces are focused on more important issues at present.
Sudanese law is rooted in Islamic teachings and therefore prohibits all gambling. This is one of the most anti-gambling laws in all of Africa with no lottery, no casinos, and strict punishments for those who violate Sharia law. Severe lashings are common in Sudan, and some people have even died after being lashed. At one point, a Sudanese cleric and member of parliament stated that even television prize drawings for subscribers are forbidden by Islam.
As you would expect, there are no online casinos to be found in Sudan. It is considered a violation of the law to participate in online gambling, but the extent to which the government prosecutes online gamblers is unknown. We do know that the government censors the internet and monitors internet activities of its citizens.
In 2016, authorities raided 130 internet cafes in Khartoum in an effort to crackdown on the consumption of content that threatens “public morals.” Although there are online casinos that accept players from Sudan, it would be wise to avoid gambling altogether.
Swaziland is home to a healthy gambling industry that includes numerous brick-and-mortar casinos as well as a licensing regime for online casino sites. The majority of the casinos are attached to hotels in tourist areas and earn a significant sum of their revenues from visitors to Swaziland.
Online gambling is also legal and regulated, but no online casinos are currently licensed. Land-based casino Piggs Peak once operate a gambling website called Piggs Peak Casino, but the website lost its Swaziland license after a legal dispute between its operators and the South African government stemming from the casino’s acceptance of South African players. A new casino occupies PiggsPeak.com, but it is not licensed in Swaziland.
Our understanding of Swaziland gambling law leads us to believe there are no laws against visiting online casinos hosted in foreign jurisdictions.
The Gaming Act, 2003 is the most current legislation regulating gambling in Tanzania. The Gaming Act along with other legislative efforts has created a pro-gambling environment in which lotteries, casinos, sports betting, and online gambling are all legal and licensed.
The Gaming Board of Tanzania was established in 2003 and currently regulates gambling across the country. The board has so far licensed a handful of real-world casinos along with at least one online casino located at iPlay8casino.com.
Locals are welcome to play at the locally-licensed casino site as well as international gambling websites. International online casinos located in other parts of the world also accept Tanzanian customers and there are no laws preventing locals from visiting those sites.
Togo is a small, developing nation with little by way of organized gambling. The gaming laws here are unclear, but several websites state there are several brick-and-mortar casinos in the capital city of Lomé.
Online gambling appears to be unregulated as well. Again, the laws are unclear but it seems as though people are free to visit foreign casino sites if they so choose. In any case, there are many casino sites are happy to do business with people from Togo.
Tunisian law and culture is generally unfavorable towards gambling, but the country does have a few brick-and-mortar casinos that support the country’s tourism industry. Islamic law and custom are powerful forces in Tunisia, so we are lucky to have even these few options.
Online casinos are not legal or regulated in Tunisia, but we do not know for sure if locals are prohibited from playing at offshore casino sites. In all likelihood, there is little-to-no legal risk if you choose to play online from the comfort of home.
Uganda completely revamped its gambling laws in 2016 with the passage of the Lotteries and Gaming Act, 2016. Most forms of gambling remain legal under the act but are subject to much greater supervision and regulation. Also in 2016, the Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board issued a variety of new guidelines intended to promote a more responsible gambling industry.
Some of the newer regulations include keeping all Ugandan casinos and betting ships more than 100 meters away from schools and hospitals, enforcing a minimum age of 18 for gambling, providing adequate security for patrons, and more. After years of outdated and loosely-enforced gaming laws, Uganda appears to be finally giving the issue some priority.
Zambia has enacted several pieces of legislation that regulate gambling across the nation. Several brick-and-mortar casinos have been authorized to offer their services in Zambia along with sports betting and a national lottery.
The legislation that controls gambling in Zambia consists of:
None of these laws specifically mention online casinos in Zambia, but one company called Sports4Africa.com does offer online sports betting. We are unaware of any casino sites that are headquartered in Zambia, but it appears that there are no restrictions in place preventing locals from using the internet to gamble at offshore casino sites.
Zimbabwe has a permissive attitude towards gambling. The Lotteries and Gaming Act passed in 1998 and implemented in 2000 legalized most forms of gambling across the nation. Brick-and-mortar casinos, sports betting shops, and gaming terminals can be found in most cities and business has picked up in recent years.
However, Zimbabwe authorities have expressed concern about the growth of gambling even as the unemployment rate approaches 90%. If both trends continue, the government may eventually be prompted into action. In 2015, the government temporarily stopped issuing licenses to sports betting operators in an attempt to stem the rising tide of gambling in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe does not regulate or license online casinos in the country. We are unaware of any local operators, but citizens do have the freedom to visit foreign gambling websites if they wish.
Latin America Online Casinos
Gambling laws in many Latin American countries are outdated and do not yet address online gambling, but the regulated market is growing and a few countries have amended their laws to regulate online casinos in Latin America while others are expected to soon start the process.
Mexico and Brazil have made significant strides on licensing and regulating online casinos, and both countries are becoming attractive markets for the international online gambling industry.
However, the majority of the countries in Latin America have not yet taken up the online gambling issue. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for players. All it means for players is we have many options to choose from as most of the world’s large casino sites accept customers from the region.
It is necessary to consider each country individually in order to understand the current state of online gambling in Latin America.
Argentinian gambling law is a complex affair due to gambling being regulated at the provincial level rather than the federal level. As such, each province has the authority to regulate online gambling and internet casinos as it sees fit. The province of Misiones issued an online gambling licensed to a company at one point but later revoked that license.
Efforts are underway to revise the country’s gambling laws and establish a nationwide system to replace the current province-by-province method of gambling regulation. Those efforts have yet to materialize in real world results, but online casinos in Argentina remain populate nonetheless; people simple use the internet to visit casino sites headquartered overseas.
Read more: Argentinian Casino Sites
Bolivian casino sites operate in a relatively free environment due to a lack of regulation addressing gambling regulation. No casino sites are headquartered here, but locals are free to visit offshore casino websites in order to play for real money online.
The brick-and-mortar gambling industry has had its ups and downs over the past decade. After Russia instituted a near-complete ban on all gambling in 2009, many Russians made their way to Bolivia in order to set up shop in a country with lax gaming laws. Bolivian authorities grew concerned over the influx of foreign gambling operators and moved to cut way back on the local industry. Today, gambling is a much smaller industry in Bolivia.
Bolivian casinos are now licensed and regulated by La Autoridad de Fiscalización del Juego (AJ).
Read more: Online Casinos in Bolivia
Brazil’s gaming laws are in a state of change at the moment. Current gaming laws do not address online casinos in Brazil, but proposed changes to the law could come into play shortly and provide legal clarity for the industry as a whole.
The future of online gambling in Brazil depends on the direction taken by lawmakers over the next year or so. Multiple proposals to regulate both online and real-world gambling have been put forth in recent years and it appears that new laws are imminent.
All indications are that brick-and-mortar casinos in Brazil will be legal and regulated in the near future, but the fate of online gambling is uncertain. Various news sources have reported at different times that Brazil may open the market to competition, restrict online gambling to one state-approved monopoly provider or ban it altogether.
In the meantime, players are able to visit online casinos with the help of the internet. Most international casino sites do accept Brazilian customers today.
Read more: Brazil Casino Sites
The most recent gambling laws in Chile authorize and regulate brick-and-mortar casinos in Chile with the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ) tasked to supervise the industry, issue licenses and so on. Online gambling is not regulated in Chile.
Although there have been several efforts to legalize online gambling in Chile in recent years, nothing has come of those efforts to date. The current gaming laws prohibit the operation of casino sites in Chile, but nothing stops players from visiting offshore online casinos to get their gambling fix.
Colombia has been one of the proactive Latin American countries in addressing online gambling. Legislation approved in 2016 established a legal framework by which Colombian casino sites and other online gambling operators can acquire licenses to serve the market legally.
Legal online gambling in Colombia is a fairly recent development as of this writing and bears watching for developments. State gambling regulator Coljuegos has stated it may implement internet blocking mechanisms to prevent access to unlicensed online casinos in Colombia and possibly even punish players who break the law.
Brick-and-mortar casinos have long been legal in Colombia and now operate under the supervision of Coljuegos, which was formed in 2011 after the previous regulatory agency was shuttered due to corruption and incompetence.
Read more: Online Casinos in Colombia
Costa Rica has one of the more unique legal environments concerning gambling. The government issues business licenses to online casino sites, but local online casinos are not permitted to do business with locals. The end result is Costa Rican casino sites are not actually open to Costa Ricans.
Locals are prohibited by law from participating in gambling, but the government does nothing to prohibit locals from visiting online casinos headquartered in other countries such as the UK. In other words, local casino sites cannot do business locally but foreign casinos can. It’s a bit of an odd setup, but it works out well for everyone involved. Costa Ricans have access to a long list of high quality gambling sites located around the world.
Cuba was a glitzy gambling destination back in the 1950s, but the Castro regime enacted a prohibition of all gambling that remains intact today even after the death of the communist leader. Major legal and logistical hurdles would need to be overcome for a gambling industry to revive itself once again in Cuba.
Cuban casino sites are not mentioned in local gaming laws, but the broad gambling prohibition applies to all forms of gambling. Operators and players alike face serious penalties if caught offering or participating in gambling. It remains unclear at this time if Cuban authorities make an effort to prosecute individuals who visit foreign casino sites. In any case, a majority of international gambling websites do accept Cuban customers.
Land-based casinos and online casino sites are legal in the Dominican Republic. The government requires brick-and-mortar casinos to be associated with hotels in a bid to keep gambling tied primarily to tourism but local residents are permitted to visit and play at these casinos.
Online gambling is legal and there is even a means by which casino sites can receive a license from the Dominican government. Just one gaming company has ever gone through the full licensing process and that one does not run an actual gambling website in the Dominican Republic. Locals must therefore rely on foreign casino sites that accept Dominicans.
Read more: Online Casinos in the Dominican Republic
In a 2011 referendum, Ecuadorian voters moved to ban all gambling businesses and slot machines should be banned nationwide. President Rafael Correa then put the plan into motion with an executive order that gave all Ecuadorian casinos and gambling businesses six months to close shop.
Legal gambling has been all but dead in Ecuador ever since. As you would expect, there are no legal online casinos in Ecuador. Fortunately, there are no laws that make it a crime for locals to visit online casinos based out of other nations.
El Salvador’s laws prohibit gambling on paper, but the people have been so insistent on having their gambling that the government has given up enforcing the ban. Two full-fledged casinos now operate in El Salvador along with a number of smaller gambling establishments.
Online gambling has yet to be addressed by the law and no casino sites operate from within El Salvador. Although the law does not exactly permit online gambling, neither does it prohibit residents of El Salvador from playing online at offshore casino sites. All of the world’s biggest online gaming operators accept customers from El Slavador.
French Guiana operates under the same gambling laws that are in force in France. Real world casinos are legal in French Guiana under this system, but as of today no brick-and-mortar casinos are in operation.
The gambling laws of France permit online sports betting and poker but prohibit online casino games such as roulette, blackjack and slot machines. Thus, there are no legal casino sites in French Guiana. Players do have the option to visit foreign casinos as long as local internet service providers do not block access to those websites.
Like French Guiana, Guadeloupe casinos are subject to French law. Two land-based casinos operate in Guadeloupe and a number of sports betting websites and online poker rooms are licensed to offer their services in France and Guadeloupe by extension.
Online casinos remain prohibited and internet service providers have been directed to block access to casino sites in Guadeloupe. Even so, players do manage to evade internet blocks and play online at foreign websites.
Ancient laws in Guatemala supposedly prohibit all gambling, but the law is widely disregarded and a number of brick-and-mortar casinos operate in full view of the public. This is not an ideal situation for players or operators, so the government has made several efforts in past years to regulate the industry and establish a national control board. Those efforts appear to have stalled over the last couple years.
It should come as no surprise that online gambling is also not regulated. There are no Guatemalan casino sites headquartered here, but players are able to visit online casinos based out of other countries.
As the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, Haiti does not have much of a gambling industry. There are reportedly one or two legal brick-and-mortar casinos in Haiti, but we cannot speak to the quality or reputation of those casinos. All in all, Haiti has more pressing issues than dealing with gambling at this point.
Haitian law takes no stance on the legal status of online casinos. Residents are free to visit offshore casinos, but know that not all international casino sites accept customers from Haiti due to the difficulty in processing payments.
Honduran gaming laws date back to 1977 and have not changed much since, although there have been some efforts to update the law in recent years. Currently, brick-and-mortar casinos are legal and can be licensed by the government. There are a few larger casino/hotel combinations as well as a smattering of smaller gaming parlours directed more towards locals.
Online casinos and gambling sites are not addressed by existing gaming laws in Honduras. As such, no gaming sites are headquartered on Honduran soil. Players, however, are free to visit foreign casino sites as they wish. The majority of the big, international online casinos are Spanish-friendly and will have no problems processing your deposits or withdrawals.
As an overseas region of France, Martinique operates under French gambling law. Brick and mortar casinos, sports betting sites and online poker sites are all legal here provided they are authorized by the French regulator ARJEL. Currently, two brick-and-mortar casinos operate in Martinique:
French/Martinique gambling laws prohibit the operation of online casinos and local internet service providers have been asked to block access to foreign gambling sites. Even so, a decent number of foreign online casinos accept customers from Martinique.
Mexico is in the process of updating its gambling laws to account for online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks. Brick-and-mortar casinos are legal and nearly 300 operate across the country at present. A couple of casinos sites have been licensed in Mexico at one point, but the majority of the business still goes to offshore providers who provide Spanish-language websites.
There have been several efforts in past years to update Mexico’s gambling laws, but nothing has come of those efforts to date. It seems likely Mexico will update its gaming laws soon as both lawyers and industry groups have been pushing for something to happen on the legislative front. Mexico is a gambling market the industry should watch carefully over coming years.
For now, players remain free to visit any of the hundreds of casino sites that accept Mexican customers.
Current Nicaraguan gambling laws came into effect in 2011 in order to regulate and control land-based casinos across the country. There are 10 full-fledged casinos located across three major cities. Nicaragua also has a national lottery but does not authorize other forms of gambling.
Online casino sites are not regulated, licensed or allowed to operate inside Nicaragua. However, international online casinos do accept customers from Nicaragua and the government has so far made no effort to prevent citizens from placing wagers online.
Panama licenses and regulates both real world and online casinos. Land-based casinos are plentiful and a few casino sites have been established in Panama since it began issuing licenses to online casinos back in 2002.
Players should take note that an online gambling license from Panama is not a guarantee of safety or legitimacy. Panama is notorious for taking licensing fees from gambling sites and then not taking much interest in their operation after that. For the most part, online casinos targeting the United States go to Panama for licensing.
Some Panamanian casino sites are safe; others are not. Players considering a casino licensed in Panama should do their research to make sure the site is legitimate. If you live in Panama, you are not obligated to play at local gambling sites. You may also visit offshore casino sites.
Read more: Online Casinos in Panama
Gambling has been legal in Paraguay for decades thanks to relaxed gaming laws and a pro-gambling populace. Laws that are currently in place do not address online gambling, but that could change within the next few years as new gambling laws have been proposed and submitted to congress.
The Paraguayan government does not license or regulate online casinos, but it does not stop people from visiting foreign online casinos. The government does, however, crack down harshly on illegal gambling operations located in-country. It’s fine to play online, but would not be a good idea to host your own underground casino.
Peru is home to a large and profitable gambling industry backed by laws that opt for smart regulation rather than half-hearted prohibitionary measure like many of Peru’s Latin American neighbors. There are dozens of brick-and-mortar casinos in operation with oversight and regulation provided by the Dirección General de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas (official website here).
Peruvian casino sites are also regulated and can receive operating license from the government. Outside reports have stated that Peru does not regulate online casinos very well, so players are advised to proceed with caution. The most reputable casino site to receive a license to date is Betsson.com. Individuals also have the option to visit foreign casinos headquartered overseas.
Puerto Rico mostly follows the United States’ lead in regulating gambling activities. Real world casinos are permitted and there are nearly two dozen in operation across the country. The casino industry in Puerto Rico is healthy and well-regulated. Sports betting is not permitted, but Puerto Rico does allow horse racing betting.
Online gaming is prohibited for the most part in Puerto Rico. As a US territory, Puerto Rico is subject to the same basic set of laws that govern the United States. The territory could in theory legalize online casinos and poker, but nothing of that sort has happened to date.
Most of the major, international sites that refuse US customers also refuse customers from Puerto Rico. However, Puerto Ricans do have options just as players in the US have options. US-friendly casino sites tend to also accept customers from Puerto Rico.
Saint Barts has no real-world gambling facilities and does not issue licenses to online casino sites. We should remember that Saint Barts generally follows the lead of France and likewise does not authorize online casinos independently.
People living in Saint Barthélemy do have access to casino sites that are licensed in France. Unlicensed casino websites may be subject to internet censorship, but there are no laws that criminalize the act of gambling online as an individual.
Saint Martin is divided between French and Dutch control and is therefore subject to two different sets of gaming laws. The French side of Saint Martin is subject to the same gambling laws as France. This means real world casinos are legal in theory (although none exist) and online gambling is also legal for casino sites that are licensed in France.
The Dutch side (a.k.a. “Sint Maarten”) of the island takes basically the opposite approach to gambling. This side of the island has quite a few brick-and-mortar casinos but takes no stance on internet gaming. People living on the Dutch side are free to access international casino sites as they wish.
Uruguay permits the operation of casinos, horse racing betting and a national lottery. Sports betting is not permitted on its own, although the lottery does offer a form of sports wagering. The casino industry here is small but established, with most casinos catering to tourists.
The gambling laws do not address online gambling and there is no licensing system in place for online casinos in Uruguay. As such, residents simply visit casino websites headquartered in other countries.
Venezuela is experience an extreme economic crisis at the time of this writing, so we do not know the current state of the gambling industry. With inflation out of control, widespread food shortages and political unrest, it is difficult to imagine Venezuelan casinos doing much business today.
What we do know is that Venezuelan law does permit brick-and-mortar casinos, bingo and a lottery. It has also been reported that two online casinos headquartered on Margarita Island were licensed to offer casino games online in Venezuela, but those have since closed. Those living in Venezuela today must resort to visiting foreign casino sites.
International Gambling Law
The lack of any comprehensive international legal framework for gambling accounts for the complexity in recommending casino operators by country. Individual nations are free to govern the industry as they see fit. Most countries have certain limits on what may be offered but those limits vary greatly from one nation to the next.
The European Union provides the closest thing we have to any sort of international gambling law. The EU doesn’t specifically target online gambling but certain free trade agreements have a profound effect on gaming legislation. EU courts have ruled on gambling disputes multiple times in the past.
Most of this has to do with free trade agreements. Member nations of the EU agree not to favor domestic companies over companies based out of other member nations. Every once in a while, a country will try to ban all foreign gambling sites in an effort to force players onto state-owned casino sites. This is when an EU court steps in and makes a ruling. Sometimes nations adhere to the rulings, other times they ignore them. Such is life in the cash-rich world of online gambling.
This all creates an incredibly complex legal environment that gives even the most talented attorneys headaches. I do my best to touch on the legal issues that impact internet gambling, but let it be known that I am not an attorney. I’ve done my research and I’m confident in what I know, but it is always best to get qualified legal advice from an actual attorney if you have any questions.
Mike Murphy founded OnlineCasinoSites.com and brings 15 years of experience in the regulated online gambling industry to the team, with a mission statement of helping gamblers navigate the rules and laws of playing at legal online casinos world wide.