Can I Gamble Online?
One of the most common questions people have about gambling is, “Is online gambling legal in my country?” Well, we took a look at some of the gambling laws in the USA, India, Monaco, UK, Australia and South Africa. Here’s what we found:
United States of America
In the US, online gambling is legal at Federal level, though some states have outright banned gambling online. Your best bet (ha!) is to check laws in the state where you live. You can find a clearer outline of proposed changes in gambling legislation over at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website.
For more on individual state legality, Wizard of Odds clarifies this in-depth in their article The Legality of Online Gambling in the US.
According to GamblingSites.com, gambling in India is heavily restricted… But only in theory. Gambling as a whole in India is regulated by the Public Gaming Act of 1867. Oh, and that’s not a typo: The laws really are more than 100 years old, bar a couple amendments over the years – very few of which have anything to do with online gambling.
Thus, there is no law expressly telling you not to. Online gambling seems to be, similarly to the US, a state issue, so double check the area where you live before you jump into it.
Furthermore, online gambling in India seems to be a state issue: Double check the area where you live.
Monaco is the gambling capital of the world, which makes it ironic that Monaco citizens are prohibited from gambling in their own casinos. Still, online gambling seems to be legal (though unregulated) in Monaco – go for it! – and it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the world for gamblers. Win-win, right?
Online gambling in the UK is regulated by The Gambling Act of 2005 and the Gambling Commission. You can find the act in its entirety here. Gambling (and betting) online is legal in the UK, providing that the casino is licensed with the Gambling Commission: This, at least, cuts down on dodgy sites that could lose you your money anyway.
Offshore casinos are no exception to the rule and also have to be licensed by the Gambling Commission thanks to the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014 – read it here.
Online gambling has become a rocky subject in Australia in recent years. It’s regulated by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, which you can read at ACMA’s official website here. Online gambling laws in Australia are a bit like the snake eating its own tail: Betting and wagering is allowed, while it seems that online gambling – considering the Amendment Bill – leaves Australian poker players on rocky legal ground.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 has been introduced with the purpose of regulating unlicensed operators (article over at The Guardian). The problem is that the laws (1) technically make online poker illegal, (2) poker companies can’t get licensed within Australia. Whoops.
While the South African online gambling scene seems to be booming, South Africans, too, find themselves in legal quicksand with online gambling: Remote gambling (unless, seemingly, the site is based within South Africa) is illegal, and the main problem comes in getting your winnings: “Gambling money” is not a valid declaration for bringing your money into the country, unfortunately, although this is a risk some players choose to take anyway.
There was a glimmer of hope for SA online gamblers in the form of the proposed Remote Gambling Bill, which was set to regulate and legalize online gambling. Unfortunately, the bill largely failed, leaving players to risk it (or not).
At the moment, gambling is illegal but despite the government’s best efforts, online casinos are incredibly popular throughout Indonesia, with both sports betting and table games attracting thousands of pounds a day in bets. A recent report from accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), suggests that the gambling industry in Asia is set to skyrocket in value from $34 billion to nearly $80 billion over the next few years. If you’re interested in playing an online casino from Indonesia you can navigate yourselves over to Casino.com Indonesia .
Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash