Varying gaming laws, language, currencies, and culture greatly impact which betting sites are the best for gamblers in any particular country. Therefore, OnlineBettingSites.com has compiled a large country-by-country database of recommendations for gamblers around the world.
Below, readers will find recommendations tailored to their countries of residence. The list of betting sites immediately following this introduction is geotargeted by IP address to show relevant recommendations to readers from various countries.
Readers can scroll down further for more information about online sports betting and gambling around the world. Each of our country pages provides targeted recommendations of where to play online safely, an explanation of local gaming law and other key information related to currencies, licensing information and more.
Best International Betting Sites
Online Betting in Europe
As a whole, Europe leads the world in terms of legalization, regulation, and innovation in online betting. The region ranks as the largest overall market for gambling revenue and continues to plow ahead thanks to favorable gaming laws and high disposable income levels.
As one would expect, in a healthy market, there is considerable competition. Only the most well-managed and highly trusted operators have what it takes to earn a place among the best European betting sites.
Several European Union member states were among the first countries in the world to legalize online gambling. Chief among these is the UK which is home to many of the world’s biggest names in internet gaming.
Pro-gambling laws have done much to foster healthy competition and provide substantial tax dollars to various European governments.
Legality of Online Gambling in Europe
Each European nation takes a different approach to managing online gambling. On the one hand, countries such as the UK, France, and Spain went the legalization and regulation route.
Other countries have gone the route of criminalization and blocking and censoring online gambling sites. There, the goal is to eradicate gambling or protect government-run monopoly providers. The environment in those countries is challenging, but we’ve seen time and time again that it is impossible to plug the leak with prohibition. Where there is a demand, someone always finds a way to provide the market with what it wants.
The European Union takes no official stance on online gambling other than to enforce free trade laws that promote competition. Basically, if a country chooses to outlaw gambling, it must outlaw it across the board and not just protect government-approved monopolies. If a country chooses to legalize online gambling, it should allow companies from other EU member states access to the domestic market.
In this environment, there have been more than a few clashes between EU member states and the EU itself due to protectionary measures enacted by various governments.
For example, Greece once attempted to “legalize” gambling, but it enacted harsh standards on foreign operators not imposed on local operators. Greek lawmakers tried to play both sides by claiming “legalization for everyone” while simultaneously pushing out foreign competition through the use of heavy-handed regulation and taxation.
The EU saw through the ruse and ordered Greece to change its tune and either ban online betting for everyone or allow it. That saga continues to this day and is but one example of how convoluted any online gambling discussion in Europe can get.
Country Specific EU Betting Information
OnlineBettingSites.com has put together many country-specific pages that go into much greater detail for each country in the European region. Find your country below and expand the section to read more about online betting in your country.
The UK is the leader in online gambling and was one of the first member states to legalize the activity. Home to many of the world’s largest bookmakers, the UK is rich in gambling history. Players have unfiltered access to foreign and domestic operators, and all forms of gambling are legal in the UK.
The UK is probably the best country in the world for punters, gamblers, and poker players. Not only do you have access to all the best European betting sites, but you pay no taxes on your winnings. Additionally, the Gambling Commission effectively regulates the industry and ensures high standards of conduct among licensed bookmakers.
Read more: UK Betting Sites
France allowed limited forms of online gambling as early as 2004. Still, it wasn’t until 2009 that French regulators liberated the market, and foreign operators were allowed to apply for licenses to offer their services to French citizens.
French betting sites do not operate with as much impunity as their UK counterparts due to tough regulations. Still, the passage of the French Gambling Act in 2009 did offer significant improvement. You can now safely bet online at many licensed operators from the comfort of home.
Read more: Online Betting in France
Italy joined the online betting bandwagon in 2010 with amendments of its own laws that enacted a framework by which operators could apply for licenses to serve the market. There are some great options for players, but short-sighted lawmakers prevented the market from reaching its full potential thanks to punitive taxation of operators and a “ring-fencing” policy that only allows poker players to play with other players from Italy.
I have been hearing rumors that Italy may take another look at its stance on ring-fencing and other issues. The Italian government has expressed interest in shaping a more growth-friendly market after last year saw declining gambling-related tax revenues.
Read more: Italy Betting Sites
All major European betting sites operate in Ireland under laws that basically mimic what the UK has in place. This goes for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. You can play online almost anywhere you want and pay very little taxes in the process.
Read more: Ireland Betting Sites
Online gambling enjoyed popularity among citizens with foreign operators in the early to mid-2000s, but in 2008, the national government outlawed all forms of online gambling. Taking an almost totalitarian stance, the government drafted rules to block gaming sites and stop German banks from doing business with foreign operators.
EU Courts put a stop to this in 2010 and forced Germany to open up its market. 15 of 16 German states signed a 2011 treaty that was supposedly going to allow 20 licenses to international gambling operators. The government delayed the process multiple times, and no licenses were awarded.
Online gambling enjoyed popularity among citizens with foreign operators in the early to mid-2000s, but in 2008, the national government outlawed all forms of online gambling. Taking an almost totalitarian stance, the government drafted rules to block gaming sites and stop German banks from doing business with foreign operators.
EU Courts put a stop to this in 2010 and forced Germany to open up its market. 15 of 16 German states signed a 2011 treaty that was supposedly going to allow the issuance of 20 licenses to international gambling operators. The government delayed the process multiple times and no licenses were handed out.
After restricting gambling to state-run lotteries for more than 50 years, Spain legalized online gambling in 2008. They further liberalized the market in 2011 and allowed the expansion of foreign operators into the country. Spanish law allows online poker, sports betting, casino games, and bingo to licensed operators.
Spanish bettors have the best of both worlds, considering the world’s biggest gaming sites are offered to Spanish citizens, and there is a legion of home-grown Spanish betting sites available. Licensed operators pay a 25% tax on gross revenue gained in the Spanish market. Players are subject to normal income tax, which starts at 24%.
The situation in Spain is good for players, but the market struggles under a high tax rate and ring-fencing policies for online poker. Gambling sites are pushing the government to revise its gaming laws, and changes may come in the future.
Read more: Online Betting in Spain
Outdated gambling laws in the Netherlands are interpreted to outlaw online betting, but the government has done little to enforce its halfhearted prohibition. Foreign firms are not supposed to accept players from the country, but most European betting sites do so anyways with little risk.
We’ve been hearing for several years now that the country has plans to legalize and regulate the market, but delay after delay has resulted in no major changes. For now, our Dutch readers can play at almost all major gaming sites with little legal risk.
Read more: Netherlands Betting Sites
Greek lawmakers have done everything they can to protect the state-run monopoly on gaming and now finds themselves violating EU fair trade laws and shunned by the industry. The government made a halfhearted attempt to pass a law that would allow European operators to apply for licenses. Still, it is clear to everyone that burdensome regulations and tax rates are designed to keep everyone else out.
The government now seeks to prohibit online gambling by ordering internet service providers to block access to foreign betting sites. Even so, determined gamblers have found creative ways to bypass the filter and play online wherever they wish.
Read more: Greece Betting Sites
Online gambling is legal but tightly regulated in Belgium. Companies that wish to serve the Belgian market must apply for licenses. Internet service providers block unlicensed sites, and individual players have been fined for visiting unlicensed sites. You may place bets legally at licensed operators, but you must visit the right websites or face legal risks.
Read more: Belgium Betting Sites
Operators face a complicated mess of confusing gaming laws, but the situation is simple for players. You have access to all the world’s best betting sites in addition to Austria’s sole government provider. Only the website Win2Day.at is actually authorized to provide services to Austrians, but the reality of the situation is that you can play anywhere you choose.
Read more: Austria Betting Sites
Recent moves by the government have shown that Poland is determined to move the wrong way in promoting freedom of choice. Polish gamblers were once able to visit any online bookmakers they wanted. Still, the government announced in 2014 that it had collected the names and information of more than 24,000 citizens suspected of visiting offshore sites.
Online gambling in Sweden has been legal for over a decade on the state-run sports betting, poker, and casino website Svenska Spel. Not surprisingly, the state-run monopoly faces pressure from the EU due to violations of anti-protection trade agreements.
However, things still seem to be just fine for online gamblers in Sweden. Many foreign operators operate freely within the state, and players have no problems depositing and withdrawing. In early 2014, Sweden made plans for a more relaxed regulated market that would license foreign operators.
Winnings from state-run operations or those based in the EU are not taxable under Swedish law. Winnings from sites operating outside the EU are subject to Swedish income tax.
Read more: Sweden Betting Sites
Norway is like many countries in that it is technically illegal to bet online anywhere other than state-run gambling sites, but with little actual enforcement of the law.
A 2010 law ordered banks to stop processing transactions to gaming sites, and that could result in your credit card deposit being declined. However, many offshore gaming sites still accept Norwegians and offer plenty of alternative deposit methods that are efficient and safe.
Read more: Norway Betting Sites
The legal landscape in Finland resembles that of Norway. Players are supposed to stick with a few state-run gambling operators, but there is little in the way of enforcement. Finnish players can easily hop online, find a betting site and play for real money.
Read more: Finland Betting Sites
The Danish government takes the free-market approach to regulate online gambling. International operators can apply for licenses and offer their services to players, provided the operators can demonstrate competence, security, and strong financials.
The government does maintain a small blacklist of restricted betting sites, but almost all the major names in online gaming own a Denmark license.
Read more: Denmark Betting Sites
Portugal updated its gaming laws in 2015 to open the industry to competition from forum operators and exercise some form of regulation. Sadly, confiscatory tax rates have scared away almost every major name in online gambling.
Many big-name providers have left the market entirely and no longer accept customers from Portugal. There are still a few options for players, but hopefully, lawmakers will amend the country’s laws.
Read more: Portugal Betting Sites
Romania has made great strides towards creating a gambling-friendly environment over the past two decades. Legislation passed in 2015 set up a framework by which European betting sites can apply for licenses, but burdensome regulations and fees have scared away all potential applicants.
Currently, most big-name gaming brands accept Romanians despite not having a license to do so. It is supposedly illegal to bet online at any unlicensed website, but there is no enforcement mechanism to enforce the law. The result is you can play pretty much anywhere you want.
Read more: Romania Betting Sites
Gambling laws in Bulgaria have been through quite a bit of change in recent times, but the dust has mostly settled, and a handful of safe betting sites now hold licenses to operate within the country.
Unlicensed operators are subject to internet censorship, but the country does seem to be relaxing its stance compared to years past.
Read more: Bulgaria Betting Sites
Over the years, amendments to gaming laws in Hungary moved the country from having no licensing process to have an expensive and complicated licensing process to having something more streamlined.
It’s still a work in progress, but the good news for players is that most major European betting sites accept Hungarians.
Read more: Hungary Betting Sites
The Czech government has been trying to find a way to manage the gambling industry for years now. Various proposals that would regulate online and in-person gambling have been approved, struck down, or amended to the point where nobody is certain what will happen next.
The good news is that things are quite a bit simpler for players. Despite the ever-changing legal environment and inability to obtain licenses, most of Europe’s top online gambling brands accept players from the Czech Republic. Just visit the following link to see which sites I recommend to all our Czech readers.
Read more: Czech Republic Betting Sites
Our Belgian readers are fortunate to have a government that does not seek to prohibit online gambling. Instead, lawmakers have a licensing system in place that allows companies to gain approval to host real money games over the internet.
Authorities strictly enforce the country’s gambling laws to the point where they have stated that they may actually prosecute citizens who choose to play at unlicensed betting sites.
Read more: Belgium Betting Sites
The legal situation in Croatia is very positive for players. You have many options, including locally licensed operators and major European betting sites based out of other countries. There are no laws against playing online, even if you end up choosing a site that does not hold a Croatian gambling license.
Read more: Croatia Betting Sites
Currently, online gambling is neither legal nor illegal in Albania. The country does not have any licensing system or approval process, so there are no expressly legal Albanian betting sites.
However, there appear to be no laws that criminalize the act of going online and placing bets at any of the many foreign operators that accept Albanians.
Read more: Albania Betting Sites
Online betting sites are largely unregulated in Slovenia. There are rumors that the law may be changing soon, but for now, you’re free to play wherever you want. The main thing you should be aware of as a player is how important it is to choose a safe place to play.
Read more: Slovenia Betting Sites
Latvia has a licensing process for gambling sites, but excessive fees make it a burden for most operators considering the country barely tops two million residents.
Most international betting websites accept customers without the proper licensing. This is not necessarily a bad thing for you, but you should exercise a little caution in choosing where to do business.
Read more: Latvia Betting Sites
Outdated gambling laws make no mention of online betting, but the government believes it is illegal to organize games of chance online.
The law makes no mention of playing online, so Lithuanians are generally free to bet online wherever they want.
The president has recently expressed a desire to regulate the industry, but nothing has come of that yet. For now, feel free to play online wherever you want.
Read more: Lithuania Betting Sites
After relaxing its gambling laws, Estonia has become an attractive market for betting operators. A sensible licensing process and decent tax rate have led some of the world’s largest names to set up shop in Estonia.
If you’re interested in doing some online betting from Estonia, you have plenty of reputable providers to choose from.
Read more: Estonia Betting Sites
Online betting is legal and regulated on paper, but the Slovakian government has yet to issue any licenses to operators. Despite a lack of licensed providers, there are no laws restricting citizens from playing at any of the major foreign operators that accept customers from the country.
Read more: Slovakia Betting Sites
Online gambling is restricted in Iceland, but no laws prohibit individual players from signing up and placing bets over the internet.
At least one major betting site accepts króna deposits and several others with processes to complete currency exchanges on your behalf.
For years, we’ve been hearing rumors that lawmakers have plans to update the country’s gaming laws, but nothing has come of that yet.
Read more: Iceland Betting Sites
The gambling laws of Greenland would appear to be very positive for the industry, thanks to a reasonable tax rate and licensing process.
However, many betting websites have done the math and find it unprofitable to jump through the necessary hoops to serve a nation with such a small population.
Some betting sites continue to accept Greenlandic players without the proper license, while others have left the market altogether.
Read more: Greenland Betting Sites
Gambling laws dating back to 1977 do not specifically mention online gambling, but they clearly outlaw all forms of gaming that are not expressly legal.
However, there are no laws against merely playing online as a player, and the government has so far not attempted to censor the internet or prevent players from making deposits.
The result is a healthy but untaxed industry dominated by major foreign European betting sites.
Read more: Luxembourg Betting Sites
The Belarusian government is very hostile to online gambling. Players caught patronizing betting websites are subject to hefty fines, and the government is noted for internet censorship and monitoring.
Homeowners are even held responsible for internet use by their guests. Despite these risks, almost all the world’s major brands openly accept customers from Belarus.
Read more: Belarus Betting Sites
Armenia regulates certain forms of gambling, including a state-backed sports betting website operated by the Vivaro brand.
Online betting is largely permitted in Armenia, provided it is run by a licensed operator (of which there is just one currently).
Read more: Armenian Betting Sites
Online sports betting is legal but highly regulated in the Republic of Cyprus. The National Betting Authority (NBA) oversees online betting and has issued licenses to a handful of operators to date.
Read more: Cyprus Betting Sites
Gibraltar serves as a major licensing jurisdiction for many of the world’s largest gambling brands and gaming software developers.
Strict regulatory oversight and a clean track record give Gibraltar betting licenses weight, and more than a handful of UK operators have opted to set up shop in Gibraltar.
Read more: Gibraltar Betting Sites
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the more prominent licensing authorities and is the preferred license of many international gambling apps.
Malta itself has a relatively small domestic gambling industry. Its ability to properly regulate licensees has been called into question more than once, but gaming reforms initiated in 2018 have attempted to shore up the country’s reputation as a reliable licensing body.
Read more: Malta Betting Sites
Domestic casino operators in Switzerland control online betting. Under current law, internet service operators are obligated to block access to all foreign gambling sites that offer their services to Swiss residents.
Read more: Switzerland Betting Sites
Ukraine has wavered back and forth between allowing a healthy gambling industry and outright banning all forms of betting across the board.
Some betting sites serve the Ukrainian market today, but the government also attempts to block internet access to gambling websites.
There have been efforts to legalize in-person and online gambling in recent years, but progress has been slow.
Read more: Ukrainian Betting Sites
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Most forms of gambling are prohibited across the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Republika Srpska does issue licenses to online sports betting and gambling operators.
The country has struggled to form a uniform approach to gambling, but players across the country can visit foreign gambling sites to play online.
Read more: Bosnia and Herzegovina Betting Sites
Online sports betting and gambling are legal in Serbia. Gaming laws approved in 2019 and updated in 2020 establish the framework under which operators may acquire licenses to offer games of chance online to Serbians.
There is still considerable competition from unlicensed foreign operators, which has prompted the Serbian Gambling Authority to push for internet blocking.
Read more: Serbian Betting Sites
Online Betting in North America
The North American gambling market is highly regulated, which has implications for betting sites available to gamblers in this region.
We limit our discussion of online betting in North America to Canada and the USA for simplicity’s sake.
Readers in other neighboring countries such as Mexico and Aruba can see our section dedicated to Central and South America for more information about the local landscape.
In both the US and Canada, online sports betting and gambling are regulated primarily at the state, provincial and territorial levels. This region-by-region approach to online betting makes for a somewhat confusing landscape.
Still, readers can visit the following pages for a simple explanation of how it all works, guides to gambling in each region, and lists of betting sites that are safe, legal, and licensed.
Mobile sports betting and online gambling are regulated at the state level in the United States. Some states have chosen to legalize online gambling, poker, and sports betting, while others offer online betting only.
Changes in federal law in 2011 and 2018 gave states the power to legalize online sports betting and gambling as they see fit. Many states now authorize the activity and issue licenses to reputable gaming operators.
Read more: USA Betting Sites
The Canadian approach to online gambling is directed at the provincial level, with each province and territory deciding which forms of sports betting and gambling to authorize.
Most Canadian provinces offer some form of legal online betting.
Read more: Canadian Betting Sites
Online Betting in South America
Latin America is simultaneously one of the most promising and most underserved markets for online betting. The region is home to more than 600 million people connected to the internet and has the disposable income to take up real money sports betting and online gambling.
We offer brief overviews of the gambling laws and availability of online betting in every Latin American country. You can follow the “read more” links to visit pages that go into greater detail.
Most Latin American countries allow online gambling, although only a few license operators. For the most part, people living in Latin America do business with foreign gaming sites.
Brazil’s existing gambling laws are badly outdated and make no mention of online betting. The laws currently on the books date back to the 1940s and are obviously ill-prepared to address online gambling.
The current situation allows residents to bet online with foreign gaming websites hosted in jurisdictions that regulate online betting.
However, the change appears imminent. A bill addressing online betting first introduced in 2014 has made significant progress in more recent times. The proposal seeks to authorize the construction of up to 35 physical casinos and issue a limited number of licenses for online sports betting, casino gambling, and maybe poker.
The bill is still has a long way to go before it becomes law, but it shows that change could be coming to Brazil soon.
The legal situation in Mexico is in a state of flux presently with outdated laws that are difficult to apply to online betting with any degree of certainty.
Several local Mexican betting sites operate today, but most gamblers still do business with overseas sites that offer Spanish language websites and peso-friendly deposit methods.
It does appear things could change soon. Back in 2014, the government announced it was planning legislation that would properly address online betting.
Details are still lacking years later, but at least we know online gambling is on the minds of Mexican lawmakers.
In the meantime, players have access to just about every major international betting site.
Colombia has considerable potential as an online betting market, but the existing law is terribly outdated. The current situation in Colombia leaves online gambling completely unregulated, and as such, players are free to play online wherever they wish.
Betting sites based out of other countries (such as the UK) openly accept Colombians with no issue to date.
At one point, the government regulator threatened to stop unregulated online gambling but never followed through on the threat. There is also a decent chance that Colombia eventually legalizes and regulates online gambling.
The regulator has the power to unilaterally implement new laws – even as far as setting up a licensing framework to authorize and oversee online betting.
News outlets have reported that the government is strongly considering legalizing and regulating the industry at some point. These rumors have been circulating for years, but industry insiders seem confident that Colombia will join the online gambling bandwagon sooner rather than later.
Like many other Latin American countries, Argentina needs updated gambling laws. Individual provinces manage gambling within their territories, which makes a nationwide solution more difficult.
One province flirted with online betting and even issued a license to Bwin.Party for a short time. That license was later revoked and Bwin.Party left the market.
Most other international betting sites simply accept Argentinian customers without bothering to deal with local laws.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the most sensible solution given the convoluted gaming laws that govern each region.
There are a few local operators in business right now. Their existence could push the central government to develop a better solution for managing the growing online gambling industry.
Peru has embraced online betting to a greater extent than the vast majority of Latin American nations. Existing gambling laws specifically mention online gambling and give the country’s regulatory body the authority to issue licenses to online betting operators as well as oversee land-based gambling operations.
These laws look good on paper, but the truth of the matter is that Peru does a poor job of regulation in the real world. An old Wikileaks document found that Peru’s regulators are lax when it comes to enforcing the law. For this reason, we recommend Peruvians consider betting sites headquartered in other countries that do take regulation seriously. The law does not prohibit players from doing business with foreign operators.
Gambling is legal but strictly regulated in Venezuela. A handful of casinos are authorized by the government and citizens can visit those casinos to bet on sports and play poker and traditional casino games. The government has stated that it has no plans to expand the gambling industry beyond those casinos that already exist.
At one point, some online betting sites catering to Americans were headquartered out of Margarita Island, but it is unclear if those sites still operate. In any case, they held dubious reputations and never actually targeted the Venezuelan market. The government-run lottery also offers a small selection of games online. Venezuelans looking for a safe place to bet online would be best served by visiting offshore gaming sites licensed by reputable regulators.
Chile regulates gambling in the real world but current laws make no mention of online betting. There is no mechanism by which a company based in Chile could legally offer online gambling, but there is also nothing stopping individual players from signing up and playing at betting websites headquartered in other countries.
Almost all of the world’s big name betting sites accept Chileans, and many of those sites also speak Spanish. Just follow the link below for a full list of recommended sites for players in Chile.
Ecuador banned all gambling in 2011 and closed down the country’s many casinos and other betting shops at that time. It is also impossible for would-be operators to apply for online gambling licenses. However, the law makes no mention of online gambling and Ecuadorians are not prohibited from visiting foreign betting sites.
This leaves us with a situation that is common in countries that have not yet addressed online gambling. There are no local betting sites, but players can visit hundreds of offshore gambling websites to play online for real money.
Gambling is illegal on paper in Guatemala, but you won’t have to go very far to find a slot parlour or brick-and-mortar casino. The fairness and safety of those places cannot be guaranteed considering there is no regulatory authority, but gambling nonetheless remains fairly widespread.
Online betting is completely unregulated and there is no process for gambling websites to apply for a license or any other “seal of approval” from the government. The safest option for locals is to visit one of the big-name international gaming sites headquartered and licensed in the United Kingdom.
In days long past, Cuba was a major gambling destination that catered to high rolling celebrities and businessmen from around the world. Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in 1959 brought and end to that when the dictator banned all gambling. Things may change with the United States’ recent warming of relations with Cuba, but all forms of gambling remain outlawed at present.
Online casinos and sports betting sites are also likewise prohibited. It is unclear if the government prosecutes citizens from playing online, but most international sites do accept Cuban customers.
Land-based gambling is legal in Haiti, although there are only a couple of actual casinos in operation right now. Gambling laws do not regulate online gambling at all, but there is also nothing stopping citizens from visiting offshore betting sites. Some international sites do accept Haitians, but many of the bigger names do not allow players from Haiti.
Bolivia is like many other nations in the region in that land-based casinos are legal but online betting is completely unregulated. Gamblers looking for a place to play online are free to play at foreign betting sites, but care must taken to choose a site that is safe and legitimate. We recommend sites headquartered in the UK, which does have strong regulations for online gambling.
Gaming laws enacted in 2002 opened the country to brick-and-mortar casinos, but the industry grew unchecked and lawmakers stepped in with legislation in 2010 and 2011 designed bring the industry under closer scrutiny.
Both land-based and online betting are legal in the Dominican Republic. This is one of the more gambling-friendly nations in Latin America with most forms of gaming permitted. Gambling and tourism are closely linked, with casinos required to be attached to first class hotels.
There is even a process by which operators can apply for online gaming licenses. However, the licensing process is expensive and there are no laws that prevent websites hosted in other countries from accepting customers from the Dominican Republic. So while you may not be able to play at locally-owned betting sites, you still have access to sites in the rest of the world.
Several brick-and-mortar casinos operate in Honduras despite unclear gaming laws and halfhearted enforcement of those laws. The legal situation in Honduras is fluid due to deep-seated corruption and a weak government that has bigger problems to deal with than gambling.
Online betting is completely unregulated, but Hondurans are free to visit offshore gambling sites. Just don’t expect to find websites actually headquartered in Honduras. You’ll have to visit large, international gambling websites to play online.
Most forms of gambling and sports betting are legal in Paraguay, but only with the national lottery or at one of the country’s three brick-and-mortar casinos. The government has been known to crack down on underground gambling dens in the past and has even passed legislation to target illegal gambling providers.
Online betting is not regulated at all, although it would be illegal to start an online casino or sportsbook as a business. Playing at online casinos is not outlawed and we therefore believe it to be illegal. Paraguayans will find it simple to sign up at international gaming sites to play for real money.
The Nicaraguan government takes the regulatory rather than prohibitionary approach to gambling and sports betting. Brick and mortar casinos are legal and residents 18 or older are free to visit those casinos to play games, play poker and bet on sports. The government also runs a national lottery.
Lawmakers have also updated the laws in more recent years to provide for the licensing and regulation of online betting sites. The laws still need some fleshing out before operators can get things going in Nicaragua, but efforts so far look promising for players. There are no laws that prohibit residents from visiting foreign gaming sites in the meantime.
El Salvador has tried to stamp out gambling a couple of times with laws passed in the late 1880s and again in 2002. These laws were only haphazardly enforced and the government was unsuccessful in its bid to rid the country of gambling. Certain types of brick-and-mortar casinos are now tolerated and remain freely available to both tourists and residents.
Online gambling is not mentioned in any of the country’s laws. You won’t be able to set up your own betting site any time soon, but there is nothing stopping you from playing online at sites hosted in other countries.
Costa Rica has a long and interesting history with online gambling. It has long served as a hot spot for gambling operators that would like to take wagers from Americans contrary to US law. The local government does not regulate online gambling at all; anyone wishing to open a betting site simply needs apply for a “business processing” license and begin taking wagers. The one rule is that companies headquartered in Costa Rica may not accept wagers from locals.
The complete lack of regulation also makes Costa Rica has helped propel many honest bookmakers, but it also makes the country an attractive destination for rogue operators. Betting sites headquartered in Costa Rica should be further investigated before any real money deposits are made.
Nearly all forms of gambling are legal in Panama. Brick-and-mortar casinos of all sizes operate across the country and the government ensures basic standards of fairness and transparency are implemented by licensed operators. Larger casinos that cater to tourists are kept under a particularly close watch.
Online betting sites may be licensed in Panama, but oversight over licensees is lacking. Players considering visiting a betting site with a Panamanian license should look into that site’s history and reputation before proceeding. Locals are free to play at both domestic and international betting sites as they choose.
Puerto Rico’s gambling laws are designed primarily to support the island’s tourism industry. Casinos are legal, but may only be established within hotels. The government moniors and regulates the industry with a firm hand. There have been talks of lightening up some of the regulatory measures applied to casinos, but any changes would be minor from the player’s point of view.
Local betting laws do not address online gambling and there no means by which operators could be licensed to offer real money games online. However, locals are not restricted from visiting offshore gambling websites.
Uruguay allows most forms of gambling through privately owned casinos and the national lottery (which also operates two horse racing tracks with legal betting).
Gambling laws do not mention online betting, so there is no way for casino sites to acquire a license and offer their services online.
On the other hand, residents are free to play at foreign gambling and sports betting websites as they please.
Guadeloupe is an overseas region of France and is therefore subject to French gambling laws. There are two land-based casinos that both locals and tourists may visit as well as several betting sites that are licensed by the French government.
Locals are not prohibited by law to visit non-licensed betting sites headquartered in other countries, but internet service providers are known to block access to unlicensed betting sites.
Like Guadeloupe, Martinique is a French region with the same gambling laws as the French mainland. If you want to keep it strictly legal, you can play at the same betting sites that are licensed in France. Martinique is also home to two brick-and-mortar casinos.
French Guiana is guided by the gambling laws of the French mainland. You can play at legal betting sites licensed in France or visit offshore sites based in other countries.
The one issue you may have if you choose to play somewhere other than a site specifically licensed in France is the possibility of your internet service provider blocking access to unlicensed sites.
Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
The St Martin / St Maarten island is a whole is divided roughly 60/40 between French and Dutch control. The French side has no actual casinos while the Dutch side is home to about a dozen. Online gambling on the French side is dictated by French gaming laws.
Online betting on the Dutch side falls under the purview of the Netherlands. Dutch gambling laws do not mention online betting and players are free to play where they wish.
St. Barts is a playground of the rich and famous with a local population just north of 9,000 people. It is a French region but has no casinos or online betting laws of its own. Sites that are licensed to operate in France may also be accessed from Saint Barthélemy.
Aruba takes a fairly relaxed approach to online sports betting and gambling. The island hosts a handful of land-based gambling options that are targeted mostly towards visitors and issues licenses to online gaming operators. Residents are restricted to just eight monthly visits to land-based casinos, but locals also have access to most of the world’s major online gaming brands.
Read more: Aruba Betting Sites
Belize is a gambling-friendly nation with a land-based casino industry and no restrictions against residents visiting international betting sites. The government also licenses online betting sites, but operators licensed in Belize are not allowed to accept locals. However, locals are free to visit betting sites licensed elsewhere.
Read more: Belizean Betting Sites
Online Betting in Asia
Asian gamblers don’t get the credit they deserve at most informational websites. It’s crazy to see how rarely Asian betting sites are even mentioned when you consider the continent as a whole is the single biggest gaming market in the world. To use a real-world example, gambling revenue is at least six times bigger in Macau alone than it is in Las Vegas.
This section is all about online betting in Asia. Below you will find a quick list of the best Asian betting sites followed by overviews of gambling in each country and links for further reading.
I recommend these specific sites for the Asian region because they have a special understanding of the Asian market. Plenty of other operators accept players from the region, but few are able to properly process deposits, pay out withdrawals or supply customers with the correct languages.
I prefer to instead direct you to sites that were designed specifically for Asian with support of most major languages and currencies in the region.
Generally, there are two flavors of gambling websites that you can choose from in Asia. One option is to do business with sites that are headquartered in Asian countries. The advantage to playing at an Asian-headquartered betting site is that you usually have access to deposit options designed for your currency and customer support available in your language.
The other option is to play online at operators that are headquartered in Western nations such as the UK. The advantage is that UK-headquartered sites are usually bigger and often accept players from countries that are restricted at Asian-headquartered sites. The disadvantage is that Western sites do not have as deep an understanding of the Asian gambling culture.
Now, we have overviews for a few of the most populous Asian countries. These are just brief overviews but each paragraph is followed by a link that you can visit for more information and country-specific recommendations.
India is naturally home to huge numbers of people interested in sports betting and gambling. However, I do not recommend actual Asian betting sites to Indians. In my experience, UK-based brands are the best as they support rupee deposits and have way more options for betting on cricket than Asian operators.
Read more: Online Betting in India
The government of the Philippines is quite anti-gambling and most betting sites based out of Asia block customers from signing up or placing real money bets. Your best alternative is to try one of the Western sites that I list on our Philippines page.
Read more: Online Betting in the Philippines
Hong Kong is very anti-gambling and most Asian betting sites do not accept residents of Hong Kong. I do have several alternatives that you can consider on our corresponding page.
Read more: Hong Kong Betting Sites
Singapore passed some scary legislation in 2014 that made it a crime to place wagers at sites that are not specifically approved by the government. Even so, there are a number of foreign operators that still accept customers from the country provided you’re able to bypass censorship programs enacted by the government.
Read more: Singapore Betting Sites
Gambling laws in Indonesia are very hostile to wagering of all types, but authorities fight an uphill battle with many people interested in gambling and betting websites hosted around the world catering to Indonesians. I urge you to follow the link below to learn more about the legal situation and potential risks before you get started.
Read more: Indonesia Betting Sites
The Chinese government runs through the motions of trying to stop online betting, but those efforts are mostly in vain. There is a government censorship program that seeks to scrub the website of anything related to online gambling, but there are ways around that. Many Chinese betting sites operate today from locations around the world complete with Chinese language websites and deposit options designed just for Chinese players.
Read more: Online Betting in China
Malaysia’s gambling laws are vague and may or may not criminalize online betting. Whatever the technicalities may be, Malaysians have no lack of options for finding a place to bet online. Our page on Malaysia has all the details you need to get started today.
Read more: Malaysia Betting Sites
Like many countries in the Asian region, Thailand takes an anti-gambling approach on paper but follows up with little actual enforcement of the law. I have a list of several big-name and trustworthy betting websites for Thais on the link below.
Read more: Thailand Betting Sites
South Korea has laws that prohibit the operation of gambling websites but there appear to be no restrictions for simply playing at one. You can choose from sites that specifically cater to Koreans with deposit methods that accept won or European-headquartered sites that offer a greater variety of betting options but no native support of the currency.
Read more: South Korea Betting Sites
There are a number of Vietnamese gambling sites that are designed just for customers from that country. Our top picks support Vietnamese dong deposit methods and offer their services in the local language. The government does make some attempt to block access to online betting sites, but it’s not difficult to bypass the filter. You can read all about it below.
Read more: Vietnam Betting Sites
The Taiwanese government is officially against online gambling but there seems to be little enforcement. I still haven’t been able to find a single instance of an individual person being prosecuted for playing online. The law does not allow the operation of betting websites, but a number of international bookmakers do accept customers from Taiwan.
Read more: Taiwan Betting Sites
Cambodia is yet another Asian nation that seems tough on gambling when you read the law, but enforcement is an entirely different matter. The country faces a multitude of more important problems with little attention actually focused on preventing online betting. Authorities have other concerns that take precedence.
Read more: Cambodia Betting Sites
Japan is a big gambling nation even if lawmakers do not endorse the activity. Most major Asian betting sites accept Japanese customers and have no problem accepting deposits or paying out withdrawals in yen.
Read more: Japan Betting Sites
Interestingly, the biggest gambling destination in the world seems to take no interest in online betting. There are no laws that specifically address online gambling, but it’s also impossible to operate a legal gaming site from inside Macau. Individual gamblers have little to fear as the government apparently takes no interest in tracking down or targeting gamblers. There are plenty of options if you live in Macau and want to play online for real money.
Read more: Macau Betting Sites
Bangladesh law prohibits all forms of gambling, which precludes online betting sites from acquiring licenses to offer their services to locals. However, enforcement of the law as it applies to online gambling is spotty at best and residents have little trouble finding international betting sites willing to take their action.
Read more: Bangladesh Betting Sites
Gambling and sports betting are strictly regulated in Russia. Land-based gambling is limited to just a handful of specific geographic zones while online casinos are prohibited across the board. Sports betting is authorized for licensed bookmakers, which also have the option to offer their services online.
International betting operators that serve the Russian market face internet censorship and difficulty in processing financial transactions. The Russian online sports betting market is therefore controlled by domestic operators that have a land-based presence.
Read more: Russian Betting Sites
Online Betting in Oceania
Australia and New Zealand take two very different approaches to online sports betting and gambling but the end result in each is similar: gamblers in each country have access to a variety of online gaming options.
In Australia, the federal government sets policy regarding the forms of gambling that states and territories may allow but leaves it to individual governments to regulate the activities they permit.
Read more: Australian Betting Sites
New Zealand takes a more hands-off approach. Federal law does not allow operators to provide online gaming from within the country, but the government openly states that it is not illegal for locals to participate in online betting with websites that are headquartered overseas.
As the Department of Internal Affairs explains:
“The prohibition is on remote interactive gambling in New Zealand and therefore does not prohibit gambling conducted overseas. For example, it is not illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling over the Internet if that website is based overseas…”
Read more: New Zealand Betting Sites
Online Betting in Africa
Gambling and sports betting revenues continue to rise across the African continent year after year despite a troubled global economy. The majority of gambling and sports betting still takes place in the physical realm in Africa, but online betting sites are beginning to penetrate the continent as more people become connected and grow comfortable with online banking.
Land-based casino operators and bookmakers are fearful of the effects online betting will have on their bottom line if legislation isn’t passed to address the issue. In many places, gaming laws are outdated and enforced haphazardly. Reliable information is tough to come by given the informal and cash-based nature that still marks gambling in much of Africa, but we have managed to dig up some interesting information to shed light on the industry and make projections going forward.
Online betting sites still focus the majority of their attention on wealthier nations in other parts of the world, but some African markets are becoming increasingly attractive. South Africa remains the biggest market thanks to a relatively stable government, higher per capita income and the passage of laws that have paved the way for both land-based and online gambling to flourish. Other countries such as Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya have also seen an upward trend in gambling activity.
South Africa is the biggest market for gambling in all of Africa with annual gross revenues exceeding R23.9 billion in 2014 and projected to increase to R30.3 billion in 2019, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Each of South Africa’s 9 provinces have their own gambling boards that license both land-based and online betting sites. This makes South Africa the only nation to fully address online gambling.
Gambling operators must earn a license from the province in which they are located, while punters are free to join online betting sites based out of any province. Jus a few examples of the bigger licensed sites include Bettingworld.co.za, Interbet.co.za, Sportingbet.co.za and Sportsbet.co.za. The Guateng Gambling Board and Western Cape Gambling & Racing Board seem to be the most popular licensing jurisdictions for online betting sites.
Nigeria is a much, much smaller gambling market than South Africa, but that same PwC report referred to above explains that total revenues have grown by double digit rates in four of the last five years. There are only three licensed land-based casinos in Nigeria that are expected to bring in nearly $70 million in revenues in 2019.
Sports betting is reportedly the biggest gambling sector with Nigerians placing upwards of $4.2 billion in sports bets every year and roughly 30% of everyone between the ages of 18 and 40 placing sports wagers regularly.
Gambling laws in Nigeria are several decades old and make no mention of online betting. There are no major local online gambling companies, but most of the world’s largest betting sites do accept Nigerian customers. The proliferation of internet-connected smartphones has assisted greatly in making online gambling more accessible to Nigerians and as a result, some betting sites are beginning to cater to citizens with Nigeria-friendly deposit methods that work on a cash basis.
As a predominantly Islamic country, you may find it somewhat surprising that Egypt has a fairly tolerant view of the activity. Egypt does allow brick and mortar casinos, but the law does restrict locals from playing. Casinos in Egypt may only cater to foreigners as a part of the country’s large tourism industry.
As far as online betting goes, the law on that remains unclear. Internet access is widespread in Egypt and people do gamble online, but the legality of doing so is murky at best. What we can tell you for sure is that major betting sites do accept customers from Egypt.
Algeria is not a gambling-friendly nation by any stretch. Sharia law reigns supreme in Algeria and that means no gambling of any form is permitted. Brick-and-mortar casinos are prohibited and online betting sites are unwelcome.
Basic information on Algeria’s gaming laws is hard to come by, but it appears as though authorities do not particularly concern themselves with what types of games you play online from the comfort of home. If you do decide to gamble online, it would be best to keep it to yourself. The country also has a history of internet censorship used to block access to websites it considers unlawful or subversive.
Angola still suffers from the after effects of a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. The country has seen significant economic progress since then, but the economy remains dangerously dependent upon the price of oil. Even so, the practice of gambling remains alive and well. Brick-and-mortar casinos are licensed and regulated by the Games Supervision Institute established by the Presidential Decree of 14 October 2014.
The legal status of online gambling remains unclear as no legislation exists to address the issue. As a result, you will find that some betting sites accept Angolans while others do not.
Gambling is regulated in Uganda by the National Lotteries and Gaming Board, which oversees the industry and issues licenses to brick-and-mortar casinos and sports betting shops. As a developing country, Uganda is poorly situated to effectively oversee the industry or address problem gambling.
Ugandan gaming laws introduced in 1968 and 2013 lay the legal framework for real-world gambling, but leave questions regarding online gambling. World Star Betting Uganda operates 64 betting shops across the country and, more recently, a real money betting website configured to work with feature phones.
The Lotteries and Gaming Bill of 2013 briefly mentions online gambling, but that whole side of the industry is almost completely unregulated. However, most international betting websites do accept customers from Uganda and few seem to even consider applying for any sort of license. The vast majority of bets are placed via a quickly-growing preponderance of mobile phones.
Kenya is a gambling-friendly nation with gaming laws dating back to 1966 and even a licensing process for online betting sites. Overall, gambling exists in all forms in Kenya. Sports betting, traditional casino games and poker can be found in all manner of establishments that run the range from luxurious resort casinos catering to tourists to bare-bones establishments nestled in between street shops.
The first online gambling license was issued in 2014 to Royal Kenya Casino. Since online gambling became legal, Kenya’s 13 land-based casinos have reported a slowing in annual growth rates. The Betting Control and Licensing Board oversees all forms of gambling in Kenya.
Foreign gaming websites also accept players from Kenya, but revenue figures for illegal online gambling are completely unknown. However, it seems unlikely that foreign operators are able to compete very well in this unique market. Domestic betting sites are better situated to cater to local preferences and to process deposits/withdrawals.
Despite a fragile economic situation, gambling of all types has seen significant growth in Zimbabwe recently. Horse racing betting dominated the gambling industry for the longest time, but locals can now visit betting shops and casinos in most major towns. Most forms of gambling are legal under to the Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1998.
Land based casinos and betting shops are regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Board and are popular all across Zimbabwe. Online betting isn’t even mentioned in the law and is generally unacknowledged by the government. Internet penetration is still low in Zimbabwe so there just isn’t much appetite for it from consumers. Some online betting sites do accept customers from Zimbabwe, but others actually restrict signups due to difficulties in processing payments and a lack of significant demand.
Zambia gambling laws allow the operation of brick-and-mortar casinos provided the operator has a valid license from the Minister. Online gambling remains in a legal grey area as the gaming laws of Zambia are outdated and make no mention of the internet. One could say that online betting is neither legal nor illegal in Zambia.
The Casino (Amendment) Act, 2000 serves as the primary framework for gambling in Zambia. Under the Act, potential operators may apply for five-year licenses. The Minister is granted considerable power to oversee the industry, as well as send inspectors in to casinos at any time to ensure the licensees are playing by the rules.
There is little demand for online gambling in Zambia, but the country is a founding member of the National Gambling Board of South Africa (NGB). The NGB focuses primarily on South Africa, but it does state that member nations (such as Zambia) are free to independently pursue gaming legislation as they see fit.
Sudan is not a gambling-friendly nation thanks to the Public Order Law, which is based on Islamic Sharia law. The Public Order Law covers a broad range of activities that are considered illegal. Banned activities include gambling of all forms, alcohol and even going out in “indecent or immoral” dress.
Online gambling is not specifically mentioned in Sudan’s criminal code, but the Public Order Law is vague enough that we can safely assume online betting is also illegal. An internet censorship program is in place to block access to websites the regime considers immoral or anti-government.
Gambling and sports betting are legal in Ethiopia, but the industry is tightly controlled by the National Lottery Administration. The NLA has the power to issue licenses and oversee a variety of gaming-related activities including card games, billiards, video games and “other games” that are disk or coin operated. However, there are no licensed casinos or betting sites in operation in Ethiopia at this time.
The NLA did issue a license to a company called Dagoo Sports Betting PLC several years back. The company launched in 2013 and even operated an online betting domain at DagooBet.com. That website is now defunct so it seems that Ethiopians do not have any local companies with which to place bets.
The good news is that Ethiopia does not criminalize online betting. If you live in Ethiopia and have access to the internet, Ethopian betting sites are happy to take your business.
Brick-and-mortar casino gambling is legal in Tunisia despite the country’s overwhelmingly Muslim population that has a generally unfavorable view towards gambling. Sports betting is not accepted, although Promosport does offer a limited form of sports wagering online. Apart from that exception, online betting is restricted and betting websites are unable to apply for licenses.
However, many foreign betting websites do accept customers from Tunisia contrary to local gaming laws. The government does not look kindly upon online gambling but has so far taken no action to block access to gaming websites.
Ghana is one of the most gambling-friendly nations in Africa. Rather than attempting to prohibit gambling and sports betting, Ghana monitors the industry and promotes healthy gambling practices in an effort to prevent money laundering, ensure fair games and support the gambling industry.
The Gaming Commission of Ghana oversees and regulates both real-world and online betting. International online betting sites operate in Ghana alongside locally-owned companies that are authorized to take wagers online and in person. MyBet.com and Ghana Dreambet are two particularly well-known companies that offer a combination of online and SMS sports betting.
Gambling has been illegal in Libya for decades under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi and remains so as the country deals with revolution, violence and social unrest. There are no legal brick-and-mortar casinos, sports betting shops or gambling websites in Libya today and that will probably remain the case for a long time given the country’s tradition of enforcing strict Islamic law.
The acts of gambling and placing sports bets remain illegal in Libya, although laws of any type are only sporadically enforced. With various political groups vying for power to this day, trying to get a straight answer on the legality of anything is practically impossible. Offshore betting sites are accessible from within Libya, but it is unclear if any of the country’s ruling factions make any effort to punish people who places bet online.
Gambling and sports betting are both legal in the Ivory Coast with the Loterie National de Côte d’Ivoire (National Lottery of the Ivory Coast) acting as the country’s monopoly gambling provider. One casino operates in Abidjan while a large number of sports betting terminals are located across the country.
The national lottery offers a number of online betting options, but the country has no regulatory framework for independent casino sites or sportsbooks. As such, locals are limited to playing online with the national lottery or visiting gaming sites headquartered out of other countries.
Cameroon has had legal casino gambling and horse racing since 1992. Horse racing betting is especially popular in Cameroon thanks in part to a large number of betting kiosks operated by Pari Mutuel Urbain Camerounais (PMUC). Several land-based casinos have also been in operation in Cameroon since the early 1990s.
Online betting is completely unregulated at the moment in Cameroon. Current laws do not address the issue of internet gaming at all, but locals have no problem visiting offshore websites to bet on sports and horse races, try their luck with casino games and to play real money poker. The biggest hurdle in betting online in Cameroon is not the law; it is simply having internet access. Most estimates put internet penetration in-country somewhere in the range of 5-7%.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has legal casino gambling and a national lottery. In fact, it is fairly easy for anyone interested in starting a casino to apply for a license and enter the gambling business. The Congolaise de Gestion de Loterie S.A. (COGELO) manages the national lottery, but it struggles to stay alive even as the country’s only official lottery provider.
DRC laws do not address online betting and that will probably remain the case for quite some time. Internet penetration in the country is around 1% and the market for online gambling is limited. The few people who do have access to the internet must turn to foreign betting websites to play real money games online.
Real world and online gambling are well-regulated in Botswana. There are 10 brick-and-mortar casinos in operation today that offer a full selection of traditional casino games. The Botswana Gambling Authority oversees all forms of gambling to include casino gambling, sports betting, bingo, pools betting, racing betting and lotteries.
Updates to the law in 2016 further strengthened the government’s ability to monitor gambling and created a licensing framework for all types of betting. Online gambling operators may also apply for licenses. The 2016 regulations also improved the government’s ability to detect and deal with money laundering, fraud and problem gambling.
Senegal is a fairly gambling-friendly nation with a handful of casinos, a national lottery and numerous betting shops where customers can place wagers in person. In addition to managing lottery drawings, the Senegal National Lottery (LONASE) also controls horse racing betting in tandem with Pari Mutuel Urbain.
LONASE is partnered with SENEJEUX to offer virtual horse racing, football and greyhound racing in person at retail betting shops and online. The online aspect has yet to go live, but locals are free to visit foreign betting websites to place real money wagers.
Betting in Madagascar is limited to three resort-casinos and not much else. In 2011, gaming technology firm GTECH was approved to manage an online lottery for Madagascar, but nothing came of that. GTECH was later acquired by IGT and no longer appears to have an interest in Madagascar.
Online gambling currently occupies a place of low priority in Madagascar. Current gaming laws do not appear to criminalize the act of placing bets online, but they also do not provide any means by which a local company could set up shop and offer legal online betting. The good news for players is that it appears (based on our understanding of the law) that it is perfectly legal to place bets with gaming sites licensed in other countries.
Reliable information on gambling in Gabon is hard to come by. One government website dealing with tax issues does mention horse racing, gambling casinos, slot machines, lotteries and games of chance as being subject to a tax on gambling. There are several land based casinos as well, but the exact regulations remain unclear.
From what we can tell, it is not a crime to place bets online. There are no local gaming operators, however, so anyone wishing to gamble online will need to visit foreign gambling websites.
Gambling laws passed in 1994 first legalized brick-and-mortar casinos but with restrictive conditions regarding location, minimum required starting capital and a requirement that all casinos be attached to luxury resorts with at least 250 rooms.
In 2009, the President approved amendments to the law that made it significantly less burdensome for operators interested in building land-based casinos. Minimum starting capital requirements were halved, location restrictions were lifted, the requirement that all casinos be attached to 250-room hotels was repealed and online gambling was legalized. We have yet to see any local online betting sites open in Mozambique, but players may visit offshore casino websites to scratch their gambling itch.
Gambling is not viewed favourably in Muslim-dominated Chad. The penal laws state that “unauthorized” gambling is a crime, but there are no indications that it is possible to organize an “authorized” game of betting. In any case, Chad has enough problems to deal with as it is that there is little desire to participate in any form of real money betting.
The same also applies to online betting. Current laws do not mention internet gambling and there are no locally-owned betting websites in operation today. Chad is a secular nation on paper, but enforcement of the law tends to favour Islamic customs and traditions.
The National Lottery of Burkina Faso (Loterie Nationale Burkinabé or LONAB) has exclusive rights to offer real money gambling for citizens. LONBA’s activies include the organization of the national lottery, sale of instant win tickets, betting on horse racing and football matches and offering wagers on virtual sports competitions.
Burkina Faso does not regulate online gambling and there are no licensed betting sites hosted in-country. The law does not appear to criminalize online gambling, but citizens with internet access must visit websites based out of other countries to play online.
As a primarily Islamic nation, Mali does not tolerate gambling in any form. This includes real world gambling, online gambling, poker, sports betting and lottery-style games. Some travel websites still list a hotel/casino located in Bamako, but all recent information online indicates that this hotel no longer offers gambling.
Online gambling is included by default as a criminal offense according to Islamic law, but it is difficult to tell if this is enforced at all. All indications are that the government has more pressing issues than to hunt down and prosecute the few people who have internet access and place bets online. Some foreign betting sites do accept customers from Mali, but the legal implications of placing bets are murky at best.
Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
The Republic of Congo (not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo) suffers such major political, social and economic problems that gambling is a completely unregulated industry. There are no licensed or regulated casinos or betting shops anywhere in the country. This also extends to online gambling, with the law being completely inadequate to regulate online betting sites.
Nothing will stop you from playing online in the Republic of Congo, but you will have to do business with sites headquartered out of other countries.
Casino-style games are legal in Equatorial Guinea as evidenced by the construction of a handful of land-based casinos. El Barco Casino in Malabo hosts six table games and 44 slot machines. Online gambling is not mentioned in the nation’s laws, so the legality of placing bets online is questionable.
Both legal and illegal gambling are widespread in Namibia thanks to a law passed in 1994 that legalized gambling and then subsequent attempts to snuff out gambling that only led to a developing black market. Today, legal gambling is limited to a small number of licensed casinos and products offered by the National Lottery.
Online betting sites are unregulated in Namibia, but there are no laws against placing bets online. What that means is you can play online at foreign gambling websites as long as you understand that the Namibian government does not offer any protections. The best way to ensure the safety of your funds is to do business with betting sites based out of reputable licensing jurisdictions such as the UK.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) of Mauritius was established in 2007 and now oversees all forms of gambling for the small island-nation. Mauritius takes a friendly approach to gambling with horse racing, totalisators, bookmaking, casino games, poker, pool betting, sweepstakes and lotteries all legal and licensed.
The Gambling Regulatory Act of 2007 does address online gambling and plainly states that it is illegal to offer online gambling without a license. There are no active licensees at this time (likely because there is little interest from potential operators given the small population). The GRA does have the authority to block access to offshore betting sites if it chooses to do so, but the Act does not make it a offense for individual people to visit offshore betting websites.
Gambling exists in Guinea although it is unregulated and the legality of participating in gambling is questionable. Previously, the 1990 Constitution tasked the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning with regulating betting and casino gaming, but that constitution was replaced after the death of General Lansana Conte in 2008.
The new Constitution does not mention gambling and so gambling remains in a legal grey area today. Given Guinea’s struggles with poverty and health, it is no surprise that gambling is not a priority issue. There are no online betting sites based out of Guinea, but if you have internet access, you can visit many offshore gambling websites to play for real money.
Swaziland takes a modern approach to gambling by regulating and licensing both real-world and online gambling. Several brick-and-mortar casinos operate in Swaziland and gambling sites have even received licenses from the government in the past.
At one point, an online betting site called Piggs Peak operated out of Swaziland and earned the majority of its business from South Africans who could access the website online. The Gauteng Gambling Board of South Africa took exception to Piggs Peak’s continued acceptance of South Africans and eventually took them to court (see Piggs Peak vs. Gauteng Gambling Board) over the case.
Piggs Peak was eventually convinced to stop doing business in SA and eventually closed. A new online casino by the same name now operates at PiggsPeak.com, but this one is licensed by the Maltese Gaming Authority (it too does not accept South African players).
Today, people in Swaziland turn to offshore betting sites as there are no longer any licensed online operators in Swaziland.
The gambling laws of Togo are not published online and information regarding the current state of the industry is nowhere to be found. We do believe gambling exists in some form in Togo as the website of the Hotel Palm Beach in Lomé mentions a “game room” which other travel websites refer to as a casino.
Online gambling is completely unregulated. That is also no surprise given the very low rate of internet access in Togo. Although we are unable to find a complete list of Togo laws online, we believe there is little legal risk if you decide to visit a foreign betting website.
Eritrea’s legal system is supposedly secular in nature, but Islam has a strong influence in guiding how laws are drafted, interpreted and enforced. As an increasingly Islamic country, Eritrea is unlikely to legalize gambling of any type any time soon. There are no casinos, no lottery and no online betting sites to be found in Eritrea.
There is likely a considerable amount of underground gambling but as far as legally sanctioned gambling goes, Eritrea does not have much to offer. The criminal code does not mention gambling, but it would not be a good idea to get caught placing wagers with other people.
Gambling is practically nonexistent in Burundi in light of the country’s simmering political-ethnic conflict that has been ongoing since April of 2015. Even before this latest round of violence, Burundi ranked as one of the world’s poorest and hungriest nations. Few locals have money to even bet with in the first place.
The country does have a national lottery, although the status of that lottery in recent years is unknown. The Lydia Ludique Burundi, co-managed by the national lottery and a French businessman, opened in 2001, but the current status of that casino is unknown. There are no licensed online betting sites today in Burundi.
Gambling of all types is illegal in Somalia due to the country’s overwhelmingly Muslim population. Brick-and-mortar casinos do not exist and it is an offense to participating in gambling or sports betting for money.
Online betting is similarly prohibited, although the risks of placing wagers at foreign gaming sites are unknowable given the political instability that has long existed in Somalia. Lackadaisical enforcement of laws that are on the books make it unlikely that any form of online betting regulation would be effective in practice, even if Somalia did decide to legalize gambling.
The Casino Order, 1989 legalized brick-and-mortar casinos in Lesotho and has since led to two casino/hotels being licensed to offer real money games for visitors. Underground gambling also exists to some extent as evidenced by the occasional crackdown on illegal gambling operations by police forces.
Online betting sites are not regulated in Lesotho, but online betting sites headquartered in other countries do mostly accept customers from Lesotho. The only things you need are access to the internet and a little money to wager.
The Gambia, Africa’s smallest mainland country, is a tourism hotspot and once-popular destination for gambling and sports betting. A relatively large number of casinos and betting shops once dotted the Gambian landscape, but a presidential decree in 2015 banned all forms of gambling on the grounds of avoiding the social ills that often accompany gambling.
It should also be noted that The Gambian population is 95% Muslim. This could have something to do with the government’s decision to ban gambling. Likewise, online betting sites are forbidden and there is no licensing regime for gambling websites.
Liberia is home to a thriving gambling industry comprised of betting shops, a national lottery, casinos and even games of skill. In 2015, President Sirleaf signed into law a new act to establish the National Lottery Authority (NLA). The duties of the NLA include issuing licenses and monitoring licensees for adherence to local gambling laws.
Online betting sites are also able to apply for licenses, but it remains to be seen if anyone will step forward to apply for an online gambling license. People with internet access can still visit offshore betting sites in the meantime. It is somewhat strange to see Liberia, one of the poorest countries in the world, so enthusiastically embrace real money betting. Some are skeptical of the government’s true motivations.
The island-nation of Cape Verde is one of the most politically stable and economically advanced countries in Africa. A growing tourism sector and relatively high standard of living make Cape Verde an increasingly attractive destination for gambling operators. Three areas in Cape Verde have been designated as gambling zones in which a limited number of casinos may operate.
Online betting made its first inroads into Cape Verde in 2015. That year, Macau Legend Development was given a contract to build a $275 million resort casino on Santiago Island. The contract also granted a subsidiary company of Macau Legend a virtual, nationwide monopoly over online gambling, online sports betting and land-based betting shops.
Although the Djibouti population is predominantly Muslim, some forms of gambling are sanctioned by the government. Gambling laws are difficult to come by online, but numerous travel booking websites note that there are at least two casino/hotels located in the capital city.
Online gambling appears to be unregulated and possibly illegal for locals, but law enforcement is most likely uninterested in prosecuting people for playing games online. However, it would be best to speak to an attorney before betting online if you reside in Djibouti.
Seychelles has long regulated gambling, but the Seychelles Gambling Act of 2014 provided much-needed clarity and paved the way for issuing online betting licenses. Under the act, operators may apply for a casino license, slot machine license or interactive gambling license.
Online sports betting is also legal in Seychelles. Amazon Betting operates a chain of brick-and-mortar betting shops as well as an online betting website located at AmazonBetting.com. The betting shops and website may only be used by locals and tourists who are present on Seychelles territory.
The economy of Guinea-Bissau is on an upward trajectory, but the country still faces economic issues that place gambling low on the radar. Our search of the country’s legal code yielded not a single mention of gambling, so our educated guess is that the industry is either unregulated or illegal (or both). The simple fact of the matter is that Guinea-Bissau has more pressing priorties at this point in time.
Online betting sites located in other parts of the world accept players from the country, but we cannot advise you at this time whether or not participation in online betting is legal. In all likelihood, police forces are ill-equipped to monitor internet usage and prosecute gamblers even if betting online is considered an offense.
Central African Republic
Central African Republic (CAR) was already one of the poorest nations in the world before it descended into chaos in 2013. Extreme violence resulted in thousands of dead and up to a million displaced. Under these circumstances, it is nearly impossible to provide an accurate report on the current state of gambling.
Some websites mention the existence of several casinos in Bangui, but it is difficult to verify whether or not these casinos actually exist. The country could be on the verge of improving after the election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera in early 2016. He formed a new cabinet with members of both allies and opponents in an attempt to restore peace to the troubled nation.
CAR will soon have an entirely new government, so it remains to be seen how gambling will be addressed. The new government will certainly have its hands full with more pressing matters in the meantime.
Comoros is one of the most gambling-friendly African nations. Both land-based and online gambling are legal and regulated with operators able to apply for licenses to offer their services. The Betting and Gaming Act 2005 established the legal and regulator framework that currently governs betting of all types.
Comoros is attractive as a licensing jurisdiction due to the relative ease of getting a license. Operators from anywhere in the world may apply and do not have to establish their servers on Comoros. However, players should know that the government does not do much due-diligence when issuing licenses to online betting sites. If you’re considering playing at a betting site licensed in Comoros, please do your research on that company’s reputation among actual customers.
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe legalized gambling in 2005 with an act that made it possible for potential operators to apply for licenses and offer casino games in the real world. The Pestana São Tomé currently serves as the only licensed casino in the country. The 5-star hotel includes 115 rooms complete with ocean views and a casino.
The gambling law does not regulate online betting, but neither does it prohibit the activity. If you find yourself in São Tomé and Príncipe and can’t make it to the Pestana hotel, you will have no problem finding an offshore betting site that would be happy to take your business.
Online Betting in the Middle East
Broadly speaking, Middle Eastern countries do not have a positive relationship with gambling. A handful of countries have limited forms of lottery products, but in-person and online betting options are extremely limited if not outright legal in most of the region’s countries.
All forms of gambling are illegal in Qatar, both as a player and operator. Underground gambling dens do operate, but players and organizers face significant legal risks for participation. Online gambling is similarly banned under wide ranging laws that prohibit participating in any form of gambling or sports betting.
Read more: Qatari Betting Sites
United Arab Emirates
Like most countries in the region, the UAE prohibits all forms of gambling and sports betting. The United Arab Emirates is known to take a proactive stance in enforcing the law, even including the formation of a cybercrime unit to investigate illegal activities that take place online. The state also actively blocks online content related to gambling.
Read more: United Arab Emirates Betting Sites
Turkey allows a limited form of gambling through the state-approved sports lottery, but it is one of the most proactive in the region when it comes to targeting unapproved forms of gambling. The country has in the past launched large crackdowns against illegal online betting with operations that netted the arrests of gambling providers and stiff fines for their customers.
Read more: Turkey Betting Sites
Limited forms of sports betting and gambling are legal but highly regulated in Israel. Online betting is controlled by the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB) while all other forms of online gambling are prohibited. Despite this, some of the world’s largest gambling firms originate from Israel – they just are not allowed to accept customers from Israel.
Read more: Israeli Betting Sites
Rating Betting Websites by Country
For the sake of transparency, we’d like to share the methodology of why we promote some betting sites but not others in each country.
As always, our primary ranking signal is the reputation of all betting sites.
No other factor is as important as the ability of a gaming operator to pay winners and protect your account information. Our basic philosophy is that it is better to recommend nobody than to list untrustworthy gambling sites for the sake of having a recommendation.
The good news is that there are numerous safe betting sites available in almost every country in the world.
A lot of the big-name operators have a presence in dozens of markets and provide fair wagering. This multitude of options gives us the freedom to further narrow down the list of country-specific betting sites by considering the following factors:
- Language and currency options
- Legal status and licenses to operate
- Quality and usability of software
- Mobile betting options
- Sign up bonuses and loyalty programs
- Ease of depositing and withdrawing
- Sports coverage / number of markets on offer each day
- Racebook track coverage and racing promotions
- Casino game selection
- Availability of online poker and traffic numbers
- Responsiveness of customer support
We put a great deal of effort into this section. These country-specific recommendations are the result of hours of research, translations of obscure legal documents, and discussions with individual players and industry insiders.
This information is not easily found online and we noticed that many other websites are either missing important information or present inaccurate data.
In some cases, other review websites recommend online bookmakers or casinos that don’t even accept players from the countries in question!
This was a major project but one that we will never consider finished. Laws change, new gaming regulations are announced all the time, betting sites change their policies and so on.
We will always do our best to keep these pages up to date and accurate, but it’s entirely possible that we miss something important.
You are welcome to contact us at any time if you notice any inaccuracies or have information that we should share with our readers.
Language-Specific Bookmaker Comparisons
It’s hard to place intelligent bets when betting sites don’t speak your language. It is important to choose betting sites that support your language, especially if you need to contact support.
Not all betting sites offer all languages – and some bookies support more languages than others.
It can be difficult to figure out which bookmakers support which languages. We created a chart that shows exactly which languages are supported at several major international betting websites.
We have listed languages of the Western world plus Chinese and Japanese. If you’re looking for a betting site in a language not listed below, each of our country-specific pages recommends betting sites that offer the official language where you live.
We verified each site by hand for every language and can confirm that the chart above is accurate and up to date. Things can change, however, so if you notice any inaccuracies, please do not hesitate to contact us.
A customer support team that can speak your native language is invaluable when questions eventually arise. If you gamble online long enough, there’s a fairly good chance you will need to ask a question at some point. You will be very happy that you picked the right betting site for your language if you ever need help with a cashout or claiming a promotion.
Mike Murphy is the founder of OnlineBettingSites.com and has over 10 years of experience in the legal online betting industry. A regular attendee of industry trade shows and conferences, Mike is a strong proponent of regulated markets and responsible gambling policies.