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Online gambling laws in South Africa and around the world

Oct 10, 2018
Online gambling laws in South Africa and around the world

Like other rulings created by individual countries, online gambling laws differ depending on the region. The majority of countries have very sophisticated regulating bodies and laws in place for gambling to ensure everything is on the safe and narrow - for example, only allowing online casinos with the correct licenses to operate within their borders.

However, you may be surprised at the number of territories that either have no online gambling regulations or have what we would consider particularly strange laws in place.

Online Gambling Laws In South Africa & Around the World


Let’s start with our home continent of Africa, where one of the most successful online gambling industries continue to thrive. Of the 54 countries in Africa, 30 have decided to legalise every form of gambling, including iGaming.

One of the countries that have experienced great success from this decision is, of course, South Africa where we already have 40 land-based casinos. There are plenty more South African iGaming platforms though, with the best online casinos often competing against one another for your attention.

Meanwhile, in Kenya a third of inhabitants say that they use their smartphone to play at online casinos, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this was also the case in Egypt, Botswana, Morocco, Zimbabwe and the other countries where gambling is legal.


"London" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by szeke

By far the largest online gambling markets in Europe are the UK, Spain and Germany, but that isn’t to say the rest of the continent isn’t a fan of iGaming as well. In fact, the majority of Europe including most Scandinavian countries and plenty of the central territories allow all sorts of gambling.

Iceland and France are exceptions as neither allow online gambling despite having a number of land-based casinos, while Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Switzerland say they’ve banned online gambling - but so far, no one’s getting punished for playing at international sites.

The Americas

Up in North America. there’s not a lot to be said about online gambling laws. Canada (and Mexico - we’re classing that as North, sorry!) have legalised and regulated all forms of gambling, though laws differ ever to slightly region to region. In the USA, though, they’re not so sure how they feel about gambling at all.

On one hand there’s Las Vegas and several states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia and Illinois have all agreed that online gambling is alright. On the other hand, the rest of the states still aren’t totally on board.

Things are equally as baffling in South America, where Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic are all fine with online gambling, while many of the other countries would rather not deal with it.

Asia & Oceania

"The Scenery of Cybercity" (CC BY 2.0) by OiMax

Asia is definitely the most complicated territory when it comes to online gambling. Islamic countries in the Middle East ban gambling entirely while Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam have strange exceptions for things like betting on physical sports.

China has a similar law, and yet Macau is a huge gambling and entertainment-orientated city. In South Korea and Japan, though, things seem to be less strict and some forms of gambling are allowed both online and off. This is also the case a little more South in New Zealand where players can go to foreign casinos to play online.

However, their sister country Australia recently put several laws into place that restrict online and offline gambling significantly, making it more similar to many of the Asian countries. 

There you have it, a succinct guide to online gambling regulations around the world. Of course, the laws are so complicated and intricate that we could never detail each and every region's individual laws, but we think we’ve got the gist of most places here. 

Main image: "Montecasino" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Andy G

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