Betting on the go has become a way of life. Thanks to the rise of betting sites, punters can now bet while on holiday or on a business trip overseas. Through our different country betting guides, find out all you need to know about the legality, best online bookies, payment methods and more of your next destination!
Best Betting Sites We Recommend That Are Available Worldwide
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International Bookmakers – Ranked
List of Country Betting Guides
When it comes to picking out a betting site, a lot of factors come into play. The bookmaker’s sports selection, range of markets, quality of odds and strength of customer support are all vital to making your decision. But of course, the biggest factor of all is the country you’re betting from. It goes without saying, but if a betting site isn’t offered in the country you’re betting from, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
The selection of bookies will differ from country to country, depending on the laws, regulations, and market in that specific region. This can make betting while abroad annoyingly complicated at times. You land on new shores without a clue about those pesky gambling laws, whether your go-to bookie operates here, what payment methods are in place, so on and so forth.
Placing your bets should never be a source of hassle, which is why we set off on a mission to investigate numerous countries across the globe, to go through their betting regulations with a fine-tooth comb and summarise these in simple, easily digestible guides. Below you’ll find the countries we’ve covered till now, featuring key information on the gambling scene in a variety of countries.
Of course, we’re only getting started. Expect this list to keep on expanding as time goes on – there’s plenty for us left to explore, so keep checking back if your country is not yet on our list.
How Do Online Betting Laws Differ Across Countries & Continents?
Since the introduction of online betting sites in the last decade or so, the legislative landscape has dramatically shifted. Today, many countries are individually responsible for their own gambling legislations. As a result, laws can vary quite a bit between different countries, and even more so between continents.
Gambling Laws in Europe
Although Europe is considered to be a “single state” from an economical viewpoint, and countries are required to comply with legislation passed by the European Union, individual countries are free to pass their own laws for online gambling.
In most cases, it’s legal to bet both online and at land-based bookies, and markets are very well regulated. Italy, Germany, France & Spain and the UK (though the latter no longer part of the EU) have the highest gross gambling revenue.
Gambling Laws in Africa
With over 1.3 billion people and over 50 nations, Africa commands a sizeable number of online gamblers. The rapid expansion of mobile internet connectivity has stimulated the development of the iGaming scene in this region, with sports betting seemingly en-vogue with African players.
The likes of South Africa and Kenya have successfully managed to regulate their gambling market, but many others are yet to do the same. This has led to numerous players registering with overseas bookies that are unlicensed in the country.
Gambling Laws in Asia
The gambling laws in Asia are very diverse, which is unsurprising when you consider that Asia is responsible for over 60% of the worldwide population and is home to a long list of countries. Rising adoption of smartphones and increased accessibility to the internet have been major catalysts for the expansion of the iGaming sector in this region, although most countries do not allow residents to bet with offshore companies. In many countries where gambling is legal, players are obliged to bet locally. What’s interesting to note is that due to the lack of strict rules in place, many European gamblers have flocked to Asian bookies as of late.
Gambling Laws in South America
With over 410 million inhabitants, South America has been identified as a market with massive potential for online gaming, made easier by the fact that many countries have (or are moving towards) legalising gambling. While gambling laws in this region have been a mixed bag in recent years, with countries such as Brazil banning gambling completely, others like Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay have developed a much friendlier attitude towards it – a sign of things to come.
Gambling Laws in the United States
Although gambling is legal under U.S. federal law, laws vary state by state. Online casino games have been on the up in recent years, as have sports betting sites since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018.
Gambling Laws in Australia & New Zealand
Betting laws are somewhat complicated in Australia, with some forms considered to be legal while others are not. However, players are not prohibited from using overseas sites, meaning Aussies still manage to bet on anything they wish to.
This online gambling legislation in New Zealand is much more straightforward. Kiwis are legally allowed to participate in many forms of gambling with overseas sites, including sports betting, online casinos and lotteries.
Betting Licences Around the World
Before offering its services to players, an operator must obtain a gambling licence from the licensing authority of the region they wish to set up in. There are several regulating bodies that issue these licences, and are responsible for setting standards of regulation as well as tax incentives and ease of access into new markets.
UK Gambling Commission
Operating in Great Britain, the UKGC is one of the most respected gambling regulators in the around. Any online gaming and gambling business is required to obtain a UKGC remote licence if they wish to accept players from the UK.
After being set up in under 2007 to regulate and oversee all gambling related activity in the UK, the UKGC has over 200 online casinos and over 800 sportsbooks. The most challenging aspect of obtaining this licence is the high tax rates, but the UKGC licence is undoubtedly considered to be one of the best signs of an operator’s safety and trustworthiness.
Malta Gaming Authority
Widely considered to be the hub of iGaming, Malta’s regulatory authority was one of the first to regulate online gambling operators in Europe. The MGA is known to impose strict measures for licencees, and is thus highly respected in the industry. It issues out separate licenses for various gambling activities at a relatively high cost in comparison to other regulating bodies.
Gibraltar Gaming Commission
The Gibraltar Gaming Commission is one of the longest serving regulating bodies in the industry. It’s a very attractive prospect for many online gambling operators, aided by its no VAT policy and low tax rates. However, obtaining such a licence is a difficult task, given the long list of requirements that must be fulfilled and the long waiting time (3 months on average). As a result, start-ups and young companies are usually forced to look elsewhere.
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
Another with low tax rates, the Isle of Man gaming licence is well respected. The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission is known for being fully committed to player protection, especially youths, and thus has very strict requirements in place.
Curaçao eGaming Licensing Authority
A small island on the north coast of Venezuela, Curaçao’s gaming industry has been rapidly expanding since 1996. The Curaçao licence is a popular online gaming license known for its cheap cost, immensely short waiting time and simple application process. For these reasons, it’s not considered to be as reputable as other regulating bodies on this list, especially since the Curaçao gaming commission are known to take a hands-off approach during players disputes.
Betting Abroad: What to Keep in Mind
As demonstrated above, laws can vary greatly from one country to another and can be quite complicated. Some places aren’t clear about what’s allowed and what isn’t, while others implement restrictive regulations that make gambling difficult or not possible at all. While betting from overseas, it’s crucial that you’re aware of the legality surrounding online gambling so that you don’t take any potentially dangerous risks.
To make your life easier, find a betting site that’s licensed both where you are and back in the United Kingdom (if you are a UK resident). The likes of bet365, Betfair & Unibet are all sound choices since they hold licences in multiple countries, meaning that you’ll be able to use them in a variety of destinations.
While the idea of having a portion of winnings stripped away will shock UK players, this is a reality in many overseas countries. Popular travel destinations like Spain and France tax players on winnings above a certain amount, with tax rates often differing according to the type of gambling activity being indulged in.
The good news is that if you’re a British citizen paying tax in the UK and find yourself gambling while abroad, you generally won’t need to worry about taxes. However, if you’re living elsewhere more permanently, then this will be something to look into more carefully.
We all have one or two payment methods we’re most comfortable with, but you’ll need to be more flexible while betting from abroad. While debit cards are found almost everywhere, don’t be surprised to find names like ecoPayz, NETELLER and even PayPal are missing. Above all, make sure that if you’re trying out a new payment method, you’re aware of any hidden fees or costs that come with using it and that, of course, you have no doubts about its security.
One really important tip to mention here is to be aware of the exchange rate while travelling abroad, especially when you can’t bet using GBP. Using different currencies can warp your idea about how much you’re spending and lead you to wasting money.
Regulated vs Unregulated Markets
The difference between a regulated and unregulated market is night and day. Players can face many difficulties in an unregulated and market, as can online gambling companies.
In a regulated market, the first thing you’ll have is an online gambling regulator. This is the institution which monitors all gambling activity in the country and issues licences to online betting sites. Operators are forced to fulfil requirements set by the regulator and must pass checks and audits to ensure they’re deemed fit to offer their services. This adds protection to players since disputes can be brought up to the regulating body. Taxes will also be collected, meaning money can be reinvested into the country rather than being lost to overseas companies.
In an unregulated market, players are still able to enjoy gambling, but with additional risks that wouldn’t be possible in a regulated market. The main issue is that in the case of a dispute, players won’t be able to contact their local regulating body for help (since there won’t be one). This can leave them vulnerable to being exploited by offshore bookies, who’ll know they can get away with it. One example of this is if an operator pulls out of the market, which can lead to a loss of all funds in the betting account.
Also, in some unregulated markets, players will have to make due with unreliable banking methods, resulting in long withdrawal times and data being at risk.
Which Countries Gamble the Most?
Having inspected the gambling scene across so many countries and continents, this begs the question: which countries gamble the most? While this question is hard to answer with a clear-cut answer, here are five places which aren’t afraid to stack their chips and back their favourite sports teams…
Labelled the “gambling capital of the world”, Macau is a city with a population of about 680,000 existing south of China’s coastline. However, while gambling is illegal in mainland China, Macau is governed by a Special Administrative Region of the country, meaning that it is the only part of China where gambling is legal. This city is like no other – an epicentre of gambling and glitz that makes an incredible 50% of its revenue through this industry alone.
United States of America
Everybody’s heard of the glamorous Las Vegas and its reputation for gambling, so it should come as no surprise that U.S. gambling market revenue reached 79.42 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. With sports betting slowly being legalised across the country, numbers are expected to continue rising tremendously.
The United Kingdom
Home to many top betting sites and the leader when it comes to regulation through the UKGC, the UK is a huge betting nation with loads of sports and casino-obsessed punters. Things don’t seem to be slowing down, either, and it’s estimated that 32% of Brits gamble weekly.
Australia is one of the leading countries when it comes to gambling, with a survey reporting that 80% of Aussies have indulged in some kind of gambling activity at least once in their lives – the highest rate in the world. This doesn’t mean they’re particularly good at it, though. In fact it’s quite the opposite, since a 2017 study showed that Australians have the highest rates of gambling losses per adult in the world.
Boasting a somewhat liberal approach to gambling, Canada has the second highest number of casinos per km² in the world after the USA. At least 19.3 million Canadians actively gamble, and about CA$17.3 billion revenue is made annually through this industry.
Betting in Different Countries FAQs
💲 How do I find a country’s betting guide?
Simply make your way to the top of this page and click on the flag belonging to the destination you want to look into.
🍒 What do you cover in each country betting guide?
In each guide, we make sure to tackle questions relating to betting laws in a specific country, explaining things in a clear, concise manner so that you won’t have any doubts by the end of the article. We also make sure to cover payment options, provide you with tips and outline the best betting sites to use in each country.
〽️ What do I need to keep in mind while betting abroad?
Start off by familiarising yourself with the gambling laws in this country and whether your preferred betting sites can operate. On top of this, we recommend checking out which currencies are offered and which payment methods you can use.
🤠 Can winnings be taxed while betting abroad?
As a British citizen paying tax in UK, you usually won’t need to pay tax while betting while abroad. However, be sure to check the regulations of the specific country you’re travelling to.
🏆 Which betting sites can be found internationally?
Many betting sites have expanded their horizons to penetrate numerous overseas markets, with bet365, betfair and Unibet being three prominent examples. Signing up with operators like these makes it much easier to bet while abroad.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
In an era defined by the internet and increased access to online gambling, players are able to access betting sites from virtually anywhere they are. Research is always advised, so we hope our country betting guides help you on your travels. Good luck and bon voyage!