If you’re planning on gambling in another country, it pays to familiarise yourself with the law. Not just to prevent yourself from running foul of it, but also to alert yourself to the sort of betting opportunities that are available there. It’s also worth learning about the types of gambling that are popular within the country and, if you’re playing online, the payment methods available. Whether you’re visiting the country on holiday, are spending an extended period there due to work or are contemplating moving there, learning the lowdown is just common sense. The laws regarding online and real world gambling differ hugely from country to country, so don’t assume you know the state of play just because you’ve been in that part of the world before. The law can be annoyingly vague in some countries, with ‘grey areas’ leaving certain forms of online gambling in particular unregulated and open to interpretation.
In terms of playing at online casinos, not only can the law differ from country to country, but many nations are in the process of updating their laws to reflect the changing habits of gamblers. Some exclude overseas betting, for example, to protect their own gambling revenue, while other countries do so because they are opposed to online gambling in principle. Many of the larger online casinos cater for roulette players worldwide, so be sure to check out our recommended international casinos that offer online roulette.
Laws and Regulations
The laws regarding gambling in each country are generally set by its own gambling authority or gambling control commission. While the names of these regulatory bodies will differ, their function is the same: to uphold the country’s gambling laws, to protect the rights of consumers and to prevent encroachment, where possible, by unlicensed offshore operators. Each country’s gambling body will also be tasked with issuing the licenses to the land-based and online companies that wish to offer gambling services within the country – that’s provided that gambling is legal in the first place. Some nations outlaw gambling altogether or heavily restrict it at least.
Different Payment Methods and More
If you’re planning to gamble online in a new country, you’ll want to find out the sort of payment options that are available to you. While you might expect these to be broadly similar from country to country, there can be some surprising differences. In Belgium, for instance, credit cards cannot be directly used to fund online casino accounts. Instead, you have to go through a third party intermediary that then forwards the funds to your casino account. In most countries you should be able to use some form of ewallet to fund your account, and in all countries you should be able to use Bitcoin – though whether you can easily purchase Bitcoin in your country is another matter. Live dealer games, the sort that a great many online casinos offer, will require you to be able to use a fast deposit method ideally, one that clears instantly or almost instantly.
United Kingdom – British-based gamblers can enjoy a wide range of gambling options; sports betting, online roulette, bingo and video slots are all popular, and can be played at online casinos that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. If you happen to reside in the UK, you have a wealth of gambling options available to you, both on the web and at land-based casinos and betting facilities including bookmakers.
Australia – Australians wager more per capita than any other nation in the world, so to say they like to gamble would be an understatement. Recently however the Australian government has made moves to crack down on online gambling, causing many of the country’s poker and roulette players to find themselves short of options. There are land-based casinos within the country and there are also working men’s pubs and other facilities where pokies, keno and lottery play are all enjoyed.
Canada – Canada is an interesting country when it comes to gambling, not least because it has a number of territories where there are licensed online and land-based casinos. Responsible gambling is promoted in Canada, and the country has a thriving casino industry. Vancouver is also home to many software developers who work in the iGaming industry. Canadian residents can legally play bingo, purchase lottery tickets and engage in online gambling that includes roulette and other table games.
China – The Chinese love to gamble, but officially gambling remains illegal in China. As a consequence, citizens looking to indulge in their favourite casino games, be it blackjack, roulette or poker, will travel to Hong Kong or Macau where such behaviour is permitted and indeed encouraged. There are state lotteries available in China, while when it comes to online gambling plenty of offshore companies target the Chinese, despite the pursuit being illegal in the country.
United States – There’s a lot to learn about gambling in the US, with laws varying greatly from state to state. While the number of online casinos where you can play roulette and other games is extremely limited – and you generally have to be a citizen of that state to do so – you can gamble in land-based casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other places. Sports betting is illegal as it stands in America, but the law on this may change in the future, while moves are afoot for other states to legalise online gambling in some shape or form.
New Jersey – Not a country, of course, but New Jersey is famed for its gambling and there are all kinds of options available to residents of the easterly US state. Atlantic City is the place to play if you want to enjoy roulette, poker, slots and all the other games that are synonymous with casinos. Some of these casinos are also licensed to offer online gaming, but you’ll need to be a citizen of the state to access them.
New Zealand – Like Australia, New Zealand is a country that loves to gamble. If you’re heading to NZ for work, holiday or to reside, you’ll not be short of ways to wagers and games to gamble on. There are six land-based casinos in the country, where many residents enjoy playing pokies, and online gambling is also legal. As a consequence, New Zealand residents can enjoy online roulette, sports betting, pokies and all the other games that casinos and betting sites are prone to offering.
Germany – Casino games such as roulette and blackjack are particularly popular in Germany, as well as the likes of slots, which tend to be popular pretty much everywhere. Though the country has strict laws regarding online gambling, this doesn’t seem to have deterred its citizens’ enthusiasm for it. Technically, online gambling is illegal in Germany. While this hasn’t prevented Germans from gambling regardless, it’s worth noting this point if you’re planning to indulge in betting or gambling in some form while you’re there.
Singapore – If you’re planning to spend some time in Singapore, don’t count on getting a lot of gambling done. The pastime is technically illegal in the Asian country, though when it comes to online gambling, many Singaporeans indulge regardless. As a consequence, it’s certainly possible to play online roulette, poker, slots and all the rest, even if the authorities would prefer that you didn’t. You would certainly be advised to exercise discretion and tread carefully however if you’re gambling in Singapore.
South Africa – The law regarding gambling in South Africa is ill-defined and ambiguous. There are some licensed online casinos however and if you’re planning to play your favourite casino games while you’re in SA, there’s certainly ways and means. The licensed casinos that are available offer currencies that include the Rand, and cater for fans of roulette, blackjack and slots as well as poker.
Dubai – The type of gambling that is legally available to you within Dubai is severely restricted, although it is allowed at the UAE city’s racetracks. If you’re staying in Dubai, you’re also free to gamble online within the hotel or resort you’re staying in, despite vagaries regarding what the law states. As a result, it’s possible to play roulette and other games while you’re in Dubai, even if you won’t be able to wander into a land-based casino and put it all on black.
Qatar – Qatar is a place that really isn’t friendly to gambling so if you’re spending time out there your options are limited. You’re not going to be able to play blackjack, roulette or any other games you’re into at land-based casinos. Technically you can still do so online, as many do, but be aware that since this is illegal, it’s worth exercising caution while you’re in the oil-rich Arab country.
Lebanon – The Lebanese Republic, as it’s officially known, has one land-based casino known as the Casino du Liban. It’s 22km from the capital Beirut. If you’re looking to play roulette and other casino games while you’re in the country, there is an offshore cruise ship called the Orient Queen which takes Lebanese residents into the Mediterranean where they can gamble freely. Online gambling has been illegal in the country since 2013 however.
Jordan – There are no land-based casinos to be found in Jordan, but the Middle Eastern state may be looking to change that in the near future. For now, there are few options available to residents or visitors to Jordan who are looking to gamble. It is possible to gamble online, but it it’s illegal and there’s the risk that you could run into trouble, so this isn’t recommended. As a result, online casinos don’t tend to target Jordanians.
Malaysia – It’s possible to play roulette and other casino games at land-based premises within Malaysia. Resorts World Genting is where these lie, an hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Horse racing is allowed within the country and betting at the racetracks is popular. Malaysians looking to gamble online will often sign up at casinos based in the neighbouring Philippines, but technically this is still illegal.
India – There are only three states in India where gambling is permitted including Goa. Lotteries are permitted, but most other forms of gambling are outlawed. The only practical means of playing roulette and similar casino games is to do so online, but it’s worth noting that this is still legal. In practice, many Indians do gamble online and casinos based abroad.