Countries That Have Legalized Online Gambling

In the past decade or so, the online gambling industry has massively expanded. At its core, the key to this incredible rise is the innovation and diversity within each online gambling site, especially in the gaming sections. 

The online gambling industry took the world by storm, and it’s fair to say that most lawmakers were caught by surprise. As a result, it took a while before countries started passing online gambling legislation. Before that, they relied on obsolete laws that were not relevant. 

As a whole, the online gambling industry has gone a long way toward improving its legal status. A lot of adjustments need to be made before it can be considered a well-regulated on a worldwide level, though. We look forward to the day when the industry is uniformly regulated on a global basis, but for now, we have to accept the way things are. 

Today, we’ll talk about countries that have embraced online gambling and legalized this popular pastime. Stay tuned! 

European Countries

Many countries in Europe like UK, Ireland, France,  Sweden, have legalized online casinos, but almost every nation has a unique approach to the subject. Some governments have formally authorized it, while others put proper regulatory frameworks in place. 


The French Government has legally regulated all forms of gambling. Land-based operators are allowed to host sportsbooks, casino games, racing betting and card games, while gambling sites may offer the same except casino games.

It isn’t roses and sunshine in France when it comes to online gambling. Strict regulations and high taxes make it difficult for licensed gaming sites to operate. Almost half of the licensed sites have left the market since 2010. High taxes on sports bets also affect players, which is why many of them choose to gamble at foreign sites. 

Fortunately, French gamblers have plenty of options. The country’s laws don’t forbid playing at unlicensed sites; therefore, players can choose from an abundance of licensed or unlicensed sites. If you like what you see on a French gambling site, operators will welcome you with open arms. If not, you can choose from a wide array of other options. 


Spain’s online gambling landscape changed radically in 2011, following the introduction of the Spanish Gambling Act. The government now uses a 10-year licensing scheme for casino operators in the country, and the National Gambling Commission requests that gambling operators house their servers within the country’s borders.

Gambling Act has proven to be extremely efficient and can serve as an example for other countries to maintain a gambling landscape that’s both safe and successful. The law is protecting the citizens by keeping unlicensed providers from the business. After Gambling Act passed, nearly 50 websites immediately seized operations, and many others have been investigated. This is proof of a successful and sharp system that facilitated the fast development of online gambling in Spain. 


Online gambling is legal and regulated in the UK by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission — a regulatory body formed by the Gambling Act 2005. Operators offering online sports betting, bingo, lottery-style games, and casino games all must abide by the strict rules imposed by the Commission. Anyone wishing to provide these games to UK citizens must obtain a license from this regulatory entity.

Unlike many other countries where gambling laws are vague and obsolete, in the UK, there is a clear framework for placing bets and hosting games online. The country’s government fosters a safe environment that protects operators and players alike. And because the UK gambling market is vast, there is no shortage of international operators who are willing to comply with the strict rules imposed by the UKGC. 


In Canada, the situation with internet gambling is a bit complicated. The government doesn’t allow online casinos and poker rooms to operate within the country’s borders, but here is the paradox — most offshore companies are located on the Kahnawake native reserve. Thanks to the agreement with the Canadian government, Kahnawake Mohawks have the sovereignty and jurisdiction over their territory. So, the Kahnawake community is free to govern its own laws, including gambling. 

According to Canadian law, in order to legally provide online or mobile casino games for Canadian residents, including lotteries, betting, slots, or any other form of online gambling, the operation has to be approved by the government. In other words, a casino operator has to obtain the license of one of the provincial regulatory bodies, such as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to provide gaming services. 

Many offshore servers are located in the Kahnawake area, which is still on the territory of the country. What’s more, some of the most reputable foreign companies licensed by the UKGC and the Malta Gaming Authority support online casinos in Canada.

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