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Where in the world is gambling illegal?

Where in the world is gambling illegal?

Gambling around the world


Gambling in the UK has been legal since May 1961, and the Guardian reported in August 2017 that gambling takes around £14billion a year from the public, and has a positive impact on the economy – it’s said that the economic footprint of gambling is around £5billion.


But gambling isn’t legal in some countries – online or offline, although for the most part, you are able to gamble online (except in Cyprus, Cambodia, North Korea, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Poland). So, where else is gambling illegal, and for which forms? This list goes through all of the countries where it’s illegal – in a lot of these countries betting is illegal, in some way or another. 


  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Barbados – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Belarus
  • Cambodia – gambling is illegal for natives, but land-based gambling is legal for foreign visitors
  • Cayman Islands – land-based gambling is illegal, and online local casinos are banned, whereas foreign casino slots are not
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus – online sports betting ok with a license
  • Czech Republic – majority of online gambling is illegal (except online lottery and online sports betting)
  • Ecuador – land-based gambling is illegal
  • France – online casino gambling is not legal, but the rest of online gambling is ok – land-based is legal
  • Greece – some online gambling is illegal
  • Guam – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Guatemala – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Iceland – online casino gambling and online poker illegal – offline gambling is legal
  • Italy – some online casinos are banned
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Japan – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyztan – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Latvia – some online casinos are banned
  • Libya
  • Lithuania – some online casinos are banned
  • Luxembourg – illegal online other than sports betting and online lottery
  • Maldives
  • Mali – only legal for foreign visitors
  • Mauritania
  • New Zealand – local casinos banned online, but foreign aren’t
  • Norway – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Poland – everything but online sports betting is illegal
  • Qatar – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Russia – online casino gambling and online poker is legal, but the rest is illegal
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey – everything but online sports betting and online lottery is illegal
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine – everything but online lottery is illegal
  • United States – online operators and some online casinos are banned (each law is different per state)
  • Uzbekistan – land-based gambling is illegal
  • Yemen – lad-based gambling is illegal


There are a few countries in Europe where the gambling laws aren’t regulated, such as Andorra, Faroe Islands, Kosovo, Lichtenstein, Moldova, Monaco and Slovenia. In North America it’s unregulated in Turks and Caicos.


Of course, the gambling legislations for every country are complex and differentiate between countries. It’s an intricate process, but if you’re ever worried about the place you live or are visiting, just do your research beforehand.