Gambling legislation varies from one country to another. One form of gambling can be a recreational activity in one country and an illegal in another. In this section, we will look at gambling regulations in the rest of the world and compare them to Canada’s.
United States of America
Land-based casinos are legal in the USA. They can offer all forms of casino games from poker, blackjack, slots, lottery, bingo any other casino games. However, since 2016, the federal government restricts banks from processing money to and from gambling sites based outside the USA. However, almost all land-based casinos in the state have partnered with various online operators to offer mobile casinos and sports betting.
Poker is also legal. In fact, there are interstate poker platforms offering poker. Various offshore online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms accept players from the US, but they do so illegally. Residents have to look for alternative banking methods such as bitcoin, Neteller, skrill, and others to fund their overseas player accounts.
Gambling on poker, blackjack, and roulette is illegal under the Japanese Penal Code. Sports betting, lotteries, slot machines, and pinball are allowed. Half of the winnings go to charities, while the other half goes to the player.
China is passionate about gaming. But, gambling is only tolerated in Macau Island as it has an independent administrative status. Macao has one of the largest casinos in the world. As for online gambling, it is popular among the Chinese, with more internet cafes opening to meet the needs of gamblers.
Most countries in Africa have organized gambling legislation. Most regulations are strict. For example, South Africa amended the law to restrict the number of bingo and machine licenses. Betting laws in Kenya states that all forms of gambling are allowed.
The Betting Control and Licensing Act Kenya welcomes anyone to offer gambling services as long as they get licensed by their gambling board. Yet, not many operators could survive there following heavy taxation. Ideally, most countries in Africa have legalized gambling, especially sports betting. Unlike Canada, these countries don’t limit players to parlay bets.
Turkey first created legislation for horse races. It later legalized the national lottery in 1988. In 2005, the country changed its lottery and sports betting laws to meet modern technicality, which meant the legalization of online gaming.
The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union. However, once it leaves under the Brexit vote, some of its gambling laws might change. For now, England is still taking 3% of players’ winnings, whether they bet online or in local retail shops. National Lottery of 1993 continues to run sports prediction games and draw games.
Gambling is legal in Germany. But, there are several restrictions. For example, land-based casinos are limited to offer only table games and slots. Sports betting shops are allowed. Online sports betting was allowed under the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling of 2012 but was rejected on account it was violating EU’S fair competition rules.
The country came up with a modified Treaty in March 2020, which came into effect in July 2021. This Treaty legalized online gambling, whether it’s casino, sports betting, or any other. Operators are welcome to apply for a license to start offering online gambling to residents. Bettors are expected to impose deposit limit per month, not exceeding $1000. Yet, gambling on blackjack and roulette, and other table games is not included in the new Treaty. This means fans for table games will look elsewhere to play these games online.
Spain has one of the largest gambling markets. As such, the country came up with the Spanish Gambling Act in 2011, following analysts’ report that the country’s online gambling market was bigger than United Kingdom’s online sports betting market.
One of the aspects covered in the Spanish Gambling Act is that bettors’ wins are subject to taxation. Also, anyone can become a gambling operator if they are of Spain Nationality or from a country that is a Member State of the European Economic Area.
Sports betting, online casino gambling, land-based gaming, poker, lotteries, and other forms of gambling are allowed. Moreover, contests or games broadcasted on telecommunication where players win prizes are also allowed. The Spanish gambling regulation is extensive, inclusive compared to Canada’s.
The Italian gambling regulation has developed dynamically. The law allows both offline and online gambling. Before 2006, gambling on games of chances was illegal. But, the European Commission has influenced Italy to expand the list of allowed gambling gradually.
For an operator to offer gambling services to Italian, it must have sales of over 1,500,000 euros. Also, the operator must have an office in Italy. An operator can only offer his services for nine years, after which the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies will reevaluate whether to relicense the operator. All forms of gambling are allowed, including online poker, sports betting casino games, lotteries, horse racing, and bingo.
All forms of offline gambling are legal. These include casino games, sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, and bingo. Online gambling is also allowed except for online casino games. Gambling is strictly regulated in France. With the rise of the problem of gambling, France is set to review gambling laws to impose more measures related to consumer protection.
The high standard of living has contributed to the thriving gambling industry in Denmark. Yet, there is comprehensive legislation controlling gambling in this country. There are eight land-based casinos spread across major cities. These casinos offer gambling services on slots, poker, table games, punto banco, blackjack, and roulette.
Online gambling was authorized in 2012 through Danish Gambling Act. The country has over 40 local online gambling platforms. Yet, some residents look for casinos offshore. However, there is no law against this, and no one has been financially penalized or imprisoned for playing on offshore platforms. Pool betting is also allowed. Interested operators must seek a license from Danish Gambling Authority. Danish nationals can participate in gambling only if they are over 18 years.
All forms of gambling are prohibited in Switzerland. In fact, the Federal Gaming Commission pursues anyone promoting online gaming, operating a gaming server, or advertising a gambling activity. In this case, Canada seems to be in better standing on gambling.
All countries have amended or developed gambling laws between 2000-2021. Their regulations include consumer protection, taxation, and licensing timeframe, among other things. Comparing to Canadian gambling regulations, Canada lacks in various aspects. In fact, Canadian gambling law is non-comprehensive. The country has not looked into gambling like other countries have in the 21st century.