Gambling laws not only differ dramatically between country to country, but are frequently changing day by day. In the UK our laws are pretty simple – you are free to bet with football tips or play a game of blackjack (any type of gambling) from the age of 18, although the national lottery can be played from the age of 16, and online gambling is legal also in conjunction with the above age brackets.
It can be difficult to keep up with what’s what, so we’ve comprised a list of the five main gambling laws that differ from our own.
Out of the 54 countries in Africa, 30 of them allow both online and offline betting. Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda have all been named some of the biggest markets within the continent, the gambling industry growing in popularity in recent years. That being said, gambling at an unlicensed casino in Africa will leave you facing jail time, with your winnings also being confiscated.
In 1987 the legal age to gamble was decreased from 21 to 18 in France, and gambling rose slowly but surely to the present day. The French Gambling Act made online poker, horse racing and sports betting such as football legal to play online. However, no other gambling online is. Although roulette is said to have been invented in France in the 17th century, the games are not legal to be played on the web today.
For Japan, poker, black jack, roulette and games similar are all banned under the Japanese Penal Code. However, lottery draws and betting on sports is legal. It has been reported that the winner, however, only receives half of the winnings. The other half donated to charities.
In the 1940’s and 50’s, Havana was considered one of the world’s largest gaming hubs, with many arguing that Cuba’s capital was the forerunner to today’s Las Vegas in terms of its gambling status. However, 1959 saw Fidel Castro demolish several casinos and slot machines within the country, and gambling, both on and off line, has been illegal ever since.
Similar to Japan’s rules and regulations, Cyprus only allows the national lottery and sports betting to be played legally. However, neither of these are allowed to be accessed online due to all online gambling being made illegal in recent years.
While the laws and rules differ from country to country around the globe, it seems the UK offers one of the more relaxed industries of gambling than some of its neighbouring countries. While it may be possible to follow the majority of countries black and white guidelines, it is worth noting that bettors should take time to consider the laws in places such as the USA.
With regards to the many states it contains, a lot differ drastically in their law of gambling and betting so make sure to research this if visiting. For instance, Hawaii and Utah have both made any form of gambling illegal. However, in Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, while it is obviously legal to attend casinos, there are laws against lotteries and racetrack betting.