How to Check if a Bookie is Legal in Different Countries

If you’re placing a wager overseas, it’s essential to do a bit of research before you start betting. Different countries around the world have various rules about sports betting. That means that, inadvertently, you could end up breaking the law just by backing your favorite team while you’re on holiday. Here, we look at how to check if a bookie is legal in different countries. 

Check if a Bookie Is Legal in Different Countries

Who Regulates Betting in Different Countries? 

In different countries around the world, other bodies are responsible for betting regulations. There are 5 jurisdiction types, and each country falls into one of the 5 categories: 

Licensed unrestricted betting:

You can enjoy legal sports betting in these countries, but the website you use must have obtained a local government license. It must also adhere to all the local tax and gambling laws. For example, in the UK, the Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating betting, while in France, ARJEL is the local gambling administrative authority. The biggest betting sites usually try to get licenses from many jurisdictions to obtain a large customer base. Therefore, if you want to use a legal site, you should choose a big name in the industry. 

Licensed restricted betting:

Some countries have licensed betting. It means that betting is usually channeled through a few legal sites. All others are banned. In such jurisdictions, you need to be sure you’re using a legal site. Your usual sportsbook may not be one of the legal platforms in that country, so you may need to use a different one. 

Regulated betting:

These jurisdictions have laws regarding gambling, but no licensing is offered. It means that if your preferred bookie operates there, it must follow all of the local gambling laws. As a result, the types of bonuses and bets available may be different in that country. 

Unregulated betting:

These jurisdictions don’t regulate or license betting, but they don’t prohibit it either. It means that betting isn’t illegal or legal as that country’s laws don’t cover it. Bookies can offer their terms and conditions without any restrictions, so you need to take care to avoid dodgy operators. 

Illegal betting:

In some jurisdictions, betting has been made illegal, so you cannot place a wager there legally. 

What Are World Betting Laws and in Which Countries Are Betting Legal?

Only seven countries around the world have made online betting illegal. These include: 

  • North Korea
  • Poland
  • Cyprus
  • UAE (United Arab Emirates)
  • Brunei
  • Singapore
  • Cambodia

That isn’t the end of the story, though. While many other countries haven’t exactly made gambling illegal, they have outlawed it. These countries include: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Cayman Islands
  • Vatican City
  • Algeria
  • Indonesia
  • Pakistan

There are also some countries in which betting is severely restricted; for example, in Bhutan, only authorized lotteries are permitted under the law. It couldn’t be more important, then, to check your preferred list of online bookmakers before you travel to make sure that you won’t be breaking the law if you place a wager while you’re away.

How to Bet Online from Abroad

If you’re keen to place a wager while you’re overseas, you should follow these steps:

  • Check whether your preferred bookie accepts the country you’re visiting. You’ll find this information in the terms and conditions section of the website. If you wager from a region that has been banned, you could end up forfeiting your winnings.
  • Check the regulations applicable to that country to ensure you’re breaking no local laws. You don’t want to get in trouble with the police.
  • Check the available payment options. Overseas, not all payment methods that we’re used to here are available. You may prefer to use an e-wallet as it is more likely to be known abroad.
  • Use a VPN. Some countries entirely block sportsbooks, plus if the country you’re in isn’t on your preferred bookie’s list of countries, they accept you may have a problem. A VPN keeps your activities online private, but not all sites allow their use. Some sportsbooks will block VPN use, so be aware. 

You should now have all the information you need to place wagers legally overseas, so what are you waiting for? Place a bet today!

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