The Internet makes things accessible to people from all around the world, from their home computer. For this reason, online gambling and the law has become a touchy issue. For example, how do you know if an online casino is licensed and legal? How can you rule out gambling in a country when the Internet is internationally accessible? How can I be charged over my own private activities? The list of questions goes on and on, but don’t let this dispirit you – we’ve simplified everything you need to know about the legalities of online gambling in one simple page.
Basically, it all boils down to payment methods, because the way online gambling is regulated is via the transactions players make when wagering. The new laws passed in the US in 2006 prohibiting online gambling didn’t actually prohibit someone sitting down at their computer and entering an online casino – this would be an invasion of privacy and too hard to regulate. Rather, the use of various forms of payment methods was banned, making real money wagering inaccessible for US residents. The company or place in which the transaction occurs is regarded as the place in which online gambling occurs. So if half your deposit occurs in your country, for example via your bank, your actions can be monitored. Therefore, if online gambling is illegal in your country of residence, always make sure that the payment method you choose doesn’t involve such steps.
Although we’ve already touched on this in picking a casino, an online casino is considered legal if it is both licensed by a legal jurisdiction and based in a country in which online gambling is allowed. Some casinos do not accept players from countries in which online gambling is prohibited, in order to avoid legal troubles. The best way to know what’s legal for you is to:
- a) Check with your own country’s and state’s laws first
- b) Read the terms and conditions section of the online casino, and any other legal documents they have published online
- c) Read about any given online casino before using it, in order to see where it’s based, from where it received its license, and its level of reputability.
Online gambling is legal in Germany, Sweden, South America, the UK, most of Asia, Eastern Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, most of the Caribbean, and most of Latin America.
Internet gambling is prohibited in the United States and Hong Kong. It should be noted that the Internet gambling prohibitions in Australia rule out only those sites established after the passing of the law. Therefore gambling at the single Australian site founded beforehand is allowed