Online casinos thrive in Europe, particularly in Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. Theoretically, they are forbidden in France, Iceland, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, but the likelihood of being prosecuted for playing on foreign sites is slim.
The one country with a more hard-line approach is Turkey. Islam expressly condemns gambling in the Quran, regarding it asa destructive and addictive social disease. As such, countries where the Muslim religion dominates often ban online gaming, and in Turkey, penalties can be imposed on those accessing sites for these purposes.
Online casinos are legal and popular in many African countries, but even those which have not legalised online gaming tend not to prosecute site users.
Online casinos are openly accessible across North America. Most states legalise them but even those that don’t have few penalties for gamers accessing foreign sites. Similar patterns apply in South America. Officially, Ecuador, Chile and Brazil oppose online gambling, but in reality, there are very few punishments for those caught playing.
Just as in Europe, one country stands out as strictly opposed to all gambling, including online gambling. This is Cuba, where Castro banned gambling in 1959 and anyone caught in breach of the laws can still face harsh punishments.
The Asian continent is the most complex in terms of online gambling sites. Visitors to these countries are well advised to check specific laws before they travel.
China considers all gambling illegal including online gaming, as does India, where heavy financial penalties are imposed on those breaking these laws. In Thailand, all gambling is prohibited, but residents are not punished for using foreign sites, whilst that avenue is closed off in Malaysia. Singapore banned all gambling as recently as 2014 and while Japan is proving itself increasingly amenable to gambling, now allowing online sports betting, online casinos continue to be banned.
You can readily play at your favourite online casino in Australia, but neighbouringNew Zealand takes a less positive approach. At the time of writing online gambling is in legal limbo here, so while gamers can play at various sites, all are hosted overseas, and there are no plans to host any locally.
The Middle East
For reasons outlined when we discussed Turkey, the dominance of Islam in the Middle East means that gambling of all kinds is prohibited in most countries and anyone breaking the law can be prosecuted. For this reason there are currently no online casinos dedicated to the Middle Eastern market, even though many sites aimed at other continents are hosted in Israel.
Article written by Lucy
(Photo by danielchodusov via Flickr)