If you’ve ever looked into the specifics regarding online casino´s legality – rules or regulations, you may have noticed something missing– the specifics. Online gambling laws, legislations, rules, regulations, and licensures can be an absolute mess, depending on what country you’re playing from. But in reality, they’re actually not all that different from their brick-and-mortar cousins, who also have some pretty crazy rules and laws that dictate how they work.
Yes, online casinos are legal. Sort of– well– what we mean is where they are legal, they’re legal. Where they’re illegal, they’re sometimes okay, and where they’re banned, it’s probably best not to get involved. But what does this all mean? If you want the TL; DR version, feel free to head on over to our reviews section, where each casino we review also has a comprehensive section that outlines the policies, procedures, and licensing for each site. If you want a more in-depth look at how online casinos are regulated– read on!
At the absolute most micro level, gambling legality is often designated solely by a players’ geographical area. This means that even if the online casino is considered legal in the country it operates out of, even if the country the player resides in allows online gambling (or disallows it, in the case of the United States), the local area, state or country, that the player resides is will make the final say as to whether or not online gambling is allowed. They also regulate what sort of taxes (if any) are required, as well as what sort of games can be played, which funds can be used, and how winnings are withdrawn.
1. So the best way to really figure out whether or not online gambling is legal for you– is to look at local laws regarding online casinos.
The next tier of online casino´s legality is whether or not the casino itself operates from a country that legally allows online casinos to operate. Some countries have absolutely zero restrictions as to whether or not online casinos are legal, others require a number of different licenses and tax liability. In some, foreign online casinos have different rules from local establishments, while still others ban the practice altogether.
2. Once you’ve discovered any locally applicable laws, look at what country your online casino of choice operates out of. Then ensure that they are fully compliant with any licensure that applies to them.
Finally, there are countries where any type of gambling for real money online is strictly forbidden– so, if you live in one of these countries, or play on playing at an online casino that operates from them– it’s probably best to just leave them to it, and engage with a legal operation, or move somewhere that gambling isn’t a problem.
3. The countries in which online gambling for actual cash is expressly illegal are: Poland, Cyprus, North Korea, Cambodia, Brunei, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. While there are online avenues in which gambling can be done, both the player and the casino can be prosecuted for the breach.
As a player, it can definitely be a massive pain to figure out about online casino´s legality matters, which ones are applicable to whom, and what licenses are necessary. Even the licenses themselves come with their own particular headache, as in some countries, certain licensing agencies are less recognized than others, or some online casinos even spot bogus licenses, that are little more than an attractive looking .jpeg on the home page. So in order for a player to be familiar with licenses, they also have to be familiar with the recognized regulatory bodies that exist within the territory or country the online casino is operating out of.
So seeing the rabbit hole you’d have to go down, just to figure out whether or not the one establishment you’re looking at is legal, it’s understandable that most players just look towards a trusted casino review site to get this information (cough, cough. Us.). But, if you haven’t chosen a decent review site, don’t want to spend the time and effort necessary to figure out what online casino legalities apply to you, and are just eager to get to those tables– there could be some consequences.
While it’s rare– outside of the countries listed above as banned– that the player themselves is prosecuted for engaging with an illegal online casino, it doesn’t mean that doing so is without risk. While you may not wind up behind cars, or stuck with a hefty fee, you could still wind up losing money. As when it comes time to withdraw your winnings, the collection could be blocked by your financial institution, or by the online casino itself. Leaving you out your bankroll and your winnings. So while it is possibly the lamest part of online gambling– every good player knows the laws and regulations that apply to both themselves and the online casino of their choice. And if they don’t know, they definitely find out.