Each country has different laws pertaining to online gambling and some of the laws are much easier to understand than others. You will find that in most countries it is generally illegal to gamble in the real money mode when playing in a gambling portal which operates inside of the country’s’ own borders. However, very few countries have made it illegal for the actual player’s to place a real cash wager at a gambling portal which operates from an offshore location. Here we will take a quick look at the current online gambling laws for the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.
Although gambling is legal under US federal law, the Federal Government has left it to each individual state to monitor and regulate its own online gambling laws. In other words, many players still face significant restrictions pertaining to interstate and online gambling. In 2015, New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada all decided to license and regulate online poker and there are a growing number of perfectly secure poker sites available for players in these states.
It is also possible for players in numerous states to place real cash wagers at online sports betting websites, but you will still find that most US players have to gamble in the real money mode at online casinos that are licensed and operate from offshore locations such as Curaçao, (Curaçao Internet Gaming Association Kahnawake (Kahnawake Gaming Commission) or Antigua and Barbuda (Directorate of Offshore Gaming). You will also find that most other US online casinos are licensed in Panama or Costa Rica.
Today’s best US online casinos tend to be powered either by Realtime Gaming (RTG), Rival Gaming, Betsoft Gaming or TopGame software, or from one or two other online casino software providers. These games can be launched instantly over a flash casino platform or from within a secure download client, plus a growing number of mobile casino games are also now becoming more widely available. US players also usually have access to 24 hour toll-free telephone support, they can play in US dollars and they can deposit & withdraw using several reliable US online payment methods.
VegasClick.com - Provides some interesting information surrounding the legality of online gambling in the United States. This guide is very information centric and provides some great information overall.
You will find that today’s best Australian online casinos are controlled by foreign operators and they operate from outside of Australian borders. These perfectly secure gambling portals accept real cash wagers from Australian players and neither the player nor the operator is breaking any Australian laws when gambling for real money. Since the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 came in to effect, the Australian government has had the power to issue such licenses to potential operators, but these gambling portals cannot offer real cash gaming services to Australian players.
This catch 22 situation means that players are basically forced to look elsewhere to have a gamble and there are plenty of sites out there that cater to Australians. The best Australian online casinos today tend to be powered by Microgaming, NetEnt and/or Playtech and they are generally licensed in Malta (by the Malta Gaming Authority), in Gibraltar (by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority) or in the UK (by the Gambling Commission).
You will also find that many Australian online casinos are licensed in Alderney, on the Isle of Man, in Antigua & Barbuda, in Curaçao or in Kahnawake. Australian online casinos accept a wide range of Australian online payment methods and the support is usually always available in English. Australian players can benefit from 24 hour local toll-free telephone support, live chat support and responsive email support and they can play on the games in Australian dollars. In Australia you need to be 18 years old to place a real cash wager in a licensed gaming site.
Online casinos have been available to New Zealand players since around the first time online casinos started appearing online, but it wasn’t until 2003 when the New Zealand government finally introduced The Gambling Act in an attempt to fully monitor and regulate the industry. This new legislation limited the number of land-based gambling venues that could be developed and it also curbed most forms of online gambling. However, online sportsbetting sites and lottery sites provided by the Racing Board and Lotteries Commission were permitted under the new Act.
At the time of writing there are just a few strictly regulated gambling portals that can legally accept real cash wagers from New Zealand players. These sites operate from within New Zealand borders and they are brought to you by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB). This is why you will find that most New Zealand players gamble at online casinos which operate from offshore locations. These gambling portals are therefore licensed offshore as well.
There is currently NO law that stops New Zealanders from playing at these sites and they are generally licensed in the UK, in Malta, Gibraltar, Curaçao, Kahnawake, The Isle of Man or in Alderney. These licensed gambling sites tend to provide local 24 hour toll-free telephone support, they accept New Zealand dollars and they also accept a wide range of popular New Zealand online payment methods. New Zealanders must also be 18 years old or above to gamble.
The good news for Canadian players is that they can now play at hundreds of different perfectly secure gambling portals, but the vast majority of these sites are often not licensed in Canada and they do not operate from within Canadian borders. Online gambling in Canada can also be broken down in to two categories which include First Nation and Provincial and according to Canadian law, the only operators who can offer real cash gambling services to Canadians are the ones that are licensed by provincial Government authorities. However, First Nation Tribes do not come under official Canadian law, and this is why they also issue online gambling licenses.
The most notable First Nation authority is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (the largest in North America) and Canadian players are not breaking any laws when playing at a site which is licensed here. You will also find that Canadians are not breaking any laws when playing in the real money mode at sites which are licensed in Malta, Gibraltar, the UK, Antigua & Barbuda, Curaçao etc.
The best Canadian gambling portals accept Canadian dollars, they also accept a wide range of popular Canadian online payment methods and Canadian players need to be at least 18 years old to be able to place a real cash wager. The support at these sites is generally available 24 hours per day and this is usually toll-free. In addition to online casinos, there is also a growing number of lottery sites, sportsbetting sites and poker sites now available to Canadian players.
BestCanadaCasinos.com - This page provides online casino reviews for Canadian players looking for the best online casinos to play at. They feature a listing of top rated gaming brands that are well known to offer exceptional service to Canadian players.
PlayOLG.ca - The official website of the OLG that offers lottery and other gaming services in Canada. This website allows players from Ontario to enjoy playing for real money. The games available are quite vast actually including lottery and casino type games.
While there are numerous perfectly secure gambling portals that accept real cash wagers from South African players, none of these websites are actually based in South Africa or have obtained a license from South African authorities. The industry has been quite tightly controlled here and the lack of home-grown gambling portals is why South African players tend to gamble at sites that are controlled by foreign operators and licensed by foreign licensing authorities.
Although the South African National Gambling Board does issue licenses to online gambling operators, online poker sites and online casinos are currently not permitted. Therefore most South African players gamble at sites which are mainly licensed in Malta, Gibraltar, Curaçao, Alderney, the UK, the Isle of Man, or in Antigua & Barbuda. Players are not breaking any laws when playing in the real money mode at these particular sites.
However, the operator of these sites and also the financial institutions are in fact breaking the law when processing payments on behalf of the players. It does seem as though the South African government is pushing for a more liberal stance towards gambling, but until that day comes, operators and financial institutions still face possible jail time and hefty fines. The government also said that operating without a license could affect ones chance of obtaining an actual gambling license should online gambling one day become fully legal in South Africa. Today’s South African online casinos are powered either by Realtime Gaming or Playtech. The best ones accept Rand and provide local toll-free support, plus they also now accept a growing range of suitable South African online payment methods.