Before I begin my rant on this particular subject, let me be clear from the outset. Things change, and the term I would use is “fluid.” Therefore, the countries that are referred to here as those who have legalized gambling can change in a second. But for the most part, the information I received is as confusing as it is correct. If you legalize one form of gambling online, then why not run the gamut and allow all forms of online gambling. But as you will see, this is not always the case.
- In the Middle East, for example, gambling is illegal online and offline, however, land-based and online sports betting is okay. Go figure!
- In India, sportsbetting is illegal, however, with such a large population a very large portion of Indians can “go around the law” and gamble due to the ambiguity of the 100-year old law. However, try to deposit or make a withdrawal, and you have a problem. Sound familiar?
- In Japan, they are currently trying to legalize online gambling, but no news yet on that score. Although sports betting is legal as is online gambling, but is subject to some pretty strict guidelines. That is, playing for real money is illegal. What?
- In Hong Kong, casino gambling is illegal at land-based casinos but you can bet on sports. Well, that’s not entirely true either – you can only bet on football. Poker and online casino betting is illegal.
- In China, they have a mixed bag of dos and don’ts. You can bet on sports at land based casinos, but poker is illegal. Here to, you cannot wager using real money online nor can you place sports bets online. Confusing? I’ll say.
- In Singapore, all online gambling is illegal. Period.
- In Spain, you can gamble at land-based casinos, as well as at online casinos.
- In Australia, all forms of gambling are legal on and offline. The same holds true for New Zealand. Good on ya!
- Finally, London (the United Kingdom) allows all forms of internet gambling. Cheers!
So What’s the Problem?
Obviously, just as there is a big problem here in the US, many countries are struggling with ancient laws and an outdated mindset. It irks me that these countries that ban online gambling but allow sports betting can’t see the writing on the wall. Revenue is being spelled out in BIG LETTERS, yet what I believe to be the problem is that the credit card companies, particularly in the US, have become fickle when it comes to online gambling transactions. Look at any payment method at any foreign owned online casino and you’ll find a myriad of methods available to foreigners. Yet, you can use these methods to bet on sports but not on slots, poker, or other table games? It’s inconceivable to me that this action can be sustained given the popularity of online gambling, and the enormous revenue it would create for these countries. But I’m only one person. The community of online players at large has to speak out on this issue and maybe, just maybe, the laws will change and every country will finally allow gambling in every online genre.