How gambling regulations differ across the world

Whether it’s online or in a physical casino, many people think that the experience one might have in Las Vegas doesn’t differ much from a casino based in, say, London.

However, while on the surface gambling might seem pretty uniform, there are a whole lot of regulations and guidelines operating behind the scenes, which change constantly, meaning that how a casino operates in one country can often be substantially different to a casino in another country, even if you don’t realise it when you’re at the blackjack table or the slot machine. Let’s have a look some different gaming regulations around the world, to see how they differ from country to country.

The UK

The United Kingdom has some famously liberal gambling laws, after the Gaming Act of 1968 paved the way for the opening of big casinos in the country, with the first to arrive being the glitzy and glamorous London Casinos such as the Clermont Club and the Metropole. In 2005 an updated version of the act paved the way for super-casinos to be built in the UK, and since then, some of the best in the world have opened their doors in cities up and down the country. The UK is also rare in that it doesn’t impose any taxes on winnings whatsoever, meaning those who are winning big in casinos are able to keep 100% of their earnings. The UK also has lots of regulations in place to ensure your money is safe and secure, both online and offline, to ensure your gaming experience is as secure as can be. The UK also regulates the use of international online casinos, with the intention that players using local online casinos such as these across the world are properly informed and protected. Compared to many neighbouring countries in continental Europe, regulations in the UK are fairly relaxed.


Australians are some of the biggest gamblers in the world, with over 80% of Aussies saying they’ve indulged in this beloved national pastime at some point. Regulations are a little harder to tally in Oz because they differ widely from state to state, and there are a number of different bodies tasked with monitoring them. There have been a few big developments in the industry in recent years, such as a new rule that players can’t place sports bets while a match is underway, and restrictions on free bets.

South Africa

South Africa once had some of the strictest regulations on gambling in the world, as all forms of gaming other than horse racing were originally banned. However, this was greatly liberalised following the 1996 National Gambling Act, and now casinos have been able to flourish across the country. Unlike the UK, South Africa typically imposes a tax of around 6% on winnings related to betting on horse races but other than that, regulations have continued to loosen somewhat in recent years.

The US

A large country just like Australia, the United States has gambling regulations which differ massively from state-to-state, making it one of the most interesting countries for gaming legislation. States where it is the least regulated are Nevada, home to the gaming paradise of Las Vegas, and New Jersey, home to the colder version of Vegas, Atlantic City. Lotteries are also only permitted in certain states, and all forms of gaming tend to be least regulated in authorised Native American territories. It’s hard to sum up the US as a single country, but some states have the loosest regulations in the world, while some have the strictest.

Gambling regulations across the world are constantly in a state of flux, changing as much as the seasons do, so who knows how this article will read in a few years’ time!