sports betting industry

Where is Sports Betting Legal?

There are quite a few countries globally that have legalized betting on sports, both online and offline. The global sports betting industry has a yearly turnover of around $150 billion. Keeping in mind the huge turnover, more and more countries are slowly moving towards legalizing sports betting. 

Online websites like Betway365 and PariMatch provide an opportunity for avid bettors worldwide to place their bets on different kinds of sports. But, if betting isn’t legal in your country, you may face difficulty accessing these online betting websites

Countries can be mainly divided into three categories based on their stand on the legalization of sports betting. The categories are as follows: 

  • Countries where both online and offline betting on any sports is completely illegal. This means that you cannot wager bets on any sports if you belong to one such country.
  • The second category is the countries where betting is allowed only in a few selected sports. In these countries, you can place your bets only on a few selected sports. The sports on which you can wager can differ from country to country. 
  • The third category is the countries where it’s fully legal. You can place your bets both online and offline on all the sports. 

We will be focusing only on the countries that have legalized sports wagering fully, and no person can be pressed charges for placing bets on their favourite sports. 

The sports bet industry is evolving and expanding worldwide quickly as you will find more people interested in wagering bets on the sports of their choice. This has forced many governments worldwide to legalize betting in their country as it also brings in huge revenues. 

Here is the list of countries that have fully legalized sports wagering in their country: 

  1. Argentina

Betting on sports is completely legal in Argentina but with some serious limitations. Wagering on sports in Argentina is the same as what the US was before repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. For example, you can wager bets on Horse Racing in all parts of Argentina without the fear of facing any legal charges. But you have got more options for legal betting if you move to Buenos Aires, the country’s capital city. You can place your bets on everything except political events in the capital city. However, you cannot bet on the same sports in other parts of the country. 

  1. Australia

This country has got one of the most advanced sportsbook markets globally. Horse betting has been legal in this country since 1810, and they moved to legalize betting on all the other sports by 1980. There are sports betting parlours all over the country, along with the option of online betting. The only restriction in Australia is advertising these betting parlours and online websites. Apart from that, everything is legal. 

  1. Brazil

Betting on sports in Brazil is a recent phenomenon, much like the US. It was formally legalized in 2018 throughout the country. With the new laws in place, bettors can place their bets online and offline parlours. As of now, most of the betting in Brazil is happening through online websites located offshore. But the massive size of the country is sure to attract a lot of sportsbook operators in the future. 

  1. Canada

Sports betting is allowed in Canada but with a lot of complications. The betting laws are regulated by both the Federal government and the government of each state. So there might be a conflict of interest in some of the gambling laws. 

British Colombia has also been legalized in its province, but only through six different websites. Furthermore, each website has the power to come up with restrictions regarding betting odds and betting size. 

  1. China

China is considered to be the country that invented betting and gambling. But with changing times, the Chinese government started looking down on gambling and restricted many of its forms. However, sports betting is still on and is allowed in most parts of the country, especially in Hong Kong and Macau. However, the facilities available for wagering in Macau aren’t enough to carry out betting properly. 

  1. Costa Rica

Sports bet is legal and licensed in Costa Rica but with a few catches. Although it is legal in the country, the government has banned land-based betting. Because of this reason, most betting on sports is carried out through online servers. Online betting is flourishing as there are no retail stores to wager bets on. 

  1. India

Sportsbook is legal only in some states in India. Betting in India is controlled by the State governments, and only some of them allow betting in sports. Retail sports betting is completely banned in India, but you can still place your bets through online betting websites that operate offshore. Horse Racing is one of the most popular sports to wager bets on as there are ten racecourses in the country to place your bets. 

  1. Mexico

Almost all kinds of bookies have been legal in Mexico since 2014. So, it has become the fastest-growing market globally. You have the option of placing your bets on both brick and motor betting parlours and online betting websites. 

  1. New Zealand

New Zealand is an interesting spot for bookies. It is legal as well as regulated by the government. The betting parlours of the country get their licenses from the Department of Internal Affairs and the New Zealand Gambling Commission. 

Online betting isn’t legal in the country because there are no online operators based in New Zealand. However, if you want to enjoy live casinos, you are free to use an offshore betting website. 

  1. Russia

Sporting bets in Russia is both legal and regulated. However, because of high taxes, the retail stores for live betting are slowly declining. Also, the media and the government has blocked many sportsbook operators, which further adds to the woes of the industry. When it comes to online betting, Russia allows only those websites which operate from the country like SportsBetting and BetOnline.

  1. United Kingdom

The UK has one of the most developed gambling markets globally. Some of the most famous sportsbook operators like William Hills belong to the UK. In addition, there are operators whose companies are listed in the UK stock market. You will find hundreds of sports bet parlours in the country where you can place your bets on your favourite sports. 

The countries mentioned above have legalized placing bets on sports in one way or another. Since there are so many risks associated with online betting, the governments of all the countries should legalize sportsbooks and regulate them. 


1. How many countries have legalized sports betting?

Around 20 countries have made sports betting completely legal. When you factor in the countries that have just partially authorised it, the number rises even more.

2. Which countries place maximum bets in sports?

Sports betting is most popular in countries where it is legal and regulated, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

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