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Gambling restrictions

Despite involving no more than pure luck and the adrenaline that stems from trying it, gambling has been negatively associated with bad practices all throughout history, perhaps due to notorious individuals and/or organizations being actively involved in the industry. Even though they could not possibly alter the neutral aspect of the games of chance, the widespread stigmas led and still lead people to think otherwise. That served as an impetus to restrict gambling as much as possible, perhaps root it out for good; in that order of ideas, various laws have been created in the past that were aimed at stamping out any games of chance.

Gambling in the USAOnline gambling has also been the subject of much debate and consideration, and restricting it became a priority for many politicians avid to appear ethical and moral. Ever since being introduced in 1994, many countries (or rather many politicians from different countries) have enacted anti-online-gambling laws.

Nowadays, 28 jurisdictions prohibit online gambling; some of them ban gambling altogether. In places like Afghanistan, Sudan or Nigeria, these restrictions do not affect sports betting, casino and poker companies, but bans in the United States, Japan, South Korea, China or Hong Kong diminish profit prospects greatly and encourage under-the-table activities that ultimately see criminal rings or sketchy bookies make the money that normally belongs to legal Internet sites.


The USA banned online gambling in 2006 by passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which officially only addresses banking issues, but in effect prohibits online gambling altogether by illegalizing bank transfers to sites. The precedent of this law was the Federal Wire Act of 1961 that restricted certain types of gambling by banning electronic transfers in order to carry them out. As soon as the UIGEA replaced the Federal Wire Act, the stocks of many renowned companies dropped significantly and, in the long run, their profits decreased by a wide margin as well.

However, the states still have a word in their own affairs, even though it’s a small one. Thus, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have recently promulgated laws that legalize and regulate online gambling; the latter’s governor, Chris Christie, understood the need for fund raising and saw the overall advantages of making such a move. Other states are expected to follow suit and, whenever a greater number will be achieved, the prospect of legalization on the federal level might be considered.

Online Gambling Map of Europe


Germany is yet another market with a high profit potential that heavily restricts online gambling. Ever since January 1, 2008, when the German Interstate Treaty came into force, all forms of online betting or gaming (except wagering on horse racing) are off-limits on a federal scale. However, the European Gaming & Betting Association stated that such regulations were against EU rules, and appealed to the European Commission so that they would take action against the German law, which resulted in the European Court of Justice ruling out that the German gambling industry has to be liberalized. Still, the only state that legalized online gambling is Schleswig-Holstein (since 2012); an online gaming license can be obtained by casinos registered there.


European Union FlagThe French market has witnessed many ups and downs regarding gambling and, in particular, its online field. Initially regulated to only admit national companies, the situation had to change once the EU authorities intervened, in order to enable competition, by allowing any European company to operate in France. Online gambling remained illegal until April 7, 2010, though, when the National Assembly finally passed a bill that approved the opening of online gambling activities and the granting of licenses to international operators in this field. After obtaining licenses, the operators created .fr sites that were aimed at targeting French customers exclusively.


Even though not yet possessing the profit-generating capabilities of the above-mentioned markets, China is an emerging economy and its potential for the gaming industry is constantly on the rise. But the Communist government prefers to reduce it to “friendly games” rather than regulate the activity on a countrywide scale. Online gaming remains absolutely illegal, but there have been more and more indications that the practice may soon be legalized, as the average citizen becomes constantly more able to afford it and the financial benefits that could be derived from it are simply enormous.

As far as the British gambling giant bet365 is concerned, its activity is restricted for the citizens of the following countries:

  •           France
  •           Netherlands
  •           United States of America
  •           Australia
  •           Hong Kong
  •           Turkey
  •           French Guiana
  •           Guadeloupe
  •           Martinique.