Online gambling regulations worldwide and their impact on operators

Online gambling regulations around the world vary significantly. Some countries ban gambling; others ban it but allow offshore sites to operate. Others have legalized it and issue licenses, while many are working on creating their legal frameworks. So what impact do these scenarios have on the online gambling market, and what can we expect in the future?

North America

Online gambling regulations in the United States are complex. It’s regulated at a state level, and this varies drastically from all-out prohibition to decriminalization and legalization. As a corporate service provider, we steer clear of US gambling as it is challenging to navigate and fast-changing. But there are other options! The territory of Kahnawake offers online gambling regulations, and it’s one of the most reputable licenses around. Authorities in Kahnawake have been authorizing licenses since 1996. 

Today, it’s home to some of the world’s biggest names in gambling. The process is simple, straightforward, and relatively low cost when compared to some other jurisdictions.

Latin America & The Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean are up-and-coming places for online gambling. With markets of considerable size, a few key players are moving to legalize gambling. 

In Argentina, regulation is complex, but the City of Buenos Aires has started issuing licenses. Other jurisdictions in the country are looking at their options, and they’ll likely follow suit soon. In Brazil, online gambling is prohibited, but it’s rumoured that authorities are considering legislation. The Supreme Court is likely to rule that states have the ability to make their own betting laws in the coming months.

In Costa Rica, no license is required to set up an online gambling company. You also don’t need one to operate a company from within the country. But not having a license can be tricky when trying to open settlement accounts, set up payments, or negotiate contracts with third-party service providers.

Curacao has long been a place of interest for gambling licenses, with many flocking there to acquire them. Experts within the jurisdiction have speculated that this is likely to stop in the medium to long terms as regulators seek to crack down.

Other countries such as Paraguay, Uruguay,  The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico either have primary legislation in place or are working on it.

In conclusion, the gambling sector in this region is on the cusp of exploding. Online gambling regulations are progressing step-by-step, and in the following months and years, this will be a region of extreme growth. All operators and entrepreneurs have their eyes on the situation in the area to see when and where they should consider expanding.


Asian players make up the most significant chunk of online gambling customers in the world. In terms of online gambling regulations, it varies widely from country to country. In China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, it’s illegal to set up an online gambling company in the country. But this doesn’t stop legions of players from logging on to play with offshore platforms.

In Japan, punters log on and play with foreign companies as the authorities have refused to issue licenses. It’s the same story in the Philippines, where companies cannot set up their platform, but players can access foreign sites. Similarly, there are strict laws on online gambling in Indonesia, but players regularly engage with offshore sites. Online gambling, including sports betting and table games, are extremely popular amongst citizens and residents.

Singapore, however, doesn’t have such a relaxed approach. Anyone found engaging in online gambling from within the country can be prosecuted for a criminal offence. This crackdown came as the government feared the increase in the popularity of online gambling. Most main providers are blocked from Singaporean IPs.

Asia remains a core target market for online gambling operators due to the enormous population and the popularity of gambling. Regulation of the industry and the issuance of licenses could cause problems for offshore sites that rely on Asian traffic for much of their business. This would increase competition for those who might not want to acquire a local license as well. As a market, Asia will continue to grow, especially with its thirst for new and emerging technology.


When it comes to online gambling regulations, Europe leads the way. Some countries are more favourable than others, and the remaining ones are putting laws in place.

Malta has long been the hub of gambling on the continent, but this could be changing. Recent FATF greylisting is likely to result in over-regulation in a country that already had tough rules. This will likely deter entrepreneurs and result in many looking for other jurisdictions. The recent downgrade also hints at other possible issues with banks and payment providers.

The Isle of Man offers its own online gambling regulations at quite a price. A great license for established or larger companies comes with a wealth of benefits and a nice seal of approval. In Gibraltar, the situation is somewhat precarious due to BREXIT and a recent hike in corporate taxes. This has sent many operators fleeing in search of a better deal.

After years of legal gymnastics, Germany is finally launching its online gambling license. The main problem is it’s expensive and involves a tough application process. It’s also likely to encounter some teething issues because it’s just a few months old.

In Italy and Spain, online gambling regulations are liberal. France allows sports betting, horse racing betting and poker, but doesn’t issue its own licenses. Greece, the UK, and Lithuania all offer their gambling license.

Regarding the impact online gambling regulations have in Europe, it seems that the most popular licenses remain offshore ones. If other countries in Europe decide to launch their gambling licenses, it will take time to build up credibility and a track record. Therefore, we predict offshore licenses will remain more in demand while European gambling customers will continue to increase.

Fast Offshore

Online gambling regulations are witnessing a period of change. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growing popularity of online gambling, resulting in changes to laws and regulations. Authorities sought to protect gamblers during a time they could be potentially vulnerable. But at the same time, the value of the market is enticing more governments to legislate in favour. The lure of taxes and stimulated economies will see more licenses issued in a growing number of jurisdictions.

Before you embark on opening a gambling company, you must understand the online gambling regulations in the jurisdictions that suit your needs best. Don’t complete this evaluation alone—partner with Fast Offshore who can provide you with accurate and professional information. From licensing to company incorporating, bank accounts, and payments, we are ready to help you take the plunge!

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