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Monday, September 25, 2023

Where Is It Legal to Bet on Sports?

Looking to get in on the action of legal sports betting? Check out our blog post to find out where it’s legal to bet on sports in the US.

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United States

There are four states in the United States where sports betting is currently legal- Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All four states have passed legislation to allow sports betting, and all four have operational sportsbooks. In addition, a number of other states have sports betting legislation pending.

Federal Law

In the United States, federal law prohibits gambling on sports. The professional and amateur sports protection act was passed in 1992 to make it illegal to bet on sporting events in the US. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

The first exception is for states that had already legalized gambling on sports before the act was passed. These states were given a grandfathered exception and are still able to offer sports betting. The second exception is for Native American tribes who have negotiated gambling agreements with the US government. These tribes are able to offer sports betting on their reservation lands.

The third exception is for fantasy sports leagues. Federal law has expressly exempted fantasy sports from the ban on gambling on sporting events. This means that you can legally bet on fantasy sports in all 50 states.

Despite these exceptions, it is still generally illegal to bet on sports in the United States. If you do choose to bet on sports, you should do so only through licensed and legal offshore sportsbooks. There are many reputable and trustworthy sportsbooks that operate online and serve US customers.

State Law

In the United States, gambling on sports is only legal in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. In the other 46 states, gambling on sports is illegal under state law. There are no federal laws that specifically make it illegal to gamble on sports, but there are federal laws that make it illegal to operate a sports book (a business that takes bets on sporting events).


Federal Law

In Canada, there is no federal law that specifically addresses sports betting. However, there are several federal laws that could potentially be used to regulate or prohibit sports betting. The most relevant of these is the Criminal Code, which prohibits gambling activities that are not specifically authorized by provincial or territorial governments.

The Coding does not specifically mention sports betting, but it does make it illegal to operate a “common gaming house” without a licence from the province or territory in which it is located. A “common gaming house” is defined as any place where gambling takes place, including casinos, racetracks, and bingo halls.

While the Coding does not expressly prohibit sports betting, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that sports betting is a “game of chance” and therefore falls within the definition of “gambling”. As such, any sports betting activity that takes place without a licence from the appropriate provincial or territorial government would be considered illegal.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. The Coding expressly exempts three types of gambling from the definition of “gambling”: (1) wagering on horse races; (2) playing casino games; and (3) playing lottery schemes sanctioned by the government. As such, these three types of gambling are legal in Canada even without a licence from a provincial or territorial government.

In addition to the Criminal Code, there are also several federal statutes that contain provisions that could be used to regulate or prohibit sports betting. For example, the Bank Act prohibits anyone from operating a bank without a licence from the Minister of Finance. The Payment Clearing and Settlement Act prohibits any organization from clearing or settling payments unless it is authorized to do so by the Minister of Finance. And the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act prohibits anyone from knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime.

None of these federal laws specifically mentions sports betting, but they could potentially be used to regulate or prohibit sports betting activity if the government chose to do so.

Provincial Law

In Canada, provincial governments are responsible for regulating gambling. The Criminal Code of Canada gives the provinces the authority to make their own laws regarding sports betting.

The provinces have generally taken one of two approaches to sports betting. Some provinces, like Alberta and Quebec, have chosen to ban all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Other provinces, like British Columbia and Ontario, have chosen to allow some forms of gambling, including sports betting.

The following table lists the provinces that have banned all forms of gambling, including sports betting.

ProvinceGambling Status
New BrunswickBanned
Newfoundland and LabradorBanned
Nova ScotiaBanned
Prince Edward IslandBanned


Sports betting is legal in most European countries. This is due to the laws in place that allow for gambling. In some European countries, sports betting is only legal if it is done through a licensed bookmaker.

United Kingdom

Sports betting is legal in the United Kingdom. All types of bets, including online sports betting, are regulated by the Gambling Commission. The only exception is spread betting, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The UK has a long history of gambling, with horse racing and football being two of the most popular sports to bet on. Today, you can bet on a wide range of sports, including cricket, rugby, golf, boxing, and more. You can also bet on non-sporting events, such as reality TV shows and politics.

If you’re planning on betting on sports in the UK, there are a few things you should know. First, you need to be over 18 years old. You’ll also need to open an account with a UK-licensed bookmaker and deposit money into that account. Finally, you’ll need to place your bets using pounds sterling (GBP).


Ireland is one of the few European countries where sports betting is completely legal and regulated. All forms of online and offline gambling are allowed in Ireland, including sports betting, casino games, horseracing, and more. The only exception is online poker, which is not currently regulated by the government.

There are no limits on how much you can bet on sports in Ireland, and there are many different types of bets that you can place. The most popular type of bet is a simple ‘win’ bet, where you simply choose who you think will win a particular match or event. You can also bet on the ‘spread’, which is the difference between the two teams’ scores at the end of the game.

If you want to place a bet on a European sporting event, Ireland is a great place to do it. There are dozens of different bookmakers that operate in the country, so you should have no trouble finding one that offers good odds on the event you’re interested in betting on.


Germany has a long history of gambling, with the first casino opening in Baden-Baden in 1821. Gambling was initially confined to the upper class, but over time it became more widespread. Today, gambling is regulated by the German government and there are a number of legal betting options available to German citizens.

The two main types of legal gambling in Germany are sports betting and lottery. Sports betting is offered through a number of licensed operators, both online and offline. The lottery is offered by the state-owned operator Lotto Berlin.

Betting on sports is a popular pastime in Germany, with football (soccer) being the most popular sport to bet on. Other popular sports include basketball, hockey, and tennis. There are a number of different bet types available, including single bets, multiple bets, and live bets.

The German government does not tax winnings from gambling, so all winnings are tax-free.


In France, it is legal to bet on sports. The government monopoly, Francaise des Jeux, offers sports betting through its website and retail locations. However, there are also a number of private operators that offer sports betting. These private operators must be licensed by the French gambling authority, ARJEL.


In Spain, the situation is a little more complicated. There are laws in place that make it illegal to bet on sports, but there are also laws that make it illegal to operate a betting site within the country. This has created a situation where many international betting sites will accept Spanish players, but they will not allow them to use Spanish currency.

The good news is that there are a number of reputable international betting sites that do accept Spanish players and allow them to use Euros. The bad news is that the selection of these sites is somewhat limited.


In Italy, it is legal to bet on sports. There are many sportsbooks that operate in the country, and the government has issued licenses to several of them. The most popular sport to bet on in Italy is football, and there are many different types of bets that can be placed on matches. Other popular sports include basketball, tennis, and rugby.


In Portugal, sports betting is legal and regulated by the government. There are a number of online and offline bookmakers operating in the country, and Portuguese residents can also place bets on foreign websites. The average Portuguese gambler is male and aged between 35 and 44 years old. Football is the most popular sport to bet on, followed by horse racing.


Sports betting is legal in most of Asia. The most popular sportsbooks in Asia are located in the Philippines, where it is legal to bet on sports. There are also a few sportsbooks in Cambodia and Thailand.


Sports betting is currently illegal in China. There have been various attempts to legalise sports betting in the country, but so far, none have been successful. The most recent attempt was in 2016, when the State Administration of Sports issued a document that stated it was considering legalising sports betting. However, no further action has been taken on this and it is still not possible to bet on sports legally in China.


Betting on sports is illegal in Japan. The only legal way to place a bet is through the government-run Sports Toto lottery, which offers parlay betting on football matches. The government does not allow single-game betting on any sport.

Attempts to legalize sports betting in Japan have been met with resistance from the country’s powerful casino lobby, which argues that sports betting would take business away from their casinos. The casino lobby has been successful in keeping sports betting illegal in Japan.

South Korea

In South Korea, sports betting is only legal on horse racing and motorboat racing. All other forms of gambling, including casino games, slot machines, football betting, etc., are illegal. The only exception to this is the Koreans Wolves football team, which allows fans to bet on its matches through a smartphone app called Wolfie.


Gambling in the Philippines is regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), a government-owned and controlled corporation that was created by then President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree 1067-A on April 16, 1977. PAGCOR runs and regulates all forms of gaming in the country, with the exception of state-run lotteries.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is the other state-run entity that provides gaming products such as lotto, small town lottery (STL), keno, and scratch cards. Online gambling is not regulated by either PAGCOR or PCSO.

Casino gambling is allowed in select Filipino hotels that are classified as “Tourist Class A”, which are generally large international hotels located in major metropolitan areas such as Manila, Cebu, and Davao. There are around 30 “Class A” casinos currently operating in the country.

Sports betting is also allowed in “Class A” casinos, as well as through licensed off-track betting stations and on-line sportsbooks. There are currently three licensed sportsbooks operating in the Philippines: IBCBET, SBObet, and Pinnacle Sports.

Bingo is only offered at PAGCOR-run Bingo Parlors, of which there are around 20 scattered throughout the country.

Australia and New Zealand

Both Australia and New Zealand have a long history of gambling, and betting on sports is no different. In both countries, it is legal to bet on sports with a bookmaker, and there are many bookmakers to choose from. However, there are some restrictions in place. For example, in Australia, you can only bet on sports that are taking place in Australia.


Australia has a long history of gambling, with horse racing and casinos being a popular pastime for many Australians. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that online gambling really took off in the country.

Today, online gambling is legal in Australia and there are many different types of betting sites that Australians can use. Sports betting is one of the most popular types of gambling in Australia, with millions of dollars being wagered on sporting events each year.

There are a few restrictions when it comes to sports betting in Australia, but overall the industry is unregulated and there are no major concerns about safety or fairness. Betting on sports is a fun and easy way to make money, but it’s important to remember that you can also lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, sports betting is legal and regulated by the government. The only exception is for racing, which is managed by a separate body called the Racing Board. All other forms of gambling, including online sports betting, are regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The Gambling Act 2003 sets out the framework for gambling in New Zealand and gives the Department of Internal Affairs the power to issue licenses and enforce the Act. The Act also establishes the Gambling Commission, which is responsible for advising the government on gambling policy and overseeing compliance with the Act.

Online sports betting is available from a number of licensed bookmakers in New Zealand. Bookmakers must be licensed by the Department of Internal Affairs in order to operate legally in New Zealand.

The Gambling Act 2003 does not explicitly mention online gambling, but the definition of “gambling” in the Act includes betting on events taking place outside New Zealand. This means that online sports betting is subject to the same laws and regulations as other forms of gambling in New Zealand.

If you are considering placing a bet on a sporting event, you should check with your bookmaker to find out if they are licensed to operate in New Zealand. You can also check with the Gambling Commission to make sure that your bookmaker is complying with all relevant laws and regulations.

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