You can’t buy a newspaper at the local shop without seeing the banner ads for online betting sites. These ads tempt you to place a wager on the next big sporting event, even if you have never placed a bet before. But where can you go to place a bet in a country you have never visited?
Countries like Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, and much of the UK don’t allow sports betting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get lucky abroad. With a bit of research, you can put down a bet with confidence anywhere in the world. Here we look at which countries allow betting and whether it’s legal to bet in those locations.
It’s hard to believe that a country the size of Liechtenstein would forbid all forms of gambling, especially given how welcoming their banner ads seem. The principality’s official stance is that “gambling should be prohibited inside and outside Liechtenstein, but, for reasons of public health, it should be restricted inside the country.”
They certainly don’t mean it in a bad way, as evidenced by the number of international lottery winners who have chosen to relocate there. It’s even acceptable to gamble legally within the country, as long as you’re aware of the betting rules. For example, you can’t bet on sporting events held in Liechtenstein. The same goes for the European Tour, as well as any other international tennis tournament. However, it’s legal to bet on Swiss Francs held within the country, as well as certain horse races and greyhound dog races in which at least 75% of the runners are from other countries.
It’s also worth noting that while Liechtenstein may prohibit you from placing a wager on sporting events, they don’t actually consider online gambling to be a problem. Bets of any kind can be placed online, and all the legal requirements are met. That way, you can keep your casino accounts active even if you aren’t physically located in Liechtenstein. It’s also possible to use their casino and gaming services from abroad, via a VPN.
Like Liechtenstein, Gibraltar also has a stance on gambling. The rock formation’s official policy is that “gambling should be prohibited, not just within the territory, but also in all forms, including online betting, as it is seen to be a vehicle for problem gambling.”
However, it’s not as restrictive as Liechtenstein when it comes to the types of gambling that are allowed. All forms of casino gambling and certain lotteries are permitted, as long as they’re licensed and regulated by the territory’s government. As well as traditional sports betting, it’s also legal to place bets on horse racing, dog racing, and greyhound dog racing. The legal status of online gambling in Gibraltar is slightly different. While it’s not illegal, advertising and offering betting services is banned, as it could “undermine public safety and trust.”
The United Kingdom’s gambling laws are somewhat unique. They don’t just apply to sports betting and casinos. All forms of gambling, including sports betting and online casinos (with certain restrictions), are outlawed in Northern Ireland. They’re also illegal in Scotland unless it’s for charity. The only parts of the UK that allow some forms of gambling are England and Wales. In those two countries, betting on horse races and greyhound dog races is legal, as long as it’s done in regulated bookmakers’ offices. It’s also possible to get in the odd lottery ticket, using numbers picked at random. However, it’s not easy to find online casinos that accept players from the UK, given its gambling laws.
The main difference between England and Wales and the rest of the UK is that, in England and Wales, any kind of gambling is legal. That means it’s OK to bet on sport and even legal to play online casinos or poker rooms. Other forms of gambling aren’t quite as safe, given that they’re still illegal. For example, while there are plenty of legal, regulated betting shops in England and Wales, there are also plenty of illegal bookmakers who operate without any controls. That’s why it’s important to keep off those sketchy sites, no matter where you are in the world.
There, now you know which countries allow betting and whether it’s legal to bet there. While it’s not always easy to determine the legality of betting in another country, you certainly don’t need to worry about breaking the law. Even when you’re physically located abroad, it’s possible to keep your casino accounts active using a VPN. Plus, you can always check the laws governing online gambling through our reviews.