Online Gambling in 2021: Is it Legal?

Thousands of people gamble online. But is online gambling legal? Let’s break this topic down to show what a player can do, what he can’t do, and what is still iffy.

The industry of online gambling in rapidly changing, new online casinos are popping up here and there, innovative software suppliers are adding more and more realistic features to their games and banking methods are becoming faster almost on a monthly basis.

Rising technologies such as IoT, Blockchain or VR; definitely add popularity to the online gambling experience. The one thing that stays constant: online gambling makes a lot of money.

The casino industry makes an estimated $1 billion dollars annually, which must involve the legality of making bets, processing payments to casinos or igaming advertising. The need to regulate the online market is important.

Countries that require local legislation

Some countries are more strict than others when it comes to online entertainment than others. Countries where gambling websites must be licensed by the local regulator and can’t operate under any other license: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, the UK.

Practically, this means that each online casino must obtain a license, meet certain legal requirements and is obliged to pay taxes to the budget.

Countries with no gambling legislation

Here are some countries with no legislative requirements just yet. Gambling sites can be of a foreign origin and can be licensed in any type of jurisdiction or generally operate without it. The list includes: Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Serbia and Slovakia. However, it doesn’t necessary means that gambling is legal in these territories.

Counties with gambling legislation

These are areas, which require online casinos to be licensed by a local jurisdiction, however, even in the case where certain online operators don’t have one, they can still function and provide gaming services: Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Greenland.

The matter of jurisdictions is rather complex. Sometimes it is about making bets only, sometimes about the withdrawing process and other times about advertising an online casino. In 2007, the biggest search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, each paid a fine because of accepting online gambling ads, though none faced criminal charges. In order to figure out how safe a chosen casino is a player can visit sites like, which work in order to provide their readers with all necessary information on legislation matters.


We would highly recommend checking sites for licensing before placing your bets, as the authorities are there to regulate operators and to make sure players gamble on the safe side. As a basic example, usually operators licensed to operate by well-established authority must give their players the chance to exclude themselves from any site, whenever they want to or feel they must. And also to have the ability to self-exclude themselves from playing indefinitely or for a specific amount of time, as well as to set deposit limits depending on their budget.