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Countries Where Gambling Is Illegal

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Lisa Cheban Content writer
Countries Where Gambling Is Illegal

Loads of gamblers worldwide appreciate taking risks and being rewarded for that. That’s how the gambling industry can be described in general. But you need to keep in mind that this activity is always very risky, which means that players can lose their money.

For this reason, gambling laws in certain countries make offline or online gambling illegal. Depending on these laws, you can find out whether you can gamble at international casinos or can’t gamble at all. Below, our BetSquare team will explain the difference and tell what countries don’t accept online casinos.


Let’s take a look at them over here to let you find out what countries are perfect for gambling and how to avoid illegal activities!

Countries Where Gambling Is Illegal

Online Gambling in Different Countries: Laws & Restrictions

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that the laws of land-based and online gambling can be different, even when we are talking about the same country. For example, in Australia, you can visit land-based casinos ruled by the government, but local operators can’t run online casinos, which means that you don’t find gambling platforms particularly for Aussies.

However, it can be done by international platforms registered offshore, so players in Australia can still gamble by visiting corresponding sites. The same scheme is active in many other areas.

Yet, there are some jurisdictions that accept online gambling and control it. Of course, the control is more serious in this case and there are even local regulators, such as UKGC for Britain.

To obtain this license, the operator needs to meet a range of parameters to provide safe gameplay. Due to this, licensed operators are so trustworthy.

If you don’t know whether your country accepts online gambling, here are several ways to find it out:


  • Read the terms of the operator you choose
  • Get familiar with the laws of your country
  • Ask the operator’s manager when you don’t find this information
  • Watch the local news to stay up-to-date

As we’ve mentioned, in some cases, only certain parts of gambling activities are illegal. For example, lotteries, horse racing, online gambling, or something of this kind. Yet, there are certain countries where gambling is illegal in all its forms, and as our project is dedicated to online gambling, let’s take a look at the areas where such restrictions take place:

United Arab Emirates

United arab emirates gambling

Islamic countries are quite strict when it comes to gambling, and the United Arab Emirates are no exception. It’s worth noting that the laws of other Muslim countries don’t involve any serious punishment when it comes to visiting casinos online. But here in the UAE, those who gamble online can be imprisoned for up to 2 years.


You may be surprised, but Poland is also one of the countries where gambling is illegal. This happened because of The 2009 Act on Gambling. In 2017, the new regulations were enacted and the activities you find in Poland are the ones established by the government only.


Among the countries where gambling is illegal, you also find Lebanon. According to its laws, any sort of gambling is prohibited for citizens and the government blocks any activities of this kind, including online sites. An exception includes a single online casino and a land-based operator, which are ruled by the government. Besides, you find a gambling ship available in international waters.


You also need to get familiar with the laws of Singapore. Here, the Common Gaming Houses Act prohibits public lotteries and machine-based games. Yet, Singapore Pools, Singapore Totalisator Board, and Singapore Turf Club are the local operators which can operate here. And there are certain laws to allow remote gambling.

North Korea

north korea gambling

The first country on our list is North Korea which has loads of limits not only in gambling but in many other areas. As for online casinos, they are strictly forbidden for locals and no NK operator is working online. However, the country has one land-based casino based in Pyongyang and it’s focused on tourists.

As well as the previous area, Qatar features strict gambling laws, even the strictest ones. All forms of gambling, be it sports betting or casinos online, are prohibited. Some locals try to organize some land-based forms to overcome this prohibition, but it still breaks the law.

As for Cyprus, mainly, gambling here is regulated by the 2012 Betting Law. Besides, there is a Casino Law of 2015 that allows table games to be located in only one place. This place is the Melco Cyprus Resort. When it comes to online forms and sports betting, they are both prohibited.

Brunei is also an Islamic region where the gambling industry laws are really strict. There is a Common Gaming House Act and it completely prohibits all types of casino activities, including online slots and any other variation.


Japan also has quite an interesting gambling history. Local games like pachinko weren’t prohibited, while other gambling forms were classified as a crime. The Integrated Resort Programme Law of 2016 changed this by allowing online casino sites. Unfortunately, things didn’t change for online forms, though there aren’t strict restrictions when you access an international gambling site.

The history of gambling in Cambodia is not that pleasant since the region had certain problems with the gambling addiction of its citizens. That’s why any form of casinos, including online variations, has been banned since 1996. This law doesn’t affect tourists and those who opt for the 5 variations of the government lottery, so if you are not a local player, you can still gamble online here.


Of course, the laws change from time to time, so we hope that some of these countries will join the gambling family soon. However, for now, it’s worth checking this information to make sure that you don’t break the laws and enjoy your gambling entertainment legally.


Is gambling illegal in Japan?

In most cases, today, gambling in Japan is permitted, but the operator needs to be licensed by the public entities.


Which country doesn’t have casino?

Mainly, these are Islamic countries like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.


Is gambling illegal in UK?

Gambling here is legal, including online variations, and there is a local UKGC regulator. But it’s a strict regulator, so there are loads of laws to make gambling in the UK safe and fair.

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