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Status of Bitcoin Gambling Laws Around the World

This affects everyone in the world, whether or not your country has laws accepting Bitcoin. After a slow start, more players are out there on the internet visiting Bitcoin casino sites, but many of them have to do it using VPN and other methods of hiding IP addresses because the country of residence does not allow for such behavior.

However, there seems to be a continuing trend in the positive with a key factor in this growth being the success of online gambling in general. And most countries permit some type of online gambling casino. It is only now with the trend of cryptocurrencies and the successes of Bitcoin and other major altcoins that we are seeing a rise around the globe for bitcoin casino support.


And with any growing trend, there are going to be rejectionists, and governments that are not ready to grow with the rest of the world, dragging their feet. If you live in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and even Africa, it is very likely at this moment your governing body of law makers have some agenda on the table related to bitcoins and bitcoin casino gambling websites.

In a recent study based on the G20 countries, a breakdown of countries and their current stance on Bitcoin Gambling Regulation was established for the public.

Country Current Bitcoin Regulation or Legislation Online Gambling Permitted?
Russia A country-wide ban is in place on all foreign gambling and/or betting sites.

Russian players, therefore, resort to Bitcoin online casinos mostly with VPNs to hide their footprints.

Worse still, many such websites are being restricted by Russian ISPs with Players facing financial penalties if found gambling online – in fiat or Bitcoins

Australia Australia allows online gambling but operators are banned from running their operations within the Country.

Online casinos from legal jurisdictions can, therefore, serve players in Australia.

The Reserve Bank governor in Australia says that using Bitcoin is totally legal since no lawsuit has been raised against that.

Yes; Regulated and based on a virtual currency position paper passed into law.
China China has strict laws against all forms of gambling banning almost all gambling activities including online casinos. There have been major crackdowns recently on the gaming software companies and illegal gambling rings.

Playing with the Bitcoin remains illegal for Chinese though this hasn’t prevented foreign websites from getting a market in China

Germany Trading in Bitcoin is currently not illegal. However, Germany doesn’t allow online gambling so Bitcoin gambling remains banned.  However, Germans are avid online players as there are no laws to punish unlicensed foreign  operators in Germany (because its originally hard for them to get licenses) No but there has been some headway with potential legislation at the discretion of the country districts.
Canada Canada allows citizens to gamble online, though, it prohibits any gambling offered by companies not licensed or owned by its provincial governments. Apparently, the Canadian government hasn’t formally banned use of cryptocurrencies’ Yes
Norway Local providers are banned. However, Norwegians still play in offshore sights while operators targeted by new laws have said they will have little impact. Yes; Regulated but a new government poses a threat to this law.
The United Kingdom It is completely legal to bet online provided your provider has a license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The UKGC also allows licensed online casinos to accept bitcoin deposits and cash outs.

Yes, Regulated
France Any gambling in France must be licensed, but it’s clear that the laws are not that strict so online Bitcoin operators have found some space. No
Israel Land based gaming and gambling is prohibited and current laws state nothing about online gambling (as they were established last in 1977).

In 2005 a court ruling provided that no gambling establishments could exist online or on the ground. To this day, the government blocks specific IP addresses to certain providers.

No laws established on either side, just a few court rulings.
The United States Online gambling is illegal in many states. Interestingly, residents from these states can legally trade with overseas casinos under the broad federal laws though not in all states. Sports betting is not completely legal in the United States as of 2018. The US Treasury is focused on making gains with Bitcoin but in no rush to legalize its use for gambling. Yes; Regulated in Nevada, New Jersey, and certain Native American Indian Reservation casinos
Japan Online gambling is opening up in Japan after the country passed a few bills permitting interested individuals to run integrated casinos in the country. Local Online bitcoin casinos are however yet to get a foothold. Luckily, a number of foreign owned websites from Macau, Gibraltar, and elsewhere accept Japanese punters. Yes; Regulated
Hong Kong Online Gambling is more open here and the country is by far more liberal compared to china. Instead of banning the digital currencies, the government educates citizen on the dangers involved. However, calls for closer controls are now emerging and it may not be long before things change. Yes; Unregulated
South Africa According to existing laws, online casino operators cannot legally offer their services from within country borders. However, safe online casinos aren’t expressly banned provided they are fully regulated within a reliable jurisdiction. The SARB (South African Reserve bank) seems to be doing more tests on the Bitcoin itself so bitcoin gambling is still not open No
Switzerland Switzerland has passed a law authorizing local casinos to provide online gambling services and to simultaneously block international licensed online casinos. The Bitcoin itself has so far been doing well on the market as a whole with many ICOs choosing the country as their host Yes; Regulated
South Korea Gambling is considered problematic by the government though there is certainly a desire to build a thriving gambling industry – but for foreigners. On same note, the state has been known to crack down on illegal online gambling websites in addition to taking steps towards banning foreigners from trading in cryptos. Yes; Regulated
Sweden Swedish punters are not in any way restricted from wagering in foreign internet casinos at the individual level. ISPs also don’t block foreign owned online gambling websites. There are also no specific laws targeting online Bitcoin gambling within Sweden. Yes; Restricted
Italy Italy doesn’t regulate use of cryptos by individuals so there are no laws specific to the Bitcoin.

Online gambling websites are legal too provided they’re dully licensed.

The Bitcoin is, therefore, accepted in casinos and other online licensed gambling websites

Yes; Regulated
Denmark Denmark’s regulatory agencies have in the past ordered local ISPs to restrict access to 24 online-based gambling domains targeting Danish punters operating without licenses.

Any online casino sites Operating in Denmark definitely needs a gambling licence including Bitcoin Casinos.

Bitcoin itself is legal and very popular in Denmark.

Yes; regulated
The Netherlands Dutch citizens spend millions of dollars in unlicensed, foreign controlled online casinos each year. The Dutch government’s modernization casinos regime law intends to control online gambling and permit interested online casinos to get an online betting license.

The government hasn’t in the meantime issued any bitcoin gambling specific laws as of yet though licenses are still mandatory.

Yes; regulated

Conclusion: English Speaking Countries Lead the Way

Amidst sharp focus, Bitcoin gambling is slowly gaining a foothold in and around the world. In countries such as Canada, online bitcoin betting is allowed providing the service providers needed to get license casinos available. The market is also lucrative in the United States where a new leaf appears to be turning with regulations toning down with time. The UK leads by example and waits for the world to catch up. However, Russia and South Africa are yet to embrace the practice with Russia especially coming down hard on Bitcoin Gambling sites. Nonetheless, in Norway and other parts of Europe online casinos are expected to continue serving millions of hungry players as they simultaneously look for ways to maneuvering in and out of differing regulations. But at the end of the day, if someone wants to play and pay with bitcoin, they will find a way, regardless of the laws.

Other countries with considerations that have been reviewed include Malta.

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