Online casino gambling laws vary a great deal from one country to the next and these laws tend to change from time to time. This page will take a look at the current online gambling laws which are accurate at the time of writing for the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
- United Kingdom Online Gambling
- Australian Online Gambling
- New Zealand Online Gambling
- South Africa Online Gambling
- Canadian Online Gambling
United Kingdom Online Gambling
The United Kingdom has a rather laid back attitude towards online gambling, but for years many operators avoided paying UK taxes by operating from various offshore locations. In 2014 new online gaming legislation was passed in the UK and this meant that operators could no longer aim their business towards the UK market unless they became licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and this means that they would have to start paying rather steep taxes.
UK operators have no choice but to pay the steep 15% point of consumption tax, or stop offering their services to UK players altogether. In contrast, online gambling operators who are based in jurisdictions such as Antigua & Barbuda, the Isle of Man, Alderney or Gibraltar are accustomed to paying just 1%.
The UK Gambling Commission is the main governing body which oversees online gambling activities in the United Kingdom. This group established in 2005 when the Gambling Act was introduced. This authority started issuing licenses back in 2006 and it now licenses some of the most trusted gambling portals in the world. UK players have access to hundreds of perfectly secure online casinos and these impressive gambling portals are powered by some of the most advanced online casino software providers in the world.
UK players can count on 24 hour toll-free support at most casinos and these casinos all accept a variety of UK online payment options and UK pound sterling. Those who are not licensed in the UK CANNOT operate within the UK and this means that UK players generally don’t have access to most Realtime Gaming or Rival Gaming casinos, but they can access numerous Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt, IGT and WMS Gaming casinos, plus they also have access to games from numerous other providers.
There are a number of guides out there that focus on the UK market but really the best option for a UK player is to search Google for terms related to UK casinos.
Australian Online Gambling
None of today’s online casinos that welcome Australian players are actually controlled by Australian operators and none of them are licensed in Australia. Although the Australian government issues online gaming licenses to such operators, these operators cannot accept real cash wagers from Australian players and this is in line with the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
There is no law that prohibits Australian from gambling in the real money mode at an offshore based online casino (or other similar gambling portal) and this is exactly where millions of Australian players visit on a daily basis. Today’s best Australian online casinos are controlled by foreign operators and they are licensed in one of several major licensed jurisdictions around the world.
Most of today’s top-rated AU online casinos are licensed in Malta, by the Malta Gaming Authority, or in the United Kingdom by the UK Gambling Commission. The remaining online casinos that welcome Australian players tend to be licensed either in Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, or in Alderney, Curaçao, Antigua & Barbuda or Kahnawake. The Australian online casinos that operate from these jurisdictions all accept Australian dollars and they generally welcome a variety of secure Australian online payment options. Australian players can also usually enjoy 24 hour toll-free telephone support, email support and live chat support.
Australian players now have access to a variety of different games from some of the world’s most advance online casino software providers and these casinos can be launched instantly over a flash casino platform or from within a download client. Australian players can also now gamble in the real money mode at a growing number of fully licensed mobile casinos. Australians players also have access to some fantastic online casino loyalty rewards programs at most of today’s Aussie focussed online casinos.
New Zealand Online Gambling
A great deal of money is spent on gambling in New Zealand and this cash is spent both online and offline. To a certain extent online casino gambling in New Zealand is legal because there are no laws in place banning New Zealanders from playing in the real money mode at online casinos that operate from offshore locations.
Online gambling activities have been available for New Zealanders for about as long as gambling portals have been around and the New Zealand government did little to monitor or regulate the online gambling industry until recent years. It was in 2003 when the New Zealand Gambling Act came in to effect and this basically lead to a restriction on the amount of land based gaming events that could be built.
This act was designed to limit gambling activities and also to regulate remote ‘interactive gambling’. The term interactive gambling covers gambling from a computer, mobile or tablet device, telephone, radio or other such device and the new act meant that New Zealanders could not play in online casinos that operate from within New Zealand. It didn’t stop New Zealanders from playing at oversees gambling portals.
This is why you will find that New Zealanders generally gamble in the real money mode at online casinos which are licensed in jurisdictions such as Malta, the UK, Kahnawake, Gibraltar, or Curaçao. Most other NZ online casinos will either be licensed on the Isle of Man or in Antigua & Barbuda.
New Zealand players have access to a variety of different games that have been developed by some of the most advanced online casino software providers in the world. A growing number of fully licensed mobile casinos are also now available to New Zealanders and the support is usually available 24 hours per day via live chat, email and telephone. New Zealanders also now have access to some fantastic online casino loyalty reward programs and plenty of other attractive promotional offers.
Kiwi players similar to Australian players are fortunate in that there are many options available as far as where to play. Deciding where to play can be as simple as performing a search online or by visiting a website like OnlineCasino.kiwi.nz who feature listings, reviews and other information to help better educate players in order to make the decision on where to play that much easier.
South Africa Online Gambling
The South African Government has always taken a rather strict approach towards most forms of gambling, including land based gambling activities and online gambling activities. The 1965 Gambling Act pretty much prohibited all forms of gambling apart from horse racing events., but in spite of this, a growing number of land based gambling venues continued accepting real cash wagers, illegally, from hungry gamblers.
Just before the start of the new millennium it was believed that somewhere in the region of 2000 of these illegal gambling dens were active across the country, but then in 1994 a major change came. A new government took control and ended up legalising land based casinos and they also changed the way that these venues would be licensed.
Under the new office, the National Gambling Board started handing out gambling licenses to these operators and then the National Gambling Act arrived in 2004. Even more new legislation came into effect less than five years later and the new National Gambling Amendment Act was designed to monitor online gambling activities. In 2010, the government stopped South African players from being able to play in the real money mode at online casinos, poker sites and other similar sites. The operator of these sites could even be fined and possibly jailed.
However, the law didn’t stop South African players from being able to sign up to a foreign owned online casino that operates from offshore location and this is now where millions of South African players gamble on a daily basis. In more recent years the South African government seems to be taking a more relaxed approach towards online gambling and the industry may one day become fully legalised and monitored properly. The government also said that should online casino gambling eventually become legal, those casino operators who have been operating under these current conditions could risk not being able to obtain a license should they ever apply for one.
South African players can play in online casinos which are powered by Playtech or Realtime Gaming and these sites are usually licensed either in the United Kingdom, in Kahnawake, in Curaçao, or in one of several other major global licensing jurisdictions. These casinos generally provide 24 hour toll-free support for South African players, they accept South African Rand and they usually have some great rewards programs and promotional offers available.
Unlike some of the other countries we've focused on providing you information here at RavenStake South Africa is far less open and thus there are less good options for players. Fortunately there are some good portals out there such as OnlineCasinoAdvisor.co.za that provide useful information about recommended choices on where to play.
Canada Online Gambling
Online casinos that welcome real cash wagers from Canadian players are often licensed outside of Canadian borders and they are generally controlled by foreign operators, but you will also find that many of today’s best Canadian online casinos are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
This trusted authority happens to be the largest online gaming licensing authority in North America and it sits just across from Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. This 48 sq. km patch of land is located on Indian Land Reserve known as Kahnawake Mohawk Territory and it is actually independent of Canadian laws. In Canada, you will also find that online gambling has been split in to two different categories which include First Nation and Provincial.
Canadian law states that only provincial government authorities can legally provide real money wagering services to Canadian players, whereas the First Nation Tribes also believe that they have just as much right to offer real cash gambling services to Canadians. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has issued licenses to more than 200 individual operators which accept real cash wagers from Canadians.
Additional First Nation tribes are also in the process of becoming online gaming licensing authorities in their own right. Canadian players also have access to online casinos which are licensed in various other major global licensing jurisdictions such as Alderney, Malta, the UK, Antigua & Barbuda and Curaçao.
The best Canadian online casinos accept Canadian dollars and a variety of perfectly secure Canadian online payment options and they are powered by some of the most advanced online casino software providers in the world (e.g. Playtech, Realtime Gaming, Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT Interactive etc.). Canadians can play at these sites instantly in their browser or from within a download client and many Canadian mobile casinos are also now available. 24 hour support at these sites is usually provided for Canadian players.
If you live in Canada you should be pleased to learn that you can now find hundreds of perfectly secure online casinos and you are not breaking any laws by playing at these sites in the real money mode. These gambling portals are all free to sign up to, they have some generous promotional offers available for both new & existing players and they also have some fantastic rewards programs.
Fortunately Canadian players have many great options including the ability to play at Microgaming, Playtech and casinos powered by other major software providers. Utilizing objective reviews composed by industry experts such as those found at OnlineCasinoCanadian.ca is advisable for Canadian players interested in playing online.