More than 60 countries in the world now regulate online gambling

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According to the new research, more than 50 percent of the world's population is restricted from accessing online gambling in their own countries. It was found that gambling availability varies greatly from country to country. Some countries prohibit all types of casinos, while others ban local firms from running a gambling business but allow foreign companies to operate. 

The research was performed by KeyToCasino. First, the authors collected and analyzed land-based casino laws and online gambling laws in 225 countries and territories by looking at a range of sources in 46 different languages.  All the data, maps, and statistics are collated here. For the 95% of the countries, or 98% of the population, the sources were reputable, such as government run websites or major local newspapers.

The researchers found that in terms of land-based casinos, 74 of the countries apply restrictions towards them, but in 151 countries these casinos are fully legal. As for the online gambling, the situation is more mixed:

•             39 countries prohibit online gambling.

•             32 countries ban local operators from running online casinos. However, they have no influence on the foreign companies.

•             61 countries allow casinos to operate under license, but in half of these countries the law is enforced on local casinos only. As in the previous point, the foreign companies are often not regulated due to the lack of influence or technical possibility. 

•             93 countries do not prohibit online casinos, and they don't license them either.

Overall, some form of online gambling restriction is enforced in 132 countries or for 56 percent of the world's population. 

So, what happens to the ordinary players who place their wagers online? The players in 25 countries should be really careful about online gambling, as criminal charges are imposed. In 15 countries, there is an administrative penalty, and in 92 countries there is no penalty at all.

Next, the researchers looked at terms and conditions in 655 online casinos in regards to the restricted countries. The top three countries that are restricted most often are easy to guess. These are the United States, banned in 72 percent of the online casinos, followed by France with 70 percent, and Israel, which is banned by 54 percent of online gambling operators. The least restricted countries are Iceland, banned only in 7 percent of the online casinos, followed by New Zealand and Austria.

In order to see how each country stands in terms of online gambling government regulations on one side, and the casino restrictions towards this country on the other, KeyToCasino ranked all 225 countries and territories with Gambling Availability Score. The maximum is 1 000 points, of which 500 points are based on the percentage of online casinos that allow citizens to play, and other 500 points are based on the country's laws and regulations regarding land-based and online casinos, including severity of penalty for the players, access to online gambling and financial transactions in online casinos.  Among the countries which got the top scores, there are Chile, Andorra and Venezuela. They each scored 960 out of 1 000 on gambling availability. At the bottom of the list there is France scoring 412 point, Iran with 407 points, and the very last one is the United States with only 311 points. The full report with each country's score in available on the website.


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