Countries Where Sports Betting is Legal

In many places worldwide, you can legally place bets on sports. These are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. But the rules can be different from place to place. Some countries have clear laws and regulations for sports betting, while others have stricter rules.
countries where sports betting is legal

European Countries Where Sports Betting is Legal

Various European countries have legalized gambling and betting, but the most popular countries with clear regulations for all types of gambling are:

  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Spain

United Kingdom

countries where sports betting is legal

If you are in the UK and you’re interested in gambling, you will feel happy to know it is legal there. However, government regulations are in place to ensure everything stays fair and safe. The Gambling Commission is the official agency responsible for overseeing the gambling industry, providing businesses like online casinos, betting sites, and lotteries follow the rules.


Until 2019, placing bets on sports online in Sweden wasn’t as free and open as it is today. Back then, the government pretty much controlled everything, and there was only one company you could gamble with online: Svenska Spel.

In Sweden, gambling comes in many forms, all legal. Whether it is charities running games, the government offering options, or even companies from outside the country getting involved, there are many ways to play. Basically, most types of gambling are allowed in Sweden, according to their laws.

Swedish players frequently look beyond domestically licensed casinos for a wider selection of games and potentially more rewarding experiences. MGA and Curacao licensed casinos are known for offering a wider variety of games, from classic slots to live dealer tables. In addition, these casinos often compete for players with more attractive bonuses and promotions than Swedish casinos.


Gambling and betting are legal in Italy, but casinos can only operate with a special government license. The biggest casino is the Casino of Saint Vincent, which is way up in Valle d’Aosta. Back in 2011, things got even more exciting for gamblers.

Casinos, online poker, and sports betting became legal, and even foreign companies could get involved. The final puzzle piece came in 2012 when slot machine halls were finally allowed to open their doors.


Things weren’t always so lucky in Spain. Back in the day, most gambling was banned. The only exceptions were the national lottery, a sweepstake game, sports betting on some sports (like horse racing), and other small things. Research shows that in 1977, gambling became completely legal. In 2011, the government legalized online gambling. Special licenses are needed to run online casinos and other games in Spain.

Asian Countries with Legal Gambling Status

countries where sports betting is legal

Do you live in Asia? If yes, you can gamble without worrying about being caught by law enforcement agencies. Countries, where you can gamble and bet on sports in Asia are:

  • China
  • Macau
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia

In China, your legal betting choices are pretty limited. There are government-run lotteries for sports and general welfare, but the odds of winning are not great, and the rules are strict. Because of this, many people in China turn to online sports betting, even though it is not allowed.

South American Countries

Online gambling is booming in Latin America, with a growth rate of 38% expected to reach $54 billion by 2026. The growth is driven by increasing acceptance of betting and clear regulations in some countries. I have compiled a few specifics about the sports betting industry in Latin America for the following countries.

Country Regulation Status Market Size Projected Market Size
Brazil Legalized in 2023 $6.7 billion $22 billion
Colombia Mature & Regulated $6.3 billion $12 billion
Argentina Varies by Province $1 billion $2.2 billion
Peru Solid Legal Framework $2.3 billion $6 billion
Mexico Regulations Developing $4 billion $10.8 billion

Countries in Africa

South Africa is the gambling champion of Africa. The country’s gambling industry brings in a whopping $1.8 billion every year (that’s around 34 billion Rand). Online casinos have recently become super popular there, and sports betting has been legal since the early 2000s.

The National Gambling Act keeps things fair and regulated, including online betting. Even though the law does not exactly say “no online gambling except sports betting,” that is basically the rule. Other African countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Botswana also allow and enjoy gambling activities like sports betting and casinos.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia, if you want to run a gambling business, online or on land, you need to follow strict rules and get a license. These rules can vary and usually depend on your state, so it is important to do your research first.

Things are a bit different in New Zealand. There, it is perfectly legal to place online bets with gambling companies located overseas. It means you can use all the major British and European betting sites. And unlike Australia, these overseas companies don’t need a special license to accept customers from New Zealand.

Final Words About Sports Betting Legality

Sports betting is a global phenomenon, with varying levels of legality and regulation across the globe. If you want to get in on the action, ensure you understand the laws in your jurisdiction. From the seasoned betting hubs of Europe to the growing markets of South America, Africa, and Asia, the world of sports betting offers exciting opportunities for those who understand the game’s rules.


Written By

Qazi Raza

My name is Qazi Raza. I work as an editor at We focus on telling Swedish casino players about the best-unlicensed gaming websites. I know a lot about how online casinos work. I can tell you which websites are safe and which ones will pay out your winnings. I also share tips to help you make the best betting decisions. My goal is to guide Swedish players to great casinos outside the licensed system. I want our users to have fun gaming experiences.