Countries with the Strictest Online Gambling Laws Around the World

Gambling has cemented itself as one of the most popular pastimes in the world spanning different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. However, despite its popularity, there are still many countries the world over that have very strict gambling laws and make it difficult for operators to establish themselves there. Some countries also make it very difficult for their citizens to even access gambling institutions, whether offline or online, due to how strict their regulations and guidelines are. In fact, some parts of the world even consider the activity of gambling to be illegal in all forms.

Of course, there are many countries that are incredibly lenient when it comes to online gambling. Nordic countries tend to have good reputations when it comes to the simplicity of gambling legislation in the reason. This is also a major factor that contributes to the booming casino and betting industries of these nations. For example, Sweden is filled with citizens who enjoy gambling frequently as they have both the freedom and the capacity to access traditional and online gambling facilities. Another example of a Nordic country with healthy ties to gambling is Finland. As many people in the casino community may know, Finland is popular for being a haven for online gambling. Citizens are allowed to participate in major forms of online gambling such as casino games and sports betting. In fact, many online casino platforms are eager to market generous casino bonuses and promotions in order to win over some avid gamblers in the region. Although, it’s important to note that Finland doesn’t allow for unregulated gambling activity to take place within the country.

Malta is also another country that is considered to be a gambling haven, especially in Europe. It’s a country that offers one of the most renowned and respected gambling licenses in the world. This nation has always been at the forefront of pushing the gambling industry forward, particularly in the digital realm. Its neighbor Gibraltar is also popular for issuing iGaming licenses. While Malta takes a lenient approach to gambling regulations, they are still very strict when it comes to ensuring that the online gambling sites that their citizens access are of the best quality and adhere to the highest possible standards.

Unfortunately, not all countries are like Malta or Finland when it comes to gambling regulation. Again, there are many countries all over the world that make it very difficult or even impossible for their people to establish gambling operations or even gain access to online gambling sites. Here are a few countries that have some of the strictest online gambling laws in the world.


The United Arab Emirates is notorious for being one of the most progressive middle eastern countries. However, despite its progressive reputation, it still has a very conservative outlook on gambling activities. Any person in the UAE who is found guilty of partaking in any kind of gambling activity could be sentenced to face up to two years in prison. However, despite the harsh anti-gambling laws, there are still many underground gambling games that take place all throughout the country.


Japan is a country that has always been strict in terms of the preservation of its customs and traditional values and principles. This is a philosophy that applies to gambling as well. However, Japan also has a reputation of being able to adapt to calls of modernity too. So, while traditional online gambling games may be illegal, Japan allows for the practice of traditional gambling games like Pachinko. It’s also a country that’s relatively strict on foreigners. So, for any tourists who are looking to gamble while on holiday, it would be best to just avoid visiting Japan altogether.


India is another peculiar country to take note of when it comes to gambling legislation. On the one hand, under official Indian legislation, gambling is banned in all shapes and forms throughout the country. However, India is also comprised of many different states that can come up with their own independent laws and regulations. That’s why certain regions in India like Goa are allowed to establish gambling operations on the condition that they take place on riverboats. However, there are no established online gambling operations in the country. The only way that citizens can access online gambling sites is if they are able to find offshore operators that they can transact with.


Despite the many advances of the online gambling industry, there are still many parts of the world that make it almost impossible for people to participate in this emerging market. However, many parliaments and legislative bodies are now making substantial progress in terms of adopting more lenient regulations and laws when it comes to gambling, particularly in the online form.  

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