Over 60 countries around the world license online casinos, the US is the worst country for gamblers, and 56 percent of the world’s population faces some form of online gambling ban, but ordinary players are not penalised in most cases. These are the main findings of a research project into online gambling access, by affiliate KeyToCasino.
Looking at sources in 46 languages from 225 countries, KeyToCasino researched online and land-based casino access and then gave each country a Gambling Availability Score. A key part of this score was the policy of online casinos. For example, 14 percent of casinos restrict access to players even though they live in countries where there are no online gambling restrictions.
The scores were out of 1,000 with 500 points based on online casino accessibility. For the remaining 500 points, casino laws, penalties, access and financial blocks were taken into consideration. The United States got the worst Gambling Availability Score with 311 points followed by Iran with 407 points and France with 412 points. In the United States, where online gambling is banned on a federal level, gamblers cannot access 72 percent of the world’s online casinos. Other countries’ scores and ranks are available here.
Fifty-six percent of the world’s population face some form of online casino ban. In 39 countries online casinos are banned completely, and in 32 countries, local operators are banned, but foreign online casinos operate. A further 61 countries allow casinos to operate under licence. Half of these countries only have the ability to enforce the licence on local casino operators though. The remaining 93 countries of the world do not explicitly ban online casinos or license them.
The researchers also looked at land-based casinos, discovering that 57 countries restrict them, while 168 countries let their citizens play in land-based casinos, although some only allow casinos in certain parts of the country. This means only 47 percent of the world’s population can access land-based casinos.
Further, the researchers looked at the countries’ online gambling laws in relation to the land-based casino laws. They found that in 27 countries out of 168 where land-based casinos are allowed, online casinos are banned. The remaining countries regulate online casinos, or have no formal ban. Most of the 57 countries that ban land-based casinos also ban online casinos, but 13 have no such ban in place.
The study also found that 25 countries criminally penalise ordinary online gamblers, while 15 countries impose an administrative penalty. Nothing happens to players in the remaining 92 countries that ban or restrict online gambling. However, 36 countries get internet service providers to block access to casinos, and 18 countries block their financial transactions.
The complete research report with more statistics and gambling legislation oddities is available here.