Sports Betting in Different Countries – Legality and Status

Sports betting is a hobby, pastime, and even job for some people. It is legal throughout the world. Or is it? Sports betting has been getting more attention in the recent couple of years, ever since the United States opened its doors as a legal market. Following their footsteps, or at least, the footsteps of some of their states, some countries in the world also legalized sports betting.

Countries also fly under the radar, countries like Nigeria, for example, that has a very active sports betting scene. By Charting The Growth Of Nigeria’s Sports Betting Industry, we could learn more about its sports betting history.

Throughout the world, sports betting has a variety of statuses, so let us examine the different continents and whether there are any outliers.

The Americas

The United States is slowly getting their (gambling) act together and they are legalizing gambling, including sports betting. Some states have it legalized, 31 of them, albeit not the same level of legalization. Only 13 of those states have full mobile and online sports betting legalized, while 9, for example, only offer in-person sports betting.

Canada is also in a strange situation, with gray areas and problematic legislation options. Provinces can do what they want, and some have yet to legislate online sports betting. Overseas sites can be used, albeit the law is very unclear on the matter.


In Africa, sports betting is a story of its own. Few countries have any sort of regulation for online sports betting, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa being among the few. In-person sports betting is legal in most countries and illegal gambling is also present and proving to be a problem.

Some countries have strict regulations while others have very loose ones. If one plans to do any sort of gambling in Africa, they should check the laws prior to placing a bet.


Europe is pretty liberal when it comes to sports betting, with most countries having sports betting legal and well-organized. From state lotteries to online bookmakers, most European countries offer licenses and allow operation from foreign companies.

Norway is an interesting example where every form of gambling is regulated by the country, from lotteries to sports betting, to casinos. Even so, Norwegians frequently gamble on sites that operate outside Norway, without any penalties.


Asia is a very tough nut to crack because it is a huge continent where every country has its own laws. There are far too many countries to go into detail, so the outliers can be mentioned. China has a ban on gambling except for state-owned lotteries. India has legalized gambling and specifically sports betting, but only a couple of provinces have it fully legal and regulated.

South Korea has a ban on most gambling activities unless specifically stated. Most Islamic countries don’t allow sports betting. Oceanic countries allow sports betting, for the most part.

The status of sports betting in the world tells us that it is legal in most countries rather than banned. That will most likely shift to more legalized countries in the coming decades.

Author: admin