Legalisation of Online Sports Betting Across the World

In recent years, many countries around the world have begun loosening regulations around online sports betting. As attitudes shift and technology improves, governments are recognizing the potential economic benefits of a legal and regulated online betting industry. More countries are expected to follow suit in the coming years.

United States

Legalized sports betting has rapidly expanded across the U.S. in recent years. Since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018, 34 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized wagering to some degree. Some states like New Jersey have robust markets with online and in-person options, while others like Wyoming only allow online betting. Approaches vary, with some states giving oversight to lottery commissions and others to gaming regulators. Tribal casinos are major players in some states like New Mexico.

Despite some ongoing debates about “integrity fees” and the use of official league data, sports leagues have broadly embraced legal betting, securing lucrative sponsorships and partnerships. With many more states considering bills each year, the U.S. sports betting landscape will likely continue growing.

United Kingdom

When it comes to the UK market, legalized sports betting has long been ingrained in British culture, with the country pioneering gambling legislation as far back as the 19th century. Today, the UK sports betting industry continues to thrive thanks to progressive regulations that embrace both traditional bookmakers and innovative online platforms. Football remains the most popular sport for punters to wager on, but tennis, cricket, and horse racing also draw substantial betting interest.

Policy developments like the Gambling Act of 2005 and the 2014 Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act have further legitimized sports gambling while introducing common-sense consumer protections. With hundreds of licensed online sportsbooks now operating in the country, British bettors enjoy unparalleled choice and ease of access.


Wagering on sporting events is an integral part of Australian culture. With relaxed regulations, Aussies have numerous legal options for placing bets online or via mobile apps. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 legalized online betting but banned providers from advertising real money services directly to residents. This targets operators rather than individual bettors.

Currently, live in-play betting is prohibited everywhere in Australia despite lawmakers’ efforts to lift the ban. Still, with open online access and innovative bookmakers, sports gambling continues growing in popularity across the country. The evolving legal landscape ensures enthusiastic Aussie punters will keep having plenty of ways to put their money on the line.


Sports betting has undergone major changes in Canada over the past few years. In 2021, the federal government legalized single-event sports betting, allowing each province to regulate it how they see fit. Most provinces now offer some form of online and in-person betting through their provincial lottery corporations.

While regulated options are now widely available across Canada, offshore sites continue to take in significant revenue as they provide a more robust betting experience. The expansion of Canada’s sports betting industry is still in its early stages as provinces determine how to best regulate it.


Lastly, sports betting has emerged as a popular yet unregulated industry in Brazil over the past few years. Although a 2018 law opened the door to legal betting, the government has been slow to establish a framework. Currently, dozens of online sportsbooks operate in a gray area, accepting bets from Brazilians without oversight or taxation. Football is by far the most popular sport for wagering, with the Brazilian national team and top domestic clubs drawing huge interest.

Many nations are taking advantage of changing attitudes and technology to legalize and regulate online sports betting. Doing so allows them to drive out the unregulated offshore market, gain tax revenue, and implement responsible gambling protections. As technology continues improving and cultural opposition declines, expect more countries to legalize and regulate online sportsbooks in the years ahead.

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Author: James

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