The First and the Last Countries to Legalize Online Betting

The First and the Last Countries to Legalize Online Betting

The online betting industry is a vast empire with tremendous economic opportunity, totalling over 150 billion USD every year. While some countries have just started to authorize it, others have legalized online betting years ago. Nowadays, more and more nations are beginning to leverage the potential of this lucrative market. 

In the following guide, we explore some of the places where online betting is legal and has made its marks, both historically and recently. Get ready for a world tour!


Betting originated in China some 3,000 years ago. Today, however, censorship and government regulations put pressure on e-betting sites. It’s still a major market, where there are always ways for players to place bets and make money. Sports betting is notably a big thing in Hong Kong and Macau. It should be noted that the government made it legal to bet on foreign league sports, such as NBA matches and soccer championships, in the form of lotteries.

United Kingdom

The UK is recognized as the international hub for bookmakers. It was one of the first countries to legalize online betting and gambling, attracting players from all over the world. According to the experts at, betting in the United Kingdom may even exempt you from paying taxes. All in all, this favored European and international destination is a paradise for betters and gamblers! If you’re headed there, be sure to look for an online resource to gather more information.


Swedes have it pretty good. The state holds a monopoly on online betting, gambling, and casinos, making all operations completely legal, as it has been for over a decade now. The Swedish market is also a fertile ground for foreign operators and bookmakers who can freely and legally establish themselves and offer their services. Much like in the United Kingdom, Sweden doesn’t tax betting and gamblings earnings, except for when websites are based outside the European Union.


Despite outdated legislation, there doesn’t appear to be any restrictions on online betting in Mexico. Players can freely access local and overseas betting sites, with many peso-friendly platforms. In fact, Mexico is one of the most growing markets for online bets in all of Latin America today. As with most countries around the world, players must be 18 or older to legally partake in online betting and gambling.

South Africa

Last but not least, South Africa deserves an honourable mention. As the fastest growing e-betting market on the continent, South Africa has an exemplary legislation that fully regulates betting and gambling activities. Licenses are delivered by appointed provincial bodies, also offering foreign operators a chance to establish themselves in the country.

All in all, given its growing popularity, there is no shortage of places who’ve legalized online betting and gambling. With the ongoing pandemic, enforced lockdowns, and economic repercussions, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if countries began to legislate and adopt new legal frameworks. In the meantime, you can conduct research to find out about your local laws and regulations and find websites where betting is authorized. Happy playing!

By Matchedbets Experts


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