Western and Asian cultures differ in many things, it’s a well-known fact. However, what is the situation when it comes to gambling? Is there a single approach in Western countries that differs from that of Asian ones? Actually, both yes and no.
As each country has the power to implement its own legislation in terms of betting, the laws around the world vary and we have both Western and Asian countries that have banned gambling altogether and those that have legalized it and created gambling meccas like Monaco, Las Vegas, and Macao.
With that in mind, let’s go through some of the legislation present in certain Western and Asian countries.
Gambling in the United States depends on the state. In 2018, a ruling of the Supreme Court made it possible for each state to draft and pass its own legislation in terms of gambling. Only two states – Utah and Hawaii – have banned gambling altogether while the other 48 allow at least some sort of gambling on their territory. From state-run lotteries and charitable gambling to sports betting and online gambling, states provide residents with various options to put some money on the line, so, when it comes to the US, it’s important to research each state specifically. The United States is home to big names like Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
When it comes to the United Kingdom, gambling is legal for both residents and visitors. The Gambling Act of 2005 states that there are six main forms of gambling: arcades, betting, bingo, casino, lotteries, and gaming machines. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is in charge of overseeing all gambling and licensing operators. The minimum legal age for gambling is 18 for both online and brick-and-mortar betting.
As one of the largest online gambling jurisdictions, Malta is also a country where both online and land-based gambling is legal. While countries like Finland have a state monopoly over gambling, gambling operations in Malta aren’t owned or operated by the government, with the exception of the National Lottery.
Since the days of the Roman Empire, gambling has been a legal practice in Italy. Moreover, even sports betting and lotteries are available. In order to operate, a provider of these activities has to obtain a license from the state. Italy offers both online gambling and land-based venues where players can enjoy various casino games and bet on sports.
France is another European country where gambling is legalized. Two state-owned operators are responsible for the gambling industry of this country: Française des Jeux (FDJ) handles betting games and lotteries while PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain) deals with horse racing. Online gambling was also legalized in 2010, just before the World Cup. Players must be at least 18 to take part in these games.
Spain’s reputation for being a laid-back country is further demonstrated by its attitude to gambling. Sports betting has been legal both online and in licensed betting outlets since 2006, while casinos are also available. However, it should be noted that the regulations are quite tight, which somewhat limits the number of online casinos players have at their disposal.
Moving onto Asian countries, we should first talk about China. Although the gambling practice is officially illegal in the country, there are a few exceptions. For one, two state-run lotteries allow residents to try their luck. Moreover, gambling is also permitted in the two special administrative regions – Macau and Hong Kong. Macau is known as the Las Vegas of Asia with its 41 casinos while casino gambling in Hong Kong is limited to cruise ships outside the island’s territorial waters and all betting is controlled by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Anyone interested to find out more or interested in finding where to gamble while in China can learn more about this topic in a local Chinese gambling guide created by CasinoTopsOnline.com.
In South Korea, the stance toward gambling is simple – it’s illegal unless it’s expressly permitted. That means that anyone caught gambling or betting illegally can be fined or sentenced to prison. Online gambling is completely banned and websites that target residents get blacklisted. On the other hand, there are land-based venues that are only open to foreign nationals. The only other types of gambling permitted are the lottery, betting on bullfighting, and horse racing.
Thailand is known for its strict gambling laws. While there are countries like Singapore and the Philippines that are a bit more relaxed with their gambling laws, Thailand only allows the government-sponsored lottery and betting on horse racing. Still, illegal casinos and betting on football are quite popular in the country.
When it comes to Taiwan, gambling is a criminal offense – only state-run lotteries are permitted in Taiwan. That means that both online and brick-and-mortar establishments are not allowed on the main island. While offshore island venues were legalized in 2009, none have opened due to poor support. The authorities are harsh with their punishments and fined an unlicensed gambling ring with $41.7 million in May 2021. Only state-run lotteries are permitted in Taiwan.
While each country has its own laws, it’s easy to see that the Western approach is more open to the practice of gambling and capitalizing on it when compared to its Asian counterpart. However, gambling in Asia is not completely banned if you know where to look.