International Sports Betting
We here at Safest Betting Sites believe that sports betting (and bookmaking) should be a legal activity for all adults to enjoy if they choose to do so. Freedom of choice, the ability to exercise one’s freedoms in any matter one may choose except when that act hurts another person guarantees human beings that right.
Betting sports falls directly under this category. Individuals who wish to wager their hard earned cash and understand the consequences of losing their bet, along with what is expected of the bookmakers if they win. This is the free market in its purest form.
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Sports betting is sometimes demonized as a form of gambling that is morally incorrect compared to casino gambling, poker, or lotteries. This is nonsense. There’s nothing immoral about betting on a sporting event.
Primarily, sports betting is a form of entertainment. While no one would bat an eye if a bunch of guys spent several hundred dollars to buy tickets to a football game, but if they got together for beers and pizza and bet a few hundred dollars on the game – some societies and governments would view these activities totally differently.
So, while we believe sports betting should be entirely legal around the world – that’s far from the reality. In fact, depending on what country or state you’re living in, the legal landscape for sports betting can vary wildly.
International Sports Betting Profiles
While we’re a US-focused site, we pride ourselves on covering the legality of sports betting in a number of regions. Our articles below will cover each jurisdiction or country extensively. We will go over legality, betting options, taxes on winnings and the ins and outs of each market.
- United States Sports Betting
- United Kingdom Sports Betting
- South Africa Sports Betting
- New Zealand Sports Betting
Legal and Regulated Markets
Many countries in Europe, most notably the United Kingdom have a fully regulated and legalize online betting industry. In these countries, citizens can wager on sports freely on the web without fear of breaking the law.
These countries also allow bookmakers to set up shop inside their jurisdictions, providing the government with tax revenue. Countries like the UK, which liberalized online sports betting early in its existence, have benefited from becoming early adopters.
Most importantly, however, is the security and legal recourse that citizens in these countries receive if something goes awry. Bettors can use the legal system to recover funds if they feel they have been wronged by an online bookmaker or have not been paid them their withdrawal requests.
Payment processing is also much easier in these jurisdictions. Since credit card companies, banks, e-wallets, and other payment processors have a legal climate to operate under, there are many more options for players in unregulated markets.
Unregulated markets is a term we will define as a country where companies host online sports betting sites and betting online for citizens is either not legal (a gray area) or criminalized in some form.
However, if a market is unregulated, it doesn’t mean it’s not a viable for sports betting.
A perfect example of this would be the United States, where online sports betting isn’t regulated, but there are still hundreds of online sportsbooks that service those residing in the US.
Also, unlike those in regulated markets, those betting in unregulated markets will have little recourse if they have a disagreement with a sportsbook operator.
We at Safest Sports Betting will offer help to players in these situations, but if a sportsbook chooses not to pay, there’s almost nothing that can be done.
Of course, if a sportsbook continually rips off players, it will be listed on rogue lists all over the internet, including our list of scam sportsbooks. This may cause a poor operator to go out business eventually and should help keep most bettors away from these bad guys.
Another issue in unregulated jurisdictions is issues with payment processors. It varies depending on the region, but as a general rule, deposit and withdrawal options will be much scarcer in unregulated markets.
If government laws are strictly enforced against online sports betting, there’s little reason banks or payment processors would risk operating in unregulated or illegal regions for sports betting.
Legal Questions in Unregulated Markets
Obviously, in a regulated and legal market, there are no issues with residents betting sports online. Unregulated markets are obviously a different story.
However, by and large, even if online sports betting is expressly illegal in certain countries or states – these laws are almost never enforced. Sites may be blocked via a firewall, but for the most part, governments aren’t tracking down online gamblers because it’s not worth their time or energy.
They may look to seize domains names of sportsbook sites or charge operators criminally if they can do so, but going after individual bettors is almost never a priority. Remember, just because online sports betting isn’t regulated in your region, it doesn’t mean that placing a bet online is a crime.
It may well be, but once again, there hasn’t been a country in the world that has decided crackdown by prosecuting individual online sports bettors.
In areas where sports betting is expressly illegal, those who want to bet are much better off using online bookmakers compared to illegal local bookies.