loader search icon
Popular pages
Our top casino picks for United States of America 🏆

Where in the world gambling is illegal and will remain this way? Facts and predications

news thumbnail image

Online gambling's popularity is growing, but it remains illegal in some regions. Here are the countries where gambling remains forbidden.

The online casino industry is growing at a rapid pace with more players across the globe exploring this form of entertainment. Around the world, more countries are changing legislation to allow for regulated iGaming markets.

Despite the growing acceptance of iGaming, there are many countries where gambling has no hope of legalisation in the near future.

Countries where gambling is illegal

In many countries, gambling both online and in land-based casinos is still illegal. This is despite the growing popularity of this entertainment industry.

UAE and Turkey

In most Islamic countries, gambling of any kind is strictly prohibited. There are many that turn a blind eye or with grey areas in the regulations which enable users to still gain access. Regions such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey are stricter. Players are prosecuted for any gambling participation and can serve up to two years in jail.


In Cambodia, gambling addiction is an issue that has been around since the arrival of gaming. As such the activity is banned from the region. There is government-sponsored gaming which includes 5 separately run private lotteries. The 1996 Suppression of Gambling Act applies to local but not foreign activity. Thus, many foreign-operated casinos cater to residents.


Another region where gambling is strictly illegal is Qatar. Here all forms of gambling activity are illegal including sports betting. This has led to an increase in illegal gaming activity. For anyone participating in illegal gaming activity, there are heavy repercussions.

North Korea

North Korea is one of the areas where online and offline gambling is prohibited for citizens. However, tourists are able to take part in gaming activities as long as they are on guided tours. At this time, there is very little access to gaming with only one casino in the country.

More regions where gaming is illegal

At this stage, there are nearly 15 countries where gambling is illegal, and participants can face prosecution if they get caught.

More regions include Singapore, Brunei, Cyprus, Algeria, and Pakistan. Each of these countries has its own reasons for prohibiting the activity whether it is religious, social beliefs, or concern regarding user safety.

Will gaming become legal in these regions?

The belief is that many of these countries will make the transition towards having licensed online casinos in the future. The main reason behind the legalisation would be to increase the general revenue for the region.

Unfortunately, access to online gambling entertainment is becoming easier. And if markets are not regulated then illegal gaming markets will arise where players can enjoy what they are currently being deprived of. With the legalisation of gambling, regions will have more control over the activities and provide the necessary measures to keep users safe.

Many regions where gaming has been illegal to this point such as China and Japan have recently started changing their views. Gambling interest is growing and by not regulating the markets there are certain dangers for users.

In the regions where gambling remains prohibited under heavy restrictions, it is unlikely that legalisation will take place in the near future. These stricter regions have years of laws and regulations combined with beliefs that work against the legalisation of gambling. In some of these regions, there are certain types of gaming that have become acceptable. In places such as China, citizens have the opportunity to gamble on lotteries. For any other gambling activities, they have to travel to neighbouring areas such as Macau where gaming is allowed.

In the United States, there is a lot of progress being made in favour of gambling activities. In the past few years, there have been many changes made to country legislation. The big change came only after the suspension of the restrictive federal laws that prevented such gaming activities. Now, more and more US countries are opening the doors to the gaming industry with sports betting being one of the biggest focus points for most countries changing their legislation.

For better or worse

The gaming industry is growing at a rapid pace and despite the efforts of many stricter regions, there is no stopping the curve. Instead, the focus should be on how to regulate the growing iGaming sector in a way that is secure for users.

With the interest in this industry growing by the day, so is the potential dangers that come with it. The regulations of iGaming can create a safer gaming space. This is why many of the legal regions are dedicating efforts to creating a better and more secure gaming environment. In regions where gaming is prohibited there is bound to be some form of illegal gaming. Which not just enables illegal gaming to thrive but also poses a risk to residents.

Regulating the gaming industry might not stop all possible dangers immediately but it’s a first step towards making an impact.

Related content

CasinoWow.com Cookies

We use 🍪 cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.



Be the first to get exclusive bonuses and WOW casino promotions! Get access to our new online casinos, top stories and special iGaming events for FREE.

Share this page across social platforms!