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How gambling differs around the world



Online gambling is a global phenomenon. No matter where you go in the world, we expect to come across people playing on their computers, tablets and smartphones. This is on top of the thousands of land-based gambling resorts and casinos that are growing every year.



Sure, in some countries you'll be thrown in jail for daring to gamble, but if it's legal, casino gambling is still a favourite pastime of many adults. However, every country is different; the laws are different and the types of casino games vary from culture to culture. We look at how gambling varies from country to country.



Gambling in the USA



Of all the countries in the world, the USA has the most confusing gambling laws. This is because each state has a different law relating to land-based and online gambling. For example, online casino business is legal in only two US states. Online poker is legal in three states, while online sports betting is illegal at federal and state level.



The majority of gambling in the US relies on sports betting, poker and commercial or Indian casinos. Land-based gambling is legal in most states, including Nevada, home to Las Vegas, one of the largest gambling cities in the world. In the US, the most popular form of gambling comes from land-based slots. "A 2014 study showed that 48% of people preferred slots over all other forms of gambling. Next on the list was blackjack followed by poker and roulette.



This UK



Gambling laws in the UK are much more relaxed than in the US. Inside the UK, online casino gambling, poker and sports betting are legal. Land-based gambling, poker rooms and sports betting are legal. The UK has a different slots culture. A large 68% of players have chosen slots over any other casino game. Unlike in the US, roulette actually comes in as the second most popular casino game with all forms of card games sharing third place. In most cases, UK gambling preferences are similar to those of the US, with a greater focus on slots.



Australia



Australia has one of the highest gambling percentages in the world. All forms of live casino software and online gambling are fully legalised, with an estimated 80% of the population regularly participating in some form of gambling. Online gambling is very widespread. This may be due to the fact that players would have to travel long distances to find the nearest land-based casino. The Australian gambling community prefers slots (pokies), which dominate the online gambling scene. They also like sportsmen with regular horses and international sporting events.



France



In France, all forms of gambling are legal and strictly regulated. Land-based gambling can include poker, casino games, as well as sports betting and race betting. Online casino gambling is also legal where licensed operators offer the same options. High taxes and strict regulations make it difficult for gaming sites to stay in business. Land-based gambling is still very common. The French love classic casino games. This is not surprising, as it is really the home of roulette. This casino table game is the favourite at home, followed by other card and table games including blackjack, baccarat and poker.



New Zealand



New Zealand is another country where gambling is very common. Like their Australian neighbours, New Zealand gamblers gamble at land-based casinos and online. All casino gambling, sports betting and poker are legal on land and online. Not surprisingly, slots or pokies are the number 1 choice for players. The casino floor is dominated by both online and in-house gambling establishments. "Blackjack poker follows suit with sports betting and also occupies a huge portion of the gambling sector.



Macau



Macau is one of the easiest countries when it comes to gambling laws. There are legal casinos, sports betting and poker rooms in Macau. Online poker, casinos and sports betting are also legal in the country. Asian gamblers are different from those in Europe and the USA. Macanese casinos focus much more on card and table games compared to slots. In fact, some Macau casinos will put five slot machines in a dark corner.



The casino floor is dominated by large poker, roulette and Chinese slot games. With the new Chinese laws in place, Macau is losing a large part of its Asian players to more Western visitors. Thus, casinos started to move with the times and Western casino games in search of their own casino. Online gambling is also gaining in popularity, although it has a long way to go to match land-based gambling activities.


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