I tried to google, but could not get a clear picture. It is illegal in India to Bet on sports like cricket and football.

Is it true that betting is not prohibited in USA or the European countries? I am not talking about a particluar sport, but sports in general.

Personally I believe betting may give rise to match-fixing and so I agree with the laws in India. So what does the law say elsewhere?

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    @Sancho Of course no, the OP just reflect his own state of mine, He personally believe the betting may give rise to match fixing and therefore he agree with putting sport betting illegal.
    – Dor Cohen
    Feb 7, 2013 at 21:50
  • One could argue that having betting illegal pushes it underground where 'anything goes' including bribing players or match officials if you can get away with it. Having an open, accountable industry, with audits etc makes that harder. Match fixing accusations are not unknown in the UK, but they are very very rare. Feb 8, 2013 at 15:03

3 Answers 3


In the UK we have various ways to gamble on sports - many bookmakers allow bets on horse racing, football, rugby, whether Christmas will have snow, whether a meteorite will fall out of the sky - in short, pretty much anything.

This is a very strongly regulated industry - with a range of checks to ensure gambling rings don't influence individual players or teams.


Sport betting in most of the world usually prohibited by law but each country or state has its own rules and regulations regarding betting and can choose to make it legal.

But this vast industry of sports betting has found ways to survive in an orderly way by some authorities.
The most familiar way is a government gambling authority. The main purpose of these government agencies is to allow citizens to gamble legally, this is because the profits are directed mostly for public service or state. For example, support the establishment of Sports Toto and Lotto (National Lottery) construction of public buildings (schools, libraries, etc.).

These legal sports betting usually has small chance of winning and this is the reason that many people prefer to bet with illicit bookmakers (known colloquially as "bookies") or sports online betting.

In the United States of America, it is illegal to operate a betting scheme, except in a few states. In many European nations, bookmaking (the profession of accepting sports wagers) is regulated but not criminalized.

Among the areas where gambling is legal are: Nevada(Las Vegas), Atlantic City, New Jersey or Tunica, Mississippi.

I agree with you that "betting may give rise to match-fixing" but I see this as a reason to make gambling legal and supervised because let's face it gambling will occur anyway.
It is better to address the money to the country and community needs rather than today when the money goes to the private people or worse to fund the terror, drugs and other illegal activities.

Sources 1 2

  • Does Europe follow the same view?
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 7, 2013 at 19:04
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    I do disagree with your final opinion, and believe it's akin to saying "cocaine use will happen anyways, we should make money off it". I think\hope we all agree there are wrong things, and we can't just allow them because they happen anyways or we could better use the money. Schools shouldn't invest in student essay mills and the judicial system shouldn't make it legal to lie in court just because people will do it anyways... That said, we really should both of us probably avoid the opinion parts of the answer better... and your answer was quite reasonable enough otherwise... +1 to you. Jul 10, 2016 at 7:32

It is legal in Ireland, there are bookmakers in most communities.

I don't know enough to comment about match fixing, but it appears to be tightly regulated. And while it occasionally happens, it is considered a major scandal, and anyone involved in the fix is often banned from the sport (I'm not sure if they face criminal charges - presumably the argument could be made that it's a form of fraud).

In any case, the damage caused by gambling addiction is generally considered more of a reason for the regulation of sports betting than match-fixing.

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