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04 October, 2016

To answer this question I will say first that the world is quite big and laws vary for each country. But this article will inform you on how to find legal places to gamble and if that's not an option how to find reputable brands to gamble at which have licenses in big Western European markets.
I will start with an example now and say that for somebody in France legal bamgling would mean playing on a web site with a license from ARJEL (gambling regulator) on a domain like casino.fr. In Spain it is .es and a license from the Spanish government.  
Not everywhere you can find a legal online gambling option. Unfortunately, often governments restrict gambling - which creates black markets and helps organized crime. When it is forbidden by law, often you can still gamble with reputable gambling operators who have licenses in other countries.
Bet365 for example for a while operated illegally in some jurisdictions and when the Internet Service Providers blocked their domain bet365.com they had mirror sites  set up such as bet365Italy.com etc and their customers could continue to bet. The same happened with sportingbet.com and some other web sites. This was illegal per se but you were still betting with a reputable bookmaker and was the best some people could get.
Famously even PokerStars - the world's biggest online poker room, operated illegally in the states for 5 years until April's Black Friday in 2011. They and fulltiltpoker had to pay a hefty fine and seize operating in the USA after that.
In general you should check the web site of your government/state and see what constitutes legal online gambling. Very often you may have state owned lottos, casinos or even poker sites. These monopolies exist to bring back revenue to the state and are not the best option for consumers. When you can avoid using a slot machine, poker room or lotto which is operated by your government. Often governments provide licenses to private companies to operate gambling in exchange for a fee and tax revenue. The lists of regulated online gambling operators can be usually also checked online with the government web site.

My personal suggestion is to see where you can play and rely on the name of the operator - playing on big brands which have a lot to lose if they mistreat their customers is the best protection there is. This is why on my web site I only recommend web sites which fall under one of these criteria:

  • they are part of a big brand and revenues in millions
  • often I recommend playing on casinos owned by big bookmakers - you may not like sports betting but the casino games offered are high class and pay out always
  • the companies I recommend are owned by huge private companies or shareholders
  • the brands I mention on the site are no newcomers - all have a history of 5+ years
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