Countries That Allow You to Place Legal Wagers on Cricket

New Zealand v England in the ongoing ODI series in New Zealand
©Reuters
 

Cricket is an increasingly popular game for sports betting, with the arrival of the Twenty/20 form of the sport providing a wealth of new opportunities for bets.

 Of course, cricket has not always had the most straightforward relationship with gambling, high-profile players having been accused and - in some cases - convicted of match-fixing.

But with cricket being played around the world it means there is always a lot of choice for people who want to have a bet on a match. 

The growth of niche betting markets has also opened up a range of other possibilities to give fans more angles to use in which to get one over on the bookies. But sports betting is not legal all over the world, although in some cases where the practice is currently banned the rules are in the process of being relaxed.

Our guide will cover everything you need to know about where it is legal to bet on cricket.

Is cricket betting legal in major cricket-playing nations?

Australia is one of the biggest cricket-playing nations in the world and betting on sports is big business here as well.

Cricket Australia keeps a close eye on betting on cricket to ensure no rules are being broken, with the authorities always taking care to avoid more match-fixing scandals in the sport. It is easy to signup at Australian sports books and cricket is one of the most popular sports to bet on for individuals in the country.

According to the official 2010 Productivity Report of the Australian Government, the amount of money that was spent on online gaming by Australians in 2010 stood at $800 million by 2010. Although no specific data is available for how much of this was betting on cricket, it is clear that gambling is a large part of daily life for a lot of people living in Australia.  This is in contrast to Australia's neighbour and cricketing rival New Zealand, which has a very small legal sports betting market. This is due to the very different cultures of Australia and New Zealand.

The situation in India could hardly be different, where sports betting is illegal but has only been driven underground as a result of the activity being banned by the government. However, this could soon change as a report by Justice R M Lodha Committee - which was appointed by the Supreme Court - ruled in favour of legalising sports betting in India.

One of the major advantages of doing so would be that the practice could be taxed, raising vital funds for the state, while it would also enable there to be more control over what can be bet on.

Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to betting on cricket as they have the option of many of the world’s leading betting brands to choose from. The likes of bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill are all licensed in Australia.

Cricket betting in Europe

 Europe is one of the most welcoming locations for sports betting, with the activity legalised across much of the continent.

In the UK, where England play Australia for the Ashes in the best-known Test series the sport has to offer, the online sports betting industry is booming. 

The Great Britain gambling industry employs more than 100,000 people according to the latest data collected by the Gambling Commission, with the sector worth billions of pounds a year. 

Although it has been suggested sponsorship of sports teams by gambling companies ought to be restricted, it seems likely gambling on sports like cricket will continue growing in the UK.

Cricket fans in most of Europe have nothing to worry about if they want to have a bet on their favourites sport - unless they are in Poland, that is.

Polish gambling laws are some of the strictest in Europe, if not in the whole world. Some sports betting is allowed in Poland, but the sector is under much tighter control than in most of the countries around it in Europe, where the rules tend to be quite relaxed. 

Can you bet on cricket in the United States?

The situation regarding sports betting in the United States is very complicated and those who want to gamble on cricket have a lot of different rules to get their heads around.

Although the US is home to the most famous gambling mecca in the world - Las Vegas in Nevada - gambling is illegal across most of the country.

In fact, sports betting has only been legalised in a handful of states, which for outsiders seems like a very strange way to go about controlling the industry in the era of the internet.

Most people will find a way around the law if they really want to place a bet on a sport such as cricket, with punishments unlikely to be severe if they are caught, which is very unusual.

In essence, much of the United States turns a blind eye to illegal sports betting online, with only individuals who live in one of four states - Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana - allowed to bet on sports through the internet legally.

It seems likely that in the coming months and years, rules on sports betting will continue to be relaxed in the US, but for now the plan of banning it in some places and allowing betting in others does not appear to make a lot of sense.

Countries where sports betting online is illegal

Most of the world has legalised sports betting and there are only a few countries where the practice is still banned. Among these are places like North Korea and the United Arab Emirates, where it is not surprising to see gambling is not allowed.

Cricket betting continues to expand across all four corners of the globe, with the rise of T20 cricket bringing the sport to a lot of new markets.

Breathing new life into the sport can be credited to T20 and while it may mean Test cricket is being pushed to the fringes, it has ensured cricket has a future for a long time to come. And when people are watching sports, there are always going to be some who want to have a bet on the action to make the game a little bit more exciting.

Nations like the United States may be yet to catch up with the rest of the world in legalising sports betting. But change looks to be on the way in the US and the same is true in India.

When India eventually gets round to changing the law to legalise sports betting this could lead to an explosion of betting, with the country mad on cricket in particular.

The sport will need to be wary to ensure all this new gambling on cricket does not lead to fresh match-fixing cases, but on the whole it should be considered a good thing people are still very interested in the game.