Global online betting regulations

Betting on sports and the various laws governing it depend on where you are in the world. To ensure that you know what you can and cannot do when it comes to online betting, here’s how it differs from country to country.

Where is sports betting legal around the world?

Scroll across to find out more about the sports betting laws in each country.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Australia?

Sports betting is legal in Australia, however, there is no single piece of legislation governing gambling activities in the country. Instead, it is regulated at both state and federal level.

There are a plenty of Australian-based betting companies licensed to operate retail shops and also accept online sports bets. Moreover, many of the biggest international sportsbooks are also licensed to operate down under.

The biggest restriction to be aware of is in-play betting, which is illegal to do online. It is possible to bet while an event is taking place, but it has to be done over the telephone or in person in a betting shop.

Sports betting odds: American, decimal and fractional

Betting odds are not the same all over the world. Depending on where you are, you will be presented with one of three different formats. It’s always worth reminding yourself that the probability they are expressing is the same – and that you can convert from one to another quite easily. You can compare all three formats using our free online odds calculator.

American odds

Also known as moneyline odds or US odds, it is always displayed using a bet total of $100. The odds for the favorite, which will have a minus sign (-) in front of them, show the amount you need to bet to win $100. The odds for the underdog, which will carry a plus sign (+), show how much you will win if you bet $100 on your choice.

If the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win, their odds might be -175, and you’ll have to bet $175 to win $100 – a total return of $275. Their opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, may be priced at +145, and you’ll have to bet $100 to win $145 – a total return of $245.

NBA Lebron James Lakers Knicks

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are used in many parts of the world, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The main thing to remember when you see decimal odds is that they include the stake that will be returned to you. This is not the case with American or fractional odds.

If you look at the market for a major European horse race and the favorite is priced at 3.50, that means if you stake $100 you will win $350. Decimal odds may look unfamiliar to you at first but it doesn’t take long to be comfortable with them.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are distinctly old-school and are used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The best way to understand them is to add the numbers either side of the dash together. Once you’ve done that, the number on the right of the slash is how often out of that total a certain event should happen.

If a competitor is 1/5, that means out of every six times the event occurs they should win five times – so they are a heavy favorite. Taken literally, this means, for every $5 you bet, you’ll get $1 in return. If they are 10/1, they should win once every 11 times – so there is less chance it will happen. Which means, for every $1 you bet, you’ll get $10 in return.

To calculate your winnings, divide your stake by the number on the right and multiply the result by the number on the left.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK Logo staff

Experienced journalists and sporting experts driven by helping bettors boost their gameday experience.

Global betting FAQs

Where is online sports betting legal?
Is offshore sports betting legal?
Are sports betting apps legal?
Which states have legalized sports betting?