Is Online Greyhound Betting Legal?

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Online greyhound betting legality largely depends on the jurisdiction in which you reside, as well as the specific regulations surrounding gambling in that area. In some countries and states, online greyhound betting is entirely legal, while in others, it may be strictly prohibited or fall within a legal gray area. This article delves into some of the factors that determine the legality of online greyhound betting, focusing on the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia as examples.

United States

In the United States, the legality of online greyhound betting can be hard to navigate due to the varying regulations enacted on both a federal and state level. The following key legislation and regulations affect online greyhound betting in the United States:

Federal Legislation

  • The Interstate Wire Act of 1961
  • The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006
  • The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992

State Legislation

  • Specific gambling regulations by individual states

In the US, the Interstate Wire Act prohibits the operation of certain types of betting businesses. However, it does not explicitly prohibit betting on greyhound racing. The UIGEA does not directly outlaw online gambling either, but it does make it more challenging to process transactions related to online gambling.

When it comes to individual states, online greyhound betting is explicitly legal in some states, while in others, there may be no clear laws that either condone or prohibit it. Some of the states where online greyhound betting is legal include:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. Florida
  6. Idaho
  7. Illinois
  8. Iowa
  9. Kansas
  10. Louisiana
  11. Michigan
  12. Montana

It is essential to refer to your specific state’s gambling regulations to determine the legality of online greyhound betting.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, online greyhound betting is entirely legal and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC oversees all online gambling activity, including greyhound betting sites, ensuring that they comply with strict guidelines to guarantee fair play and protect players. Online greyhound betting operators must possess a valid license from the UKGC. United Kingdom residents are advised to bet on greyhound races only through sites that hold such licenses.


Online greyhound betting is also legal in Australia. However, the regulatory landscape varies across the different states and territories. Overarching legislation, such as the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001, regulates online gambling and betting at a federal level. State and territory-based greyhound racing governing bodies, such as Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) or Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW), set standards and enforce regulations for both online and offline betting in their respective jurisdictions.

In conclusion, while online greyhound betting is legal in some countries and states, it is imperative to research your local laws and regulations to ensure compliance. Be sure to only utilize licensed and reputable online greyhound betting platforms that adhere to the guidelines set forth by your jurisdiction.

Licensing and Regulation of Online Greyhound Betting Platforms

Online betting operators must adhere to certain regulations and standards to maintain their integrity and protect their users. In most jurisdictions where online greyhound betting is legal, the platforms offering these services must possess valid licenses issued by recognized regulatory bodies. For instance, in the UK, the UKGC licenses these platforms, while in various US states, local gaming and racing commissions grant permits.

Key Factors Regulated Include:

  • Fair-play standards
  • User age (most jurisdictions require users to be 18 or older)
  • Responsible gambling procedures
  • Tax compliance

Trends in Online Greyhound Betting Legality

Most jurisdictions have seen changing laws and regulations in recent years when it comes to online greyhound betting, reflecting societal and technological advances. These trends are significant to follow as they impact both the online betting industry and individual bettors.

Key Trends Include:

  • Increase in online betting due to technological advancements.
  • A growing number of states and countries regularizing online betting to generate revenue.
  • Stricter online gambling regulations to protect the rights of the consumer.

Legality of Greyhound Racing

It’s important to note the distinction between the legality of greyhound racing itself and betting on greyhound races. In several jurisdictions, greyhound racing is heavily regulated due to animal welfare considerations. For example, Florida in the US voted to phase out live greyhound races by 2021. Despite the phase-out of live races, online betting for races in other states remains legal.

Countries that Have Banned Greyhound Racing:

Country Year of Ban
Australia (in the Australian Capital Territory) 2017
New South Wales, Australia 2016 (repealed later the same year)
Florida, US 2021
United Kingdom (flapper tracks) 2021

This table reinforces the notion that while online greyhound betting might be legal, it is important to check the laws and regulations about greyhound racing itself in your jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the bettor to ensure not only the legality of the betting platform, but also the practice of greyhound racing before participating in online greyhound betting.

Variables Influencing the Legality of Online Greyhound Betting

Several variables can influence the legality of online greyhound betting, some of which extend beyond pure geographical location. Understanding these variables can help explain why online greyhound betting may be legal in some contexts but not others.

Key Variables Include:

  • The location and jurisdiction of the bettor.
  • The location and jurisdiction of the website operator.
  • The specific wording of the relevant legislation.
  • The enforcement of the relevant legislation.
  • The nature of the bet (for example, pari-mutuel betting vs. fixed-odds betting).
  • Public sentiment towards gambling and animal welfare.

Global Perspectives on Online Greyhound Betting

Countries around the world have varying perspectives on greyhound betting. Some countries may have national legislation that either allows or prohibits online greyhound betting, while others delegate this power to more local or regional governments.

Here are some global highlights:

  • Canada: Most forms of online betting, including greyhound betting, are legal. However, the specific laws and regulations can differ between provinces.
  • South Africa: While land-based gambling is well-regulated, online betting remains more of a gray area. The National Gambling Act of 2004 prohibited both offering and engaging in online gambling, but enforcement has been minimal.
  • New Zealand: Online gambling that originates within New Zealand is prohibited under the Gambling Act 2003, but residents can legally bet on greyhound races online via international platforms.
  • India: Gambling laws are complex and primarily regulated by state legislation. Some states, like Sikkim, allow online betting, while others prohibit most forms of gambling.

Responsible Gambling and Ethical Considerations

Regardless of the legality of online greyhound betting, it is essential to consider ethical aspects and promote responsible gambling.

Ethical and Responsible Gambling Considerations Include:

  • Not betting more money than one can afford to lose.
  • Not betting to recover losses.
  • Setting a limit for time and money spent on gambling.
  • Remembering that betting is a form of entertainment, not a way to make money.
  • Respecting animal rights and welfare in the greyhound racing industry.
  • Supporting reforms and improvements within the industry.

Understanding these factors can influence individual decisions about online greyhound betting and contribute to making the sector safer and more responsible.

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