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The Main Lottery Rules & Regulations By Country

Although online lottery sites have a very comprehensive offer of lotteries and accept players from several nations, each country has its lottery rules and regulations. As a result, you might have some advantages and opportunities that the law in another country does not allow, and vice-versa.

More importantly, you need to know the lottery rules and regulations of your country as well as those of the country of origin of the lottery that you are playing. That is what we are going to explore in this guide.

Why Is It Important to Know the Lottery Rules and Regulations?

Playing a game without knowing the rules is already far from ideal, even when there is no money involved. That is why it makes sense to know the lottery rules and regulations in your country, as it makes you familiar with taxes, limits, obligations, and rights.

On the other hand, thanks to the websites with online lotteries, you can have access to lotteries that are far away, maybe on the other side of the globe. When you play those games, you become subject to the lottery rules and regulations of that country as well. Therefore, you must know what applies in your case.

Fortunately, there is not much to know about the lottery rules and regulations of any country. As long as you are above the minimum gambling age, which is often 18, and know that taxes may be applied, you have 95% of the relevant information.

The Main Lottery Rules & Regulations Around the World

It is not possible to cover the lottery rules and regulations by country from all the nations in the world without a tiresome book. However, some countries have most of the players or the most popular lotteries to play online, and that can already help 99% of the readers. Therefore, I focused on those countries.

The Main Differences Between Lottery Rules in the US and Europe

Aside from the currency, there are important differences between the rules applied by lotteries in the EU and in the US. Among the most important of them, there are huge federal and state taxes applied to lottery winnings in the US, including when you play through lottery betting sites – artificially applied. When we consider the EU, most of the countries have little to no taxes.

On the other hand, European lotteries that go across the borders of many countries tend to have rollover caps for the jackpot, like Euromillions and Eurojackpot. We do not see that in relevant US games like Powerball and Mega Millions, both with records that go beyond $1 billion jackpots.

Also, while each European country will have different lottery rules and regulations, there are states within the United States that differ a lot in terms of taxes, minimum age, and other parameters. While that difference is not important for those abroad playing games from the US, it matters for US residents.

The Rules for Lotteries in the UK

According to the Gambling Commission in the UK, it is considerably easy to run a lottery, and that is why there are so many options in the United Kingdom. Aside from the National Lottery, you can find charitable lotteries with varied rules, including those created solely for child support.

The most important alteration in the lottery rules in the UK was the raise of the minimum gambling age to 18. Considering the higher risk for problem gambling during teen years, it was a smart choice to raise it from the previous age of 16. Believe it or not, there are stories of really young lottery winners in the UK.

Lottery Rules and Regulations in India

India is one of the most complex countries when it comes to the lottery. Each state is able to determine its own lottery rules and regulations, as long as they follow the federal Regulation Act of 1998. As a result, 13 of the 28 Indian states offer state lotteries with low prices and small prizes as well, while the rest forbids it.

Among those that forbade lotteries, only a couple do not allow lotteries online. The rest of them have outdated legislation and, as a result, do not ban online lotteries. That way, Indians can play lotteries from all around the world. That makes them subject to the rules and regulations of those other lotteries, plus the local Indian lottery taxes.

The Rules for Lotteries in Latin America

In Latin America, lotteries follow the idea of being another source of income for the government. Mostly, the countries are still figuring out how to offer the best possible lottery programs, and it is not rare to see alterations in the rules and laws.

You will not find rules that are much different from what we see in other countries, but lottery sites have great interest in the public from Latin America. As a result, there are many promotions for players there, and that makes them subject to the regulations from other countries that we have already seen above.

Countries Where Lotteries are Illegal

There are two possibilities when we say that the lottery is illegal in a country. It may be completely forbidden and result in serious problems if you are caught playing lotteries from another country, or you are only not able to play any lotteries provided within the country. That is when the lottery sites come in handy.

Let’s check some countries where lotteries are considered illegal and where you most probably cannot access the websites that we recommend here:

  • Afghanistan – The lottery is forbidden according to Islamic law, and it has been so since the independence of the country back in 1919.
  • Iran – All forms of gambling, lottery included, are forbidden and punished in the country.
  • North Korea – This one takes nobody by surprise due to the really restrictive regime of the country.
  • Somalia – As a result of Islamic law, the lottery is not allowed in Somalia.
  • Sudan – The lottery is not allowed within the country, not even the online lottery websites.

It is possible to verify that the lottery is completely prohibited in countries where there is a very strict regime or when religion plays a major role in the government. In most cases, the country may prohibit other forms of lotteries, like private ones and online lotteries, but still offer at least one variety of lottery controlled by the government.

After all, when there is not a strong limitation like a religious law, the lottery is an efficient revenue source for the government.

Online Lottery: An Exception in Lottery Rules and Regulations

Where lotteries are strictly controlled, there is still room for online lottery sites and dozens of great games coming from several different countries. That is possible because the law tends to mention that activity when carried out from within the territory of that country. Fortunately for the local players fond of online lotteries, the operators are usually headquartered elsewhere.

Again, it is important to consider the lottery rules and regulations of your country because there are cases where even players can be prosecuted. Some examples of countries where online lotteries are illegal, but the law does not apply to foreign sites are India, Brazil, South Africa, and the Philippines.


Most of the lottery rules and regulations refer to prize limits, ticket prices, and the prevention of bad practices by unauthorized sellers, for example. For us players, it is all about knowing if that country allows us to play, how to play via an online lottery site, and how much will be deducted by lottery taxes.

Therefore, the knowledge here might not even impact your experience much, and that is a great relief. Just keep hoping that your country never gets included among the restricted ones on the best lottery sites, and you will be able to keep playing.


Do the Lottery Rules and Regulations of My Country Apply to Online Lotteries?
Of course. When your country allows you to play online lotteries, even if by a loophole in the law, you still need to consider taxes and what will be deducted by your government.
What Should I Look for in the Lottery Rules and Regulations?
Mostly, you need to know the minimum gambling age and how taxes and limits can be applied to someone in your country and in the country of origin of the lottery.
Which Lottery Regulation Applies When Playing a Lottery From Another Country?
The lottery regulation of the lottery game’s origin country applies, but the taxes of your country apply as well.



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