There’s a lot of buzz these days about laws pertaining to online gambling. Regions, countries, states and municipalities each have their own ideas as to what kind of gambling should be permitted within their boundaries. To those outside the US, it may seem odd that each state may determine regulations. In the UK, there’s presently legislation that will require foreign remote casinos to pay taxes on their UK players. Norway seems to want everyone out who isn’t directly involved in their government. Switzerland, Japan, Singapore and India have all made headlines recently for their changing laws or odd regulations. It’s enough to make it seem like we’re all still living in the dark ages. For kicks, here are a few curious rules regarding gambling that are either presently on the books or have been in the past. North America It should be no surprise that since the US still has no cohesive gaming laws, individual states have come up with some pretty weird laws of their own. The State of Maine once added a law to their books that stated anyone who won in excess of three dollars, or won goods of the same value, would have to forfeit double their winnings to the town in which the offence was committed. It’s rumored that New Hampshire once had a law that said a person couldn’t sell the clothes they were wearing to pay off a bet. They also fined people who lost money, as if losing wasn’t a big enough insult. Another oddity comes from Arizona. Like the New Hampshire law, the City of Globe can’t confirm this one was on the books, but it’s rumored that it was once illegal to play cards in the street with a Native American. In the US, Native American lands are sovereign nations, however, they must get approval for gambling establishments. One of the first tribes that attempted to open an online casino was given the green light, provided they didn’t allow players from within their home state to join, unless the person was on tribal land. Alabama didn’t seem to care which part of the state gamblers were in, provided they didn’t place a bet, or play any game, on a Sunday. Louisiana frowns upon gambling, unless, however, patrons do it upon a river boat. Iowa seems to approve of the riverboat concept, too, but gamblers can’t wager more than five dollars at a time. Arkansas takes gambling a bit farther and restricts the number of free games a pinball machine can give out. They kindly made exceptions for establishments that cater to children, as the prizes awarded are of little value. One final noteworthy and oddball American law comes from Bensalem, Pennsylvania. City statutes expressly declare that felons are not permitted to operate bingo games. Europe As the story goes, Princess Caroline of Monaco worked hard to encourage the country’s struggling economy. For this reason, she was the driving force behind the remodel and increased popularity of the famed Monte Carlo Casino. However, to ensure Monaco’s residents remain free of debt, they are not permitted to set foot inside the casino or gamble at all. Greece also has an interesting ban on the books. In an effort to outlaw online gambling in internet cafes, they made all electronic games illegal. There has been at least one reported case of a citizen being jailed for playing a traditional electronic game, but the government tends to not enforce it unless it pertains to gambling. On the other hand, Portugal allows online gaming, but doesn’t allow operators to advertise within the country’s borders. Remote casinos must resort to crafty methods in order to make prospective members aware of their existence. Asia In China, very little gambling is permitted. Citizens are generally only allowed to partake if the game is government-sanctioned. Macau managed to gain an exemption from the law and began generating revenue seven-times greater than Las Vegas. In Japan, there are no exemptions, but residents found a loophole. Rather than slots paying out cash, they deliver tokens. Winners may then exchange their tokens for prizes and then trade their prizes for cash. Taiwan didn’t leave their citizens this kind of wiggle room. Instead, they banned gambling altogether. They later relaxed the law a bit and now permit it on the islands. Although weird gambling laws can be found around the world, it seems the US holds more than any other part of the world. As global gaming regulations rapidly adapt, perhaps America, and the rest of the global community, will drop some of these obscure guidelines. On the other hand, many of the European ones are relatively new, and were created to squelch internet gambling. One thing is for sure though, no matter how many crazy laws governments establish, gaming is a favorite pastime around the world. As such, people will always find a way to do it.