Is Online Lottery Legal?

How to find a legit site to play on

Most lotteries can be played online, but there are still a few that require the purchasing of tickets in person.

There is no difference between playing a lottery online or buying a ticket in a store, and when you play online, the same lottery game is played with the same rules and prizes. It is legal to buy online lottery tickets as long as the website has a license.

Is it legal to play the lottery online in the U.S.?

Even though you can access lottery sites, it may not be automatically possible to play due to basic lottery rules such as age and restrictions on location.

Depending on the lottery itself, age restrictions are usually from 16 to 21. Location is a more important factor in the U.S., with only a few states allowing residents to play online via official sites.

U.S. states where residents can play online:

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania

As well as needing to be a resident of one of the states listed above, online tickets can only be purchased within state borders.

If you are not from one of these U.S. states or if you would like to play the lottery from a different country, there are a couple of legal options for you.

Is it legal to buy lottery tickets online from other countries?

When you want to legally play lotteries from a foreign country, it will be necessary to use an official third-party lottery agent or betting site. Official lottery sites are usually for residents only.

Official lottery agents and betting sites are fully licensed to offer their services, enabling you to play foreign lotteries online and stay safe.

What is a lottery agent or lottery messenger?

One of the best known legit lottery agent sites is TheLoter, also known as an agent because another person buys an official lottery ticket on your behalf. A scanned ticket is then given to you as proof of purchase.

There are no additional fees on your winnings. You just pay a bit more for the service, but you have the official lottery ticket.

What is betting on the lottery?

Betting on the lottery is similar to betting on sports, but instead of choosing a football team to win, you bet on numbers as the outcome of a lottery. The more numbers you match, the bigger prize you can win. The user experience of betting on the lottery is the same as playing the official online lottery.

Minor winnings are covered by the operator and the jackpot is guaranteed by the respective insurance company. It is absolutely safe to play the lottery this way. Lottoland is one of the best companies for ensuring that your money is kept safe.

Before you deposit any money, make sure that the company accepts players from the country in which you have a place of residence.

Sometimes you can simply register and play, but if you win, you will need to provide proof of residence from another country. Read the respective terms and conditions, or contact support via online chat before depositing any money.

TIP: Use the following text: "Hello, I am a player with a place of residence in (your country). I would like to know if you accept players from this country. Can I register, deposit money, play, win and also withdraw my winnings?" If the answer is yes, take a screenshot of the chat and save it.

How do I know if the online lottery site is legit?

Online lottery scams are very common and you therefore need to be careful about where you play. We have put together five steps that can help you identify such scams.

1. SSL certificate

Every site needs to have a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate so that the connection between the device and the site is encrypted.

Search for a padlock icon in the address bar in your browser. The icon may differ depending on your browser, but a URL starting with HTTPS is a good sign of a secure connection.

2. Gaming License

Every legit lottery site operates under a gaming license. This information is usually in the footer of a page or in the terms and conditions. The most common licenses are

  • UKGC: The United Kingdom Gambling Commission
  • MGA: The Malta Gaming Authority
  • The Curaçao e–Gaming Licensing Authority
  • The Gibraltar Gambling License
  • SGA: The Swedish Gambling Authority
  • NELO: The Irish National Excise Licence Office
  • The Cyprus Gaming Commission

Pay close attention to the company name on the issued license. It needs to exactly match the company operating the site that is written in the terms and conditions.

3. Company details

Company details are always at the beginning of the terms and conditions. Use Google to search for any open disputes or bad reputations.

A good factor to check for is the age of the company. Choose companies with longer historical records and verifications.

4. Contact Support

A contact form with no phone numbers or live chat options is not sufficient. The more ways of contacting the company, the better.

Try to contact the support department with a simple question about registration, payments or confirmation of what type of players they accept. A long response time or an overly brief reply should make you suspicious.

5. Search for complaints, not reviews

If you are still not convinced after having followed the first four steps, we advise you not to play.

A further tip is to Google the company for any site-based complaints. People on gaming forums are more likely to share bad experiences.

Top 10 lotteries that you can play online from any country:

Legit online lottery sites by country

We have carried out extensive research to find the best legit online lottery sites, so that you can safely play the world’s biggest jackpots.

We have picked our top three favourite sites for each country listed below. If your country is not on the list, check which online lottery sites are available for you.

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Canada

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Canada can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Brazil

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Brazil can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from India

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from India can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Argentina

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Argentina can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Mexico

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Mexico can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Indonesia

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Indonesia can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from South Africa

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from South Africa can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Colombia

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Colombia can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Chile

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Chile can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

The best legal online lottery sites to play from Peru

Here are the top 3 online lottery from which residents from Peru can play U.S. and all other lotteries from around the world:

How can I be sure to get paid If I win?

By playing lotteries through legit licensed companies, all your winnings and jackpots are covered by insurance. Smaller winnings will be covered by the company.

Failing to pay out just one winner could cost the company its license, which could also mean the end of the company. Playing on lottery sites with longer histories minimizes the chances of not getting paid.

Do I pay taxes if I win a lottery?

Taxes on lottery winnings depend on the lottery itself and your place of residence. Each country has its own taxes, but tax-free countries exist as well. There are two scenarios that could occur.

Home country lottery winnings

Lottery winnings in your home country will be subject to local taxes, unless you come from a tax-free country such as:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • South Africa
  • The United Kingdom

Lottery winnings in other countries

Lotteries won in other countries are subject to the taxes of that country, in addition to your home country.

In the United States, there is 24% federal tax applied to US Powerball or Mega Millions. State tax is an additional tax for US residents. This is charged in the state where tickets are purchased.

Do you have any questions or doubts about a particular lottery site? Is it legit, or do you think it could be a scam?

Send the details to us and we will carry out an independent audit and a full review.