Islamic Countries And Their Gambling Laws In The Middle East

Gambling Laws

The quick path to the success of online gambling sites seems to have been accelerated by the recent pandemic. People stuck at home tend to look on the internet more often to find free-time activities to fill in their every day. Online casino games emerged as one of the most appreciated forms of entertainment almost everywhere in the world. When you can’t go to a physical casino venue, you can always look for an online site and enjoy your favorite games from where you are.

Legal Facts About Gambling in the Middle East

Gambling is not always legal, and even where it is legalized, it is often heavily regulated. These regulations vary according to the local government and from region to region. So if you want to experience the pleasure of a thrilling American roulette game online, you should check your country’s gambling laws to make sure that you won’t incur a penalty. Islam’s take on Gambling is a significant factor in the legal frameworks available in all the countries in the Middle East region. The staff members of 7alal Casino are aware of the role and importance of Islamic laws and they  work to create an environment that is culturally and legally compliant for their online gamblers.

Arabic speaking countries are almost all dominated by Islamic laws. These laws consider all forms of gambling illegal, but you can find some countries that have moderate gambling laws in the Middle East. In these places the population can choose to play casino games or not. Egypt is one of the more tolerant countries in the region with a number of land-based casinos, most of which are for visiting tourists and don’t cater to locals. Close by, you can find the region’s largest casino in Lebanon. That casino is one of the most attractive places for tourists and locals. Other Arab countries where you can find land-based casinos are Tunisia, the UAE, and Morocco.

Can Arabs Bypass the Islamic Laws

What about Arab countries where gambling is strictly banned? It seems that Qatar and Jordan, where Islamic gambling laws are particularly severe, have several illegal gambling facilities in the largest cities. Also, those facilities seem to attract both tourists and locals. We should mention that many Arabs travel to Egypt or Europe’s biggest cities, where they can gamble in casinos legally.

Although gambling is punished by Islamic laws, many Arabs attempt to bypass the legal aspects of land-based gambling by playing on online casino sites. That is why the online gambling industry has been rapidly growing in the Middle East in recent years. Not being able to reach a physical facility, many Arabs turn their attention to online casinos.  These sites provide their gamblers with high-level online security and respect for their privacy. Moreover, Arab gamblers can always decide to use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect their privacy, IP address, and information on their internet activity.

Islamic Laws and Gambling by Country

Gambling laws vary from country to country, but except for a few of them, it is rare to find gambling options in the region. It’s a form of entertainment that is typically considered to be for tourists. Algeria, for example, has strict Sharia-compliant laws that ban all forms of gambling. However, there’s no evidence of local gamblers being prosecuted for playing on online sites.

The F1 Bahrain Grand Prix attracts millions of visitors every year. This despite the fact that the country has strict restrictions on all forms of gambling. It is not too far-fetched to think that illegal betting happens, at least at the Grand Prix event. But the laws are very severe, including imprisonment for being caught gambling in a public place. Similarly, Iraq’s laws make it appear to be a country that is totally against gambilng. However, a closer look reveals that authorities turn a blind eye to gamblers and especially online gamblers. Iran, appears to be the opposite with harsh laws and strict enforcement.

In Saudi Arabia the monarchy pursues strict Islamic laws but there are exceptions to a total ban on gambling. It seems the royal family enjoys its horse racing and has created an exception to the anti-gambling laws. Two horse racing tracks in Riyadh and Taif allow limited and heavily regulated betting on the races.

Non-Islamic Middle Eastern Countries

Cyprus, being a non-Islamic country, deserves a Golden Palm for its gambling-friendly laws. The Betting Law of 2012 covers all forms of gambling and sets out regulation for operations. Since the law, more than 35 facilities have opened in the country. It is even becoming something of a destination for tourists interested in both beaches and casinos.

Democratic laws and freedom of speech in Israel provide locals with two forms of legal gambling: the National Lottery and sports betting. Israelis can also play casino games on certain cruise ships or casino websites. There used to be land based casinos in the southern area of Israel in the city of Eilat, but they were closed in the 1990’s. There are constant rumors of a reopening, but at the moment it is just talk.


Not all Middle Eastern countries have the same gambling laws. It is a diverse region with many different cultures. Even countries dominated by Islamic law aren’t uniform in their laws. Despite the cultural taboos in the Islamic world, the middle east is a growing hub of the casino industry. While much of this growth is online, it still begs the question of how long the laws will remain as they are in the region. Since laws may change over time, there’s hope for a future opening towards the casino industry, a profitable market with a high-speed expansion in the region.