Arabic Gambling Laws by Country
The laws surrounding gambling in our region can vary greatly from state to state, and it is essential to know exactly where you stand in your particular country with regard to betting with local ‘underground’ bookmakers and with online sportsbooks and casinos.
We take legality and safety very seriously on this website, and our reviewers have painstakingly compiled detailed accounts of the laws, the potential punishments and the limited gambling options available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, and UAE. Before you start to use an online bookmaker or casino for leisure we thoroughly recommend reading the relevant review for your country to ensure you are using all available means to protect yourself against prosecution and to ensure your safety is guaranteed when you play online.
Although our site is dedicated to the online gambling scene, there are a few legal methods of betting across the region, and of course, there are local operators running books on sporting events and illegal gambling houses who will gladly take your money.
Gambling is illegal in most forms across the region but there are some notable exceptions, such as those in Saudi Arabian horse racing venues. SR5 coupons are tied to admission prices, and visitors are entitled to place their coupon in a bin against the horse they predict will win a race, from which a winner is drawn to receive a cash prize. This is one of the very few types of gambling which is tolerated though, and most other forms of betting are prohibited.
We cannot stress highly enough how important it is to avoid local underground bookmakers; although these may seem secretive enough to avoid the authorities, odds are generally very poor and these unscrupulous operators are completely unregulated – therefore there is no guarantee you will ever see any winnings.
It is much more advantageous to use overseas bookmakers and casinos, which are entirely legal and heavily regulated in their relevant jurisdiction. These huge operators are bound by customer service and ethics codes to provide a reputable, quality service to customers as a legal business concern, and many accept players from our countries even if local laws prohibit their use. Internet Security
One of the main problems with using online betting sites is that they are often blocked by Internet Service Providers under law, and your internet activity can also be recorded and viewed by the relevant authorities.
The simple way to avoid both aspects is to route your internet connection through a VPN to avoid restrictions and browse in secrecy. A VPN routes your internet connection to another country so it appears that you are accessing the internet from that area. Your ISP will be able to see that you are using a VPN (which is perfectly legal), but they will not be able to see which sites you visit when using it. VPN’s are very easy to use, require practically no technical expertise, and there are plenty available. Check the guide to your country to find the best way of accessing a VPN.
With gambling being illegal in most states, it can be difficult to transfer money to and from an online bookies or casino directly from your bank account. Banks in some countries may be restricted in supporting betting transactions, while most online sites do not accept our local currencies for payments.
The simple answer is to use an online e-wallet or payment provider such as Neteller, Paysafecard or Webmoney. You can top up these online wallets from your bank account, and then use them to deposit to your online betting account. There is no trace from your bank that the funds were used for gambling, and you can also overcome the currency issue by opening betting accounts in US dollars and betting accordingly.
You can find out much more about how to do this and the services we recommend in our detailed country guides to betting in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and UAE.