THE United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world but they also have some of the toughest gambling laws imaginable, with most forms of wagering strictly outlawed. Having said this it is still possible to gamble with online offshore casinos for real money. The following casinos are some of the best for UAE customers.
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UAE online gambling
In short, no, it’s not really a possibility. Or, at least, a legal possibility. This may come as a bit of a surprise considering that the Dubai World Cup Night (providing the world’s richest thoroughbred race meeting) has over $20 million on offer across six contests. However, despite this, gambling in general is considered an illegal activity within the UAE. That being said, there are foreign-based online casinos that will accept players from the UAE, so there are possibilities for avid players to satisfy their gaming needs. Yet, there is still a certain amount of difficulty when it comes to accessing such sites.
Being an Islamic country, the Quran prohibits gambling due to the fact that it is seen as a source of addiction. In this respect, it works as an activity that would ensure people neglect their duties towards both society and the Creator. Furthermore, Islamic teachings state that material wealth is only something that can be obtained via hard work. Gambling is therefore not covered under these teachings. In this respect, there are strict anti-gambling laws in place within the UAE, and this relates to all forms of gambling – casino, sports betting, lotteries, poker etc. Not only that, but the country exists as one of the richest in the world today. This means that such laws against gambling can be very strictly enforced.
It’s generally the case that even if an online casino does accept players from the UAE, they won’t allow deposits or gameplay to take place in the national currency, the dirham. Therefore, making a deposit into such a platform would see the currency converted into something else – most likely, US dollars. Of course, another question is that if the UAE has such strict laws against citizens participating in online gambling, how is a deposit possible in the first place? In this respect, it’s generally not advisable to utilise some of the more common payment methods, such as cards – even if they are available. Here are some depositing methods that players from the UAE can use at foreign-based online gambling sites:
- Credit and Debit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
- eWallets: Neteller, Skrill
- Prepaid Cards: PaysafeCard, Entropay
- Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Altcoins
Online casino games
You can play 1000s of real money games on the internet from the United Arab Emirates despite the strict gambling laws in this country. These include your classic like blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Online slots are also highly popular and feature at every online casino we have come across. Read our handy guides for more information about specific games.
The overall status of gambling in the UAE is that the entire practice is illegal. This has been the case for many decades now, although in more recent years, it has become somewhat of a stricter code. In fact, so seriously does the country’s government take the prohibition on gambling, that anyone caught participating in gambling, running an establishment or advertising gambling either offline or online, can be sentenced to a term in prison and/or a monetary fine. This makes the UAE one of the world’s four countries where players are actively prosecuted for such actions.
Laws in other countries that ban gambling tend mainly to serve the operators with fines or other punishments. However, anyone caught participating in gambling in any shape, way or form in the UAE is also prosecuted. This is why it’s not considered to be a practical option to even try accessing online gambling sites from the country. Additionally, you won’t find any land-based casinos or sportsbooks for example, on the streets in parts of the UAE.
The illegality of gambling in the UAE spreads to the online world as well as the offline world, too. In 2012, the president of the country, Sheikh Khalifa issued a decree that is actually known at present as the most comprehensive cyber-crime law in the Arab world. This decree made regulations against gambling online even stricter than they were before.
Furthermore, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) also enforces an Internet Access Management policy. This clearly outlines all banned online content for Internet Service Providers. It includes the banning of internet tools used for bypassing blocked content, meaning that VPNs are not available to UAE citizens either. This further reduces the number of online casino and other gambling options that residents have the potential to access.
Yet, even with this being the case, only 12 online gambling sites were blocked in 2017, standing at a 0.24% portion of the number of total blocked websites. Most of the time, players from the UAE have been utilising the aforementioned VPNs to access online casinos and such. However, with the TRA having banned the vast majority of these, options are becoming fewer and fewer for residents of the country.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) exists as a federal absolute monarchy sovereign state in Western Asia. It shares land borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as maritime borders with Qatar and Iran. The UAE is made up of seven emirates, with the capital being Abu Dhabi. The other six are Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Each of these has its own monarch and together, they make up the Federal Supreme Council. One of the seven monarchs – usually the Emir of Abu Dhabi – is granted Presidency over the collective UAE. The location of the country has been through turbulent times in history, although has built itself up to become a regional and middle power today. Because of its status as an Islamic country, this has put to rest any idea of gambling being legal due to religious reasons. Let’s find out what citizens of the UAE have the potential to involve themselves in, though.