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The Legality Of Casino Gambling In Arab Regions

Gambling in casinos is widely available and generally accepted as a valid form of entertainment almost everywhere in the world. It can be in a land-based casino or on one of the many dozens of casinos you'll find online.

But it's not always legal, and the regulations can vary from country to country and region to region.

So if you do want to play casino games - certainly where real money is involved - you'll need to be accurately aware of the gambling laws in your country to make sure you are not breaking any laws.

Those laws can change too, with many countries either offering fully regulated gambling or considering the possibility. The time may not be too far off where gambling may be fully legalized everywhere. 

On this page we'll take a look at the background to gambling in Arab countries.

The Legal Aspects of Gambling in the Arab Countries

When it comes to the Arab countries, all of them have different laws by which they are governed.

From a religious perspective, all of the Arab countries are predominantly Muslim or Muslims are in a large majority. The religion of Islam considers gambling illegal activity - and certainly I wouldn't be recommending that anyone goes against the 'rules' of their religion. But there are some Arab countries that have moderate gambling laws and there is a big Muslim population that loves to gamble in casinos, and may have made their personal choice that they can do so.

From the countries in the Arab regions, Egypt is a country that has lots of land-based casinos, while in Lebanon you will find the biggest casino located in the Arab world. Other Arab countries that are known for casino gambling include Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and others.

There are of course some countries where gambling is strictly prohibited, but it still happens regardless of the prohibition. There are rumors that countries like Qatar and Jordan have many illegal gambling facilities which are mostly found in the bigger cities where locals and foreigners go to gamble and get entertained.

Another thing to know about the people from countries in the Arab regions is that there are many Arabs that like to travel to countries like Egypt, where they can gamble without worries, or travel to the big European cities where they can find good casino action and where gambling is fully legalized.

In fact, if you visit a casino in any of the bigger cities in Europe like Berlin, London, Paris, Barcelona or any other place you will see lots of gamblers from the Arab countries that freely play their favorite casino games.

Let's review the situation in a couple of specific countries....

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one country in the Arab world where internet activity of its citizens is monitored in order to intercept online gambling, but today there are a few operators that still offer their services to the people of this country.

Despite the fact that the government monitors online activity, it rarely imposes bans or other punishments to people that like to play and gamble online.


Casinos in the United Arab Emirates are prohibited, but you can still find places where people play casino games. Some of the Emirates allow gambling in casinos, but most of that gambling is concentrated in Dubai.

There are no local casinos in Dubai, but sports betting is a form of gambling that is allowed.

Those that want to enjoy some betting action in Dubai will be surprised by the choices they have. One very interesting gambling activity in Dubai is visiting the racetracks and betting on horses or camel races. Camel racing is an especially popular gambling activity for tourists that visit the Emirates. Aside from Dubai, other countries in the Arab world also allow sports betting.

For instance, The Racing Club in Dubai is a very popular betting facility with a relatively new race track built a few decades ago. The admission to the club is free and every day there are at least six different races that are held on every half an hour. Many locals come to this place to gamble, and the club is also very popular among tourists. People often find it surprising to find numerous casino games that are being played in this facility.

Besides race tracks, there are also a few casino table games and some slot machines. This place is one of the best for enjoying gambling without breaking any strict laws.

Online Gambling

Besides land-based gambling, online gambling is gaining bigger popularity in the Arab countries with each passing day.

Although this type of gambling is generally prohibited in the United Arab Emirates and surrounding Arab countries, there are many online casinos that accept players from the Arab world and there is a fair share of Arab people that gamble online.

The competition among online casinos is very strong and more and more casinos are expected to emerge in the upcoming years, and in the sportsbetting world the Qatar World Cup of 2022 is sure to be one of the most heavily bet events ever offering some serious opportunities to make a profit from such types of bet as asian handicaps.


As mentioned, all Arabic countries have different gambling laws and casino gambling is not something that is freely available in most of them. Even if it was, there are some deep religious aspects to consider if you're part of the Arab community and do what to get involved.

However, times, attitudes and laws do change so soon enough we might see some changes in this area. Casinos are starting to penetrate this lucrative market, so with some form of official regulation we could see a big expansion in this part of the world.