During the pandemic, online gaming has become one of the most appreciated entertainment forms for millions of people stuck at home. In the Arab world, a growing number of online gamers discovered the thrills and emotions of casino games, allowing online platforms to develop new customer-tailored services for a more immersive experience.

Is Gambling Legit in the Middle East?

This question arises every time gambling spots in correlation to Islamic countries. Gambling isn’t always legal. Also, even where it’s legit, it’s subject to strict regulations. This explains why many Arabs who want to experience the pleasure of an authentic poker tournament like in Las Vegas decide to pick their favorite digital casino at Arabic Casinos, a comprehensive platform for gambling in islam with news, updates, and the latest bonuses from only verified online casinos.

The casino experts at Arabic Casinos are aware of the impact of Islam on gambling and work to create a gambling experience in compliance with Islamic laws and culture. These laws forbid gambling, although some countries are moderating their attitude to online gambling across the Middle East. For example, Egypt is one of the most open-minded countries in the region: it offers some excellent land-based casinos to tourists that even locals often visit. Also, Lebanon is the largest casino area in the MENA landscape, followed by Tunisia, the UAE, and Morocco.

Gambling By Country in the Middle East

Gambling is one of those few things that can harshly split public opinion and governments. Thus, gambling in the Middle East is mostly illegal, except for a few countries where it’s considered as an entertainment form for foreigners. 

Algeria is one of the strictest countries about gambling. But it’s noticeable that local gamblers have never been subject to any punishment for playing online casino games.

Iraq has heavy Sharia-compliant laws that forbid gambling. However, it appears that Iraqi authorities don’t apply any prosecution on local online gamblers.

Saudi's Prince and horse sculpture

Saudi Arabia‘s monarchy adheres to severe anti-gambling laws, despite some exceptions, such as horse racing, which the royal family has loved since ever. Only limited betting is allowed on horse racing events in Riyadh and Taif.

Many people tend to think that all countries in the MENA region are Islamic, but there are some exceptions, like Cyprus, a non-Islamic country, which represents heaven for gamblers thanks to its gambling-friendly laws. In particular, the island has opened over 35 casino venues since the launch of the Betting Law of 2012. 

Israel is probably the most democratic country in the region, as it ensures not one but two forms of legal gambling: the National Lottery and sports betting. However, locals can enjoy casino games on cruise ships and online casinos.


The Middle East is known for its Islamic bans against gambling. However, the region also encompasses some non-Islamic countries where casino venues welcome thousands of yearly visitors. What’s more, some Islamic countries have strict anti-gambling laws but poor control of local gamblers. As a consequence, playing at online casinos doesn’t lead to any legal issues, which clarifies the success of online casinos among Islamic gamblers. Finally, some countries are taking a moderate line that paves the way to the surge of a land-based casino industry in the region for tourists and locals.

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