Gambling in the UAE: a Thorough Look at the Emirates Wagering Industry

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Gambling Laws Night UAE Dubai view

To a resident of any liberal country today, the United Arab Emirates is synonymous with luxurious exotic resorts, a buttoned-down sexist lifestyle and an essentially stringent mechanism of rather odd restrictions. Ever since the first historical records of this Arab nation, it has been known for its die-hard religious philosophy that promotes Islamic fanaticism. Little has changed to date; and as with every modern Arab country, the UAE government is pulling the plug on any industry other than those which are targeted at worshiping their venerable Idol.

Since the Emirates authorities do not classify gambling as an activity centered purely on their religious morals and dogmas, this enterprise has been totally snuffed out for the citizens. Paradoxically, there are gambling services provided in UAE; but only for tourists! The mechanism underlying gambling legislation in the Emirates is fairly complex. That said, having a comprehensive insight into the tourist-oriented gambling industry in the UAE will certainly help you with your audacious venture: taking a casino tour in this famous sacred abode of Islam.

Legislative Overview

History UAE law Judge hammer As mentioned above, gambling is prohibited over the whole of the territory of the United Arab Emirates, and this restriction is founded on strict religious grounds. In the Quran itself, gambling is viewed as an “evil” and “destructive” activity that poses an immense threat to people who indulge in it. Therefore, the UAE Penal Code defines gambling as an offense; and individuals who either operate a gambling business or use its services risk facing severe penalties, such as imprisonment or a fine. And this applies not only to traditional gambling but to any online variations as well.

In 2012, the president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa issued a decree that provided a full-scale regulatory mechanism for online gambling. This is considered the most comprehensive cybercrime law in the Arab world. It represents a series of rigid rules and laws for regulating virtual gambling activities. One of the many policies implemented after the 2012 cybercrime law was passed is the Internet Access Management policy, which was issued by The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. According to this policy, Internet service providers are obliged to decrease the number of online resources offering gambling services to UAE citizens.

… Nevertheless

As we stressed before, gambling is still a phenomenon that exists in the UAE, no matter how sweeping and rigid the ban may be. How is that possible? The thing is, any gambling facilities that exist in the UAE are designed solely for tourists, while they are irreversibly blocked for the residents. So, there are actually as many as 8 casinos in the UAE. As for the betting industry, this is a very popular industry, even a thriving one, despite all the aforementioned laws and restrictions. One can hardly imagine the UAE entertainment sector (and the country is very proud of it) being devoid of its legendary horse racing that has been such a central part of the sporting history of the country up to now.

Gambling Laws Dubai United Arab Emirates

The betting realm of the UAE comprises five horse tracks, including the renowned Meydan Racecourse and Jebel Ali Racecourse. Like casino gaming, betting in sports competitions is only permitted for punters from abroad.

And, finally, the intrepid gamblers who have chosen to visit the Emirates often wonder how to play at an online casino in the UAE. The legislation for online gambling in this country ultimately leads back to the same set of regulations as are applied to traditional wagering activities. Alongside brick-and-mortar UAE gambling businesses that are utterly “hostile” to the locals, there are also some virtual casinos that can be operated by the Emirates companies; but they are still obliged to exclude citizens of the UAE as well.

UAE Gambling Destinations. The Survivors

Landed casinos Meydan RacecourseMeydan Racecourse

The most exuberant horse racing venue in the world, Meydan is a luxurious spot for haut monde representatives who are crazy about this sport; and about betting of course, no less! The racecourse features a mile-length grandstand and essential facilities for the powerful — a 5-star hotel, an upmarket restaurant, a golf course, and a horse racing museum.

Gambling Atlantis the PalmAtlantis the Palm

This spectacular high-end hotel resort is a striking touchstone and tourist spot of the Emirates. Home to a tremendous multi-marine aquarium that’s by far the most extravagant hallmark of a top-notch hotel, Atlantis the Palm comprises over 2,000 deluxe rooms, a lavish spa, and highest-class restaurants. And as one of its red-hot highlights, the hotel features a large and wide-ranging casino that offers a complete spectrum of gambling games; as well as additional services provide any tourist with a seamless and utterly unforgettable gambling experience!

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