Countries Where Gambling Is Illegal
Gambling is an international pastime that is enjoyed by billions of people around the world. It’s also one of the few pastimes that has survived from earlier civilisations, such as Ancient Greece and Rome. Although gambling has changed dramatically from the days of our ancestors, there’s still one factor that has always remained a contested point: legality.
While most countries today permit their citizens to gamble, there are plenty of restrictions in place that ensure land-based casinos and sports betting sites don’t try and take their customers for a ride. But there are also a minority of countries where gambling of any form is outright banned by the local government. This can be due to a number of reasons, but the most common is religion, with some, such as Islam, condemning all types of gambling as wrongful.These are some of the countries where gambling is completely illegal.
The people of Cambodia have gambled for hundreds of years, but gambling addictions has also been a problem for the country for almost as long. The pastime is now banned among all citizens in all formats, apart from national lotteries that are run and regulated by the national government. The Suppression of Gambling Act does not, however, apply to any foreigners visiting the country.
- North Korea
North Korea has similar laws to Cambodia, where all formats of gambling are not legal in any sense. Like Cambodia, gambling by tourists is permitted, although there is only one casino in the capital city of Pyongyang, and the tourist scene in the country has come to a halt.
Cyprus has a mixed set of laws. Citizens are permitted to make use of terminal-based games, such as slots, but all other games are not permitted. They can, however, make use of table games at a single casino in the country, the Melco Cyprus Resort, but the resort will only be completed in 2019.
- United Arab Emirates
Gambling in any physical form is strictly illegal, and anyone caught in the act can face up to two years in prison. Online gambling in the country is not regulated at the moment, meaning that citizens can make use of it for the most part, but online activity is heavily monitored and regulated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
Perhaps the strictest of all the countries, Qatar has a total ban on all gambling within the country. No form of gambling is permitted, which extends to all forms of sports betting. Despite this, there is a thriving underground gambling scene within the country, and those that get caught receive harsh punishment. Like the United Arab Emirates, online gambling is still a grey area, but access to foreign sites is highly regulated.
Most forms of gambling within Lebanon are not permitted, apart from government-sanctioned online casinos. Those that want to gamble at a physical location within the country will need to travel to Casino Du Liban, which is located in Jounieh.