Find online casinos accepting players from United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Gambling is prohibited in the UAE in any way shape or form. As their official religion being Islam states, gambling is prohibited down to the basis for the federal and local emirate laws, including the advertising of any form of gaming.
The legality of gambling and gambling-related advertisements is contentious and continues to be topical. However, these issues, more often than not, tend to be focused on concerns with children or minors’ exposure to gambling culture, as well as protecting vulnerable people, as opposed to having a religious element driving the need for regulation.
Besides some very specific exceptions, the UAE regime makes it very clear when they say that gambling and any gambling-related advertising in any way, shape or form is prohibited. This could even be expanded to off-shore gambling services that look forward to taking their offerings to UAE residents, at least according to some interpretations of their constitution.
Gambling Laws Exceptions
Even though gambling is prohibited, some competitions are actually allowed to run under very specific circumstances, for example, prior permissions from their regulatory department and several other parameters explained in their Civil Code.
Wagers are allowed only when there’s proper certainty about what the price is, who gives the price and what the competition and its details are all about.
A prize in a contract for betting can only be paid to the winner – being the party to the contract who wins the contest through his own efforts and skill. The implication is that any arrangement that may lead to the prize being paid to a third party (i.e. someone who is not a participant in the race/contest, etc.) would be outside the scope of what is permitted – and thus illegal ‘gambling’ and subject to the criminal provisions that prohibit gambling.
UAE Gambling Prohibitions
Local laws set out the prohibitions on gambling and gambling-related advertising. Given the religious element underpinning the law of the UAE, there are a number of other prohibitions on acts which are contrary to public morality, or which are contrary to Islamic beliefs. Some of these laws not only apply to those in the UAE, but may also have extra-territorial application, depending on the circumstance.
The Penal Code defines gambling as “a game whereby each of the parties thereto agrees – in case he is the loser – to pay the winner a certain sum of money or any other thing agreed upon”. It makes gambling an offense punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine. It also prohibits the opening or managing of a venue for gambling, or organizing a game of chance in a public place or in a venue for gambling.
The Cyber Crimes Law sets out a penalty of imprisonment and/or a fine for anyone caught establishing, managing or running a website, or transmitting, sending, publishing or re-publishing through a computer network gambling activities and whatever may afflict public morals. It also prohibits producing, creating, preparing, sending or saving for exploitation, distribution or display to others through a computer network, gambling activities and whatever may afflict public morals.
There are also media regulations which require media corporations and outlets to comply with the various standards in relation to advertisements which are broadcasted or published through such corporations. The standards relevant to gambling-related advertisements are:
– Not to offend God and Islamic beliefs and to respect other divine religions.
– Not to publish any pictures or words that may breach public morals.
– Not to spread and disseminate information which may prejudice children and women and any other social categories and provoke violence and hatred.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority implements an “Internet Access Management” policy. This policy requires internet service providers to block access to websites providing illegal content or content that is inconsistent with the moral or public norms of the UAE. As a result, access to gambling related content is generally blocked from viewing on the internet in the UAE.