Features of Online Gambling Laws in the UAE

Andrew Price
Posted by Andrew Price
2WinPower Partner, owner of the gambling establishments network.

The United Arab Emirates attract the attention of many investors due to the high incomes of residents and the huge annual flow of tourists. Representatives of many industries wish to open online casinos in the UAE. The gambling business is no exception here.

Beginners and experienced entrepreneurs are often interested in the casino laws in the Arab Emirates. 2WinPower experts propose you to consider this theme in more detail.

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The Attractiveness of the UAE Market

The attractiveness of the UAE market

The UAE, in particular, Dubai is considered an excellent direction for the development of the gambling business due to the following peculiarities:

  1. High incomes of citizens. Just a few decades ago, Dubai and the modern territory of the UAE were unremarkable desert expanses. However, today, this state is considered one of the richest countries in the world. At the same time, Dubai is included in the list of cities with the largest number of billionaires. That is why the attention of many entrepreneurs is focused on this potentially profitable state. The development of gambling in Dubai could bring substantial profits to many operators.
  2. The attractiveness for tourists. The sharp increase in living standards allowed the authorities of Dubai and other cities to turn desert territories into real oases. Despite the rather short history of the modern UAE, the local government managed to build lots of interesting and exciting tourist sites that will leave no one indifferent.
  3. The development of modern technologies. The state always keeps up with the times. The latest trends are taken into account in various areas of everyday life. This applies to the construction of new buildings, the development of trade, tourism, etc. The interest of the audience in various technological innovations can become an excellent prerequisite for the evolving of gambling in Dubai.

Dubai Laws and the Gambling Business

Undoubtedly, Dubai is an incredibly promising and profitable region. At the same time, some peculiarities impede the development of the casino business in the UAE.

What are the UAE gambling laws? It is widely known that the UAE is a Muslim state. The laws of this religion are quite strict. According to the rules of Sharia, the followers of Islam should insulate themselves from the games of chance.

The government follows these religious principles. Land-based gambling in Dubai is prohibited. Despite the incredible attractiveness for tourists, there are no casinos, bet-shops and slot machine halls.

In spite of the strict betting laws in the United Arab Emirates, some entertainments still take place here. For example, sometimes the authorities give permission to hold lotteries and totalizators during horse races or drag racing competitions. It should be noted that obtaining such a permit is a very difficult process. Only very influential businesspersons have a chance to get it.

That is why, tourists and residents willing to try their luck, began to look for a worthy replacement for the land-based casino business in the UAE. Online gambling has become the only alternative for many citizens. Nonetheless, do online gambling laws in the UAE allow operators to provide virtual gaming services?

Online Gambling in the UAE

Online gambling in the UAE

Many entrepreneurs often ask “What are the online gambling laws in Dubai?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is unlikely to please many businessmen. The local legislation strictly regulates the online environment too.

Moreover, the organisation and participation in the online gambling business are punishable by law. Some entrepreneurs from the underground sector have already received real prison sentences.

However, real gambling enthusiasts continue to play their favourite games using international online resources. The fact is that the authorities pay more attention to projects created within the country. At the same time, foreign websites work here almost without hindrance. It follows that the registration of companies in offshore jurisdictions is the only way to open online casinos in the UAE.

Prospects for the Development of the Gambling Industry

The modern UAE gambling market is characterised by the following advantages and disadvantages:



High solvency of the audience

Ban on gambling activities

A large flow of tourists

The absence of casinos in hotels

Organization of sports events within the country

Sweepstakes and lottery draws are held quite rarely

The rapid process of globalisation and the development of advanced technologies

Strict religious traditions

Some entrepreneurs do not consider Dubai as a potentially profitable market due to some restrictions and prohibitions. Nevertheless, many experts point out some positive trends that may allow gambling business in Dubai to develop in the future. Familiarize yourself with some of them.

Cultural Globalisation

Even though the UAE is an Islamic state, it is open to tourists and investors. This openness promotes rapid cultural globalisation. Many attributes of daily life in Dubai testify to this process.

Up-to-date architectural objects, malls, cafes, restaurants are part of modern Western culture. Perhaps further cultural internalization will lead to some improvements in gambling laws in the UAE

The Emergence of the Major Player

The news of the Caesars Palace opening has amazed many gambling enthusiasts. However, representatives of Caesars Entertainment Corporation stated that they did not intend to conduct a gambling business in Dubai because such activities are contrary to local laws.

Some experts believe that this influential brand can affect the fate of the UAE betting business. Refusing gambling activities by the company means losing the chance to earn large amounts. That is why the representatives of the gambling business in Dubai expect the government to review some restrictions

Adaptation of Religious Laws

Centuries ago, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions were characterised by rather strict rules and prohibitions.

Nevertheless, the world is constantly changing and the laws of Islam are gradually adapting to modern realities. Gambling is considered a sin today, but tomorrow it can be perceived as a rather harmless entertainment

Successful Experience of Other States

Malaysia, Tunisia and Egypt are Muslim states too. These countries have managed to combine tourism and gambling business to get the maximum benefit.

Given the sharp drop in oil prices and the gradual transition to environmentally friendly fuels, the Dubai authorities are seriously thinking about finding new sources of the budget replenishment. 

Tourism is a strategic direction. It must be admitted that the development of the UAE betting business will be able to bring much greater revenues to the local treasury

Given the current pace of the country’s evolving, it can be concluded that the UAE will continue its path of globalisation and transformation into a highly modern, rich state. Undoubtedly, gambling laws in the UAE will change in the future. No one knows how long it will take to accept some innovations. However, the progress on this issue can move much faster than many people may think.

The Main Things about Online Gambling Laws in the UAE

Online gambling laws in the UAE: main things

Unfortunately, gambling laws in the UAE are very strict. They are characterised by the following features:

  • land-based and online gambling establishments are prohibited in the country;
  • participation in gaming activities is punishable by law;
  • authorities allow the organisation of lottery draws and sweepstakes as an exception.

Nevertheless, there are some potential prospects for the evolution of the gambling industry:

  • cultural globalisation;
  • search for new sources of profits;
  • successful experience of other Islamic states.

The UAE continues to turn into the most modern and attractive state for tourists. Legalising gambling activities is only a matter of time. Operators, wishing to work in this region, should pay attention to the possibility of launching projects registered in offshore zones. They can also try their hand at other states in the Middle East (with more loyal gambling laws).

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