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Gambling in Middle East - 5 facts you didn't know

by Staff writer
24 Jun 2020 at 11:49hrs | Views
Even though the Quran forbids gambling in the Muslim world, the entire Middle East and North African region have become more flexible about casinos over the years. The industry is still highly regulated, but as the world embraces modernity and development of digital technology, different regions are continually becoming more open to new ideas.

The Middle East is an excellent example of a changing landscape in modern times as the collective society enjoy new freedoms as times change. Such change does not compromise their values as dedicated Muslims. On the contrary, it lets the modern Muslim be part of the current age of modernization, whether they are male or female.

Here are five things you need to know to understand gambling in the Middle East.

Gambling is a Multi-million Dollar Industry in the Region

From Egypt to Lebanon, there are numerous high-end brick and mortar casinos such as listed on as well as prestigious online casinos. Some of the best casinos you will ever visit are in the Middle East. Active gambling in the contemporary Muslim world is associated with the prosperity gained from the petrodollars. As the elite in the Middle East profited from the huge international demand for oil, a life of opulence among the Arabian upper class became common. Luxury casinos in the western world were a favorite destination for the high rollers who later introduced such establishments in the integrated areas in the Middle East.

The region has also experienced steady growth in its tourism sector, especially in its big cities. Where else, gambling is illegal in the rural areas; the big cities try to accommodate its visitors by creating an environment they can relate with.

Gambling is an Ancient Practice in the Middle East

This is not a new institution in Islam culture as some of the region's ancient civilizations freely indulged in gambling activities. Even though a majority of Arabs prefer to bet online on websites that give them high bonuses and a variety of gaming options, gambling took a different appeal in ancient times. Nonetheless, ancient gambling culture has influenced modern gambling to a considerable extent.

You might have heard of the Assyrians. This powerful civilization expanded its empire with sheer might. Its relentless warriors instilled fear in the hearts of all their enemies in the region and beyond. Their gambling industry in their golden age was spectacular. Betting bookies and auctioneers organized big shows and gambling events that attracted huge crowds. The region's modern bookkeeping and bookmaking industry started and developed in this period. When you consider Egypt as part of the Middle East, its ancient civilization also had a vibrant gambling culture.

Online Gambling is the New Trend

Even though the expansion of the casino industry is subject to strict Islamic laws, you are allowed to visit foreign websites in most regions in the Middle East. There is a strong ethical reproach to gambling for the locals, but the law is less strict on online-based gambling on the condition that you use foreign online casino operators.Software developers in the Middle East are increasingly licensing their games to foreign casinos that have a strong online presence and accept online players from the region. The locals are also passionate about local and international sporting events and often seek the best online betting platforms in the world to stake on their favorite teams.

Middle East Casinos are Designed with a Wow Factor

We all know that when it comes to design and architecture, the Arab developers do not spare any cost to attain the highest standard possible. The casinos in existence today are built and decorated to fascinate visitors. The main idea behind this is to compete with the best gaming landscapes in the world, such as Vegas, Sin City, Macau, Australia, etc.

This aspect has attracted a specific market demographic, mostly the high rollers and world-class gamblers with an extensive background in the industry.  
Casino Games that Mirror the Arabian Culture

The Arabs are proud people who take great pride in things that represent their culture. This is why casino games with a Middle Eastern theme attract a larger crowd than any other games. On the online platforms, slots is one of the most played game locally. This is because developers for such games integrate themes that move away from the western culture of popular television shows and superheroes and capture the region's art. The Pharaoh's gold, for instance, is a widely accepted game on the internet as well as other popular games with Arabian graphics.

Ensure to do a background check of the gambling laws when visiting individual countries in the Middle East. 
Source - Byo24News