The majority of the Muslim world has the same view on gambling from a government perspective. Gambling is considered a major crime, and as a result countries like Saudi Arabia take an aggressive stance on outlawing this type of activity. However, from the perspective of citizens, times are changing, and the love of gambling at a player level continues to be high. How does this get reconciled? While there is no clear-cut answer to this, what we can do at this site is give you an overview of what the restrictions on gambling are in Saudi Arabia, and how some people are trying to get around the laws without being caught.
Gambling Regulations in Saudi Arabia
Let’s start with a review of gaming in general in Saudi Arabia. While games of chance and skill are popular in the country, all forms of gambling are strictly prohibited by law in Saudi Arabia, as it is in all Islamic countries. However, there are two horse racing tracks in the country, and while locals are not allowed to legally bet on the outcomes, international companies can offer wagering if given approval by the government. This is as confusing as it sounds and leads to a lot of underground betting, especially on these races.
This ban on gambling definitely reaches the online world. The Saudi Arabia government is one of a few in the world that has control over the sites its residents can access on the Internet. This lack of freedom means that thousands of websites are on the ISP blacklist, including many online casinos and poker rooms. There is no ambiguity here – all forms of gambling are illegal, and there seems to be no change in that position anytime soon.
With that being said, there are still sites that have found their way past the ISPs, and there are operators who continue to accept transactions without concern for the penalties. We aren’t sure how long each site will stay accessible or if any players will be prosecuted for finding and playing at a site, but we do know this behavior still exists.
Online Casino Software Available to Saudi Arabians
There are many casino software companies that have removed themselves from the Saudi Arabian market, but there are still many high-profile companies that continue to accept licensees who want to have Saudi players. The truth is, until the government proves it can successfully prosecute an offshore company, firms like these will not leave the market:
- Real Time Gaming
- Rival Gaming
This list includes a couple of industry giants, offering hundreds of top-quality slot machines and table games to players in that region. This list may change with time, so we suggest you come back and check for updates on a regular basis.
Best Online Casinos for Saudi Players
We have a moral responsibility to tell our readers from Saudi Arabia to exercise extreme caution when considering playing casino games online. We do not have any idea how the government will react if you are caught, so while the responsibility lies with you individually, we want to make sure all our readers are safe.
Payments are typically the biggest challenge facing players from this country. While you may be able to access a site, you aren’t going to be able to bank using a local bank account or credit card. You may be limited in many cases to one of the e-wallet solutions or some form of direct transfer methods like Western Union or MoneyGram. No matter what option you choose, given the fragile nature of the business, we have to recommend that you manage your balances closely and keep only a minimum amount of money on any one site. Withdrawals are likely going to be done by direct transfer, so you should have a plan in place to receive money if you are lucky enough to be a winner on your online casino’s site.
With that being said, what we can do on our end is give you a list of casinos that we know are safe operators, so at the very least you aren’t going to be screwed over from that end. We review all casinos we come across, and while the list may change based on the blacklist held by ISPs in Saudi Arabia, for now here are a few casinos we recommend that you should still be able to access.