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Gambling in the Middle East
Gambling is a popular pastime in the Middle East, but the legality of it varies from country to country. In some countries, such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, gambling is completely illegal and punishable by law. In others, like Lebanon and Egypt, certain forms of gambling are allowed, but regulated and taxed by the government.
- Legal Status of Gambling: Gambling is illegal or highly restricted in most countries in the Middle East, with the exception of a few countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. In many Middle Eastern countries gambling is considered morally unacceptable and is strictly prohibited by religious and cultural laws.
- Online Gambling: In most Middle Eastern countries, online gambling is also illegal and is not regulated by the government. However, some individuals still engage in online gambling through offshore websites which is not protected by local laws.
- Casinos: Casinos are illegal in most Middle Eastern countries and do not exist in the region. In countries where gambling is allowed, such as the UAE, casinos are highly regulated and only exist in a limited number of locations.
- Sports Betting: Sports betting is also illegal in most Middle Eastern countries and is not widely available in the region. In countries where it is allowed, it is highly regulated and often restricted to certain types of sports or events.
- Social and Cultural Attitudes towards Gambling: Gambling is often viewed with negative connotations in the Middle East as it is considered morally unacceptable and against religious and cultural beliefs – many people in the region also associate gambling with corruption and crime, leading to a general avoidance of the activity.