Online betting from Dubai – is it legal? Is it possible? UAE is a strange country. One of the richest countries in the world, it’s citizens are not allowed to do much. There is no boozing, no watching porn from the internet and also no gambling.
In fact, gambling is illegal in UEA. This means anyone who engages in online betting from Dubai, can face up to two years prison time. It also applies when you are a foreigner, although instead going to jail you will most likely be extradited. So yes, betting laws are very strict when it comes to Dubai sportsbooks.
Before I continue, have a look at our list of top online bookmakers – they all are handpicked by our editors and they all accept bets from Dubai (UEA in general).
Betting on sports and law in Dubai
Stright laws on gambling don’t make sense to many especially because of famous horse race that takes place every year – Dubai World Cup Night. While UAE bookmakers and sports betting enterprises all over the world prepare wagers, locals can never participate in betting activities because of the law.
Of course, national religion here is islam and this forbids gambling activities by default. Law is simple, strict and straightforward – you can not engage in gambling nor any kind of gambling-related advertising. Also, it is logical that there are no brick and mortar casinos in UAE whatsoever. Although when we talk about sports betting and Dubai sportsbooks, there are some exceptions, but we will come to it later.
If you get caught gambling in UAE, usually the penalty is up to two years in prison. Reality is, almost no one will serve the two years – usually gamblers get just fined and life goes on. If a foreigner gets caught gambling, they will get deported.
Things get more serious if you get caught running a gambling joint – then you will be sentenced up to ten years in prison. Also, if you ever find yourself in Dubai and you will be offered to place a bet, just know you will usually get offered odds by UAE bookmakers and Dubai sportsbooks that are ridiculous. And there’s also added risk that even when you place a bet and happen to win it, know that your bookmaker may get caught anytime and even more, you may also go to prison.
Because gambling is available online, there exists now Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in the country. Their purpose is to control internet. All illegal content and websites are not allowed and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s daily job is basically blocking websites.
Same time, not everything that comes to online betting from Dubai is so gloomy. There are, in fact, some exceptions that permit running competitions, but keep in mind that all of those have to authorized by government officials.
For example, you might be allowed to place bets occasionally on shooting and of course – horse racing. But it comes with strict requirements. For example gambling operator / UAE bookmaker has to always specify the certainty of the prize there has to be always a designated person who gives winnings to the bettor.
This all means it is very tricky to participate in online sportsbooks betting from Dubai in a way you are used to in US in Europe. It is not allowed to give winnings to the 3rd party. If someone accepts your winnings for you, this would automatically mean you were participating in illegal gambling.
Using proxy servers for online betting from Dubai
Although internet gambling and betting sites are blocked by government authorities, there are many ways around it. One of the easiest ways is to just use traditional web proxy servers. Always so tireless Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is banning those every day so you have to choose new one every few days.
Then there’s also using VPN connection for online betting from Dubai. With VPN’s you can mask your real location. And also you could use remote desktop connection. Meaning you will connect to online betting site via someone else’s computer that’s situated conveniently in some other country, where betting is legal for example.
So yes, playing the system isn’t difficult at all, just always to remember to do your own due diligence. There are always risks of getting caught, so you should know these beforehand. But times are changing, even in UAE so don’t lose your sleep over it.
Will bookmakers allow bets from UAE?
Yes, they do. All bookmakers listed on our site accept bets from UAE. It happens almost daily that big online betting operators set up odds for local races. Yes, there is a theoretical problem that locals from UAE are not allowed to place bets online, but in reality there is plenty of action and liquidity in those markets.