Casino & Poker

Countries Where Gambling is Illegal

Illegal gambling

Gambling in the UK, although quite heavily regulated, is generally seen as a fun pastime; other countries don’t have quite the same relaxed attitude. In some parts of the world, land-based casinos are officially outlawed and online gambling is banned, largely due to religious reasons or moral directives.

If you’re a gambling enthusiast who wants to know which countries to avoid on your next holiday, or you’re just curious about what the penalties are should you partake, here are the countries that have declared gambling illegal.



While Singapore allows national public-funded lotteries, private lotteries are only allowed with specific permissions. Land-based sports betting establishments are banned, although land-based casinos are permitted, so while punters can’t partake in a flutter on the football, they can enjoy all the excitement of the roulette wheel.


United Arab Emirates

Islamic nations almost unanimously prohibit gambling in land-based casinos, although online gambling can still sometimes find a way round regulations. However, the United Arab Emirates have much stricter penalties in place for those who engage in gambling or betting of any type. Players face a prison sentence of up to two years, and the Internet is heavily censored to limit access to online casinos.



Cambodia stands out from other countries for having a very solid record of problem gambling; to control the issue, gambling is prohibited in every instance except in a state-funded situation, such as in private lotteries. Incidentally. visitors to the country can still gamble freely in the country, so if you’re planning a casino trip to Cambodia, you’re in luck!


Gambling ban



Of all the countries to introduce a gambling ban, Qatar is definitely one of the strictest. Every kind of gambling is totally illegal – sports betting or lotteries of any kind are prohibited. As with all blanket ban situations, unsurprisingly Qatar has a bustling underground scene for gambling fans. Online gambling is illegal as well, but many players still entertain themselves by playing at online casinos based in other countries, although the government are always trying to restrict access to these sites.



Another Islamic country where gambling is banned, Lebanon also has a tight grip on casino sites and has the ability to block them from players. Only certain gambling websites are permitted and land-based casinos are only legal if they have the correct state-approved licensing. There is also a loophole in the form of a casino boat, which transports players into foreign waters so they can legally enjoy all the best casino games while floating outside the zone where the law applies.


North Korea

It’s not really a surprise that North Korea is on this list: under Kim Jong Un, anything that is any way connected to the idea of a free market is strictly prohibited to all North Koreans, although guests of the country are free to enjoy gambling as much as they want, like in Cambodia.


Where is gambling illegal?


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