The inside scoop on Qatar

If you are planning a trip to Qatar, it’s good to know the different laws in the country in order to have a peaceful and pleasant stay.

If you tend to play online casino and gambling games when abroad, it’s vital that you’re aware of the laws surrounding gambling in Qatar in order to ensure that you don’t wind up in trouble with the law. As it is an Islamic country, gambling is strictly illegal in Qatar. Although you will find that the residents are fond of a number of different sports from cricket to camel racing, placing bets on any of these sports is strictly against the law.

Illegal Gambling

Although gambling is strictly prohibited in Qatar and you certainly won’t find any legal casinos, poker clubs, or casinos, this doesn’t mean that illegal gambling does not take place. In fact, many people are quite fond of placing secret bets on their favourite sports, and Qatar is home to a number of gangs who organise illegal poker games in the homes of businessmen who are away on business or vacation, with as many as twenty-five people turning up to each game. There are also a number of illegal gambling dens and widespread illegal betting on camel races.

Online Gambling

Like the majority of Islamic countries, all forms of betting are illegal in Qatar, including online betting. According to the Qatari Penal Code, any players caught gambling, whether it be online or offline, can face punishment of a prison sentence up to three months or a fine of no more than 3,000 Riyals (around £550). However, the chances of being prosecuted as an individual online gambler are almost non-existent, with no indication that authorities are making any serious attempts to find and prosecute online players taking part in casino games, bingo or slots. With the level of individual players gambling online both in Qatar and internationally, such laws are almost impossible to enforce.

Internet Censoring

If you are in Qatar and wish to gamble or place a bet, it’s definitely worth knowing that by doing so you will be breaking the law. However, online gambling is definitely a much safer option than seeking out an illegal poker game or gambling den. If you visit an online gambling or casino site, it’s good to keep in mind that the Qatari government has an internet censoring system in place, which mainly blocks any internet content which is political, anti-Islamic, or pornographic. However, there is no indication to suggest that this censorship program also extends to online gambling or casino sites. Therefore, many residents and visitors to Qatar assume that although visiting gambling sites is technically illegal, they are freely accessible.

Gambling of all kinds, whether online of offline, is currently illegal in Qatar, with no indication that this will change any time soon. As an Islamic country, Qatar has strict laws regarding gambling in order to comply with the religion. Although illegal gambling is available and it’s possible to gamble online, taking part in gambling of any sort whilst in Qatar is definitely not recommended and could lead to a prison sentence or fine.

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