How & Where to Gamble When Travelling in the Middle East

Travelling can be about discovering new places, experiencing different cultures and meeting amazing people. However, it can also be about re-visiting favorite destinations to see how they have changed. However, at some point during your travels, you might want to relax in your comfort zone and pursue more familiar activities. That’s why many Western travelers seek out places such as McDonalds and casinos when touring the world. So, where can you gamble in the Middle East then? 

Gambling restricted in many places

If you are someone who enjoys placing a bet, whether it is on a sports game or at a casino, you could simply opt for a trip to Las Vegas but you may be wondering what your options are in the Middle East. After all, wagering is restricted in much of the region and most local people rarely gamble. However, some of the major tourist destinations understand the need to cater to visitors from Asia, the Americas and Europe who gamble for recreation.

As a result, there are casinos located in holiday resorts and cruise ships in some countries across the region – including Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel. Tourists should bear in mind that many casinos require clients to show a foreign passport before entering, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

A history of wagering

Despite the reluctance to embrace gambling in many Middle Eastern countries, wagering in the region actually dates back some 4000 years. Evidence of gambling can be found in Egyptian hieroglyphics and games of chance appear in many territories since then. Today, there are new gambling opportunities popping up all the time, such as horse race betting at the newly-opened racetrack and International Equestrian Club in Erbil, Iraq.

Online gambling options

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Gambling online is also possible but you should always check and respect the local laws of where you are traveling to. Generally, if there is a casino in the resort where you are staying you should have no problem gambling online as a foreigner visiting websites based outside of the region. 

Gambling online can present its own challenges for travelers. For example, free spins offers that need no deposit are hard to find so you might need to visit a website that can show you the best promotions from top casino sites in your home country. Many major online casinos even cater to Arab clients such as Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE and have Arabic versions of their websites available. 

Land-based casinos

For the best land-based casinos, you should head to Egypt, Lebanon or Israel. All three countries have top quality casinos based in their major cities. The Casino Du Liban near Beirut, Lebanon, is the country’s only casino. It is owned and operated by the Caesar brand, one of the most notable names in the industry. 

Egypt has around 20 casinos, making it the hottest destination for gambling in the whole of the Middle East, while Israel’s casino activities are restricted to cruise ships docked in the major port cities. However, there are ongoing talks about opening land-based sites in the country.


The attitude towards gambling in many Middle Eastern countries has become more relaxed and the need to cater to tourists who enjoy wagering on their travels has been embraced in some areas, especially in Egypt. Thanks to new technology, it is now easier than ever to wager online from wherever you are in the world, including the Middle East.

WE SAID THIS: Where will you place your next bet?

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