UAE Gambling Laws

A few top nations of the world believe that gambling is a plague and keeps spreading and destroys the players. This is not how other very advanced countries see it. Sadly, the UAE is one of such nations that consider gambling a terrible activity to engage in. This is mainly because the UAE is a full-blown Muslim country, and gambling, in the Muslim religion, is regarded as a sin.

So, how do you play your favorite casino games and other sports betting when you’re in UAE? That’s a salient question, which we will answer later in this article. Let’s look at the UAE’s laws and what it says about gambling, whether online or offline.

What the UAE laws say

The laws of the country are very stringent and stern when it comes to indecency. This is mainly because the state’s laws are greatly influenced by the directives gotten from the Quran. UAE is an entirely religious country (Muslim, to be precise), and as such, they have included the Muslim laws into their constipation.

In 2012, the Sheikh Khalifa made a decree which affected a lot of online activities. Although the law states that the internet should not be used to send, receive, create, or promote illegal or indecent activity, gambling is affected because it is considered a sin in the Muslim religion.

This decree has not stopped some online casinos and betting sites from functioning. However, if you get caught disobeying the law, you could be thrown in jail for two years minimum, with or without a fine of 20,000 dirhams. 

UAE is not the only nation that has strict laws against online gambling and gaming. Other countries like Malaysia, which is also a Muslim country, also have rules like that, and they also prosecute gamblers. The only difference is that there’s only one accepted land casino in Malaysia.

Gambling is man’s instinct, and whether the government likes it or not, the people will always look for new ways to keep their gambling spirit alive. A gambler isn’t made, he is born. So, how do UAE gamblers enjoy their favorite slots without disobeying the law? Well, the government has given some exceptions on the matter, and here they are.

Exceptions to gambling in UAE laws

There is always an exception to laws and the laws of UAE, as stringent as they are, also have exceptions.

The laws have it that the only way you can stake on a wager is if you’re participating in the sport. Yes, you heard that right. The laws only forbid third party transactions with gambling companies. 

The horse racing sport, for example, is one of UAE’s most significant yearly events. The laws have it that you can place a bet in the race only if you’re one participant. You must be riding a horse to be able to bet. This means that you’ll be given the prize money and not some third-party company. 

You cannot bet on any of the running horses as a third party. If you’re caught, the punishment will be meted on you. Since UAE citizens cannot place bets on games, and betting companies usually include their sports in their catalog, tourists have found a safe way around the law. It’s simply just getting a friend who’s not from the country or in the country to place the bet on your behalf. You simply send them your funds, and they place the bet on any of the horses you choose.

Also, note that there are several online casinos and sports betting sites that citizens and tourists use illegally. These sites are not stationed in the UAE. However, they can be accessed because it is the internet, and it is open to everyone. 

Citizens sometimes use those online casinos even though it is just as illegal as walking into a land casino. The only good thing is that they can’t be caught doing it unless caught by a law enforcement agent. 

Another way to engage in anything that has to do with placing bets and winning money is to sign up for a lottery. Yes, lotteries are permissible in UAE for everyone. Although some Muslim countries also consider lotteries to be illegal, it’s not the UAE’s case.

How do you gamble in the UAE?

It is safer to abstain from gambling once you’re in the shores of the country. However, gambling is something that people do for the fun of it. So, to gamble freely in the UAE, you should consider visiting online casinos offered by foreign companies. That is the only known and safe way to get out of the way of the UAE law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the UAE laws on gambling.

Below are some questions others have asked about the problem that could also be on your mind.

Is gambling allowed in Dubai?

Sadly, yes. As busy, civilized, and beautiful as Dubai is, the city’s jurisdiction is still under that of the entire country. Gambling is prohibited in its totality in Dubai.

Can you gamble online in Dubai?

Although gambling isn’t allowed, we all know how busy Dubai is. It is almost impossible to catch and penalize offenders. Gambling takes place there, but it isn’t legal.

Can I use foreign betting sites in the UAE?

Yes, you can do that. The website’s server reaches everywhere and everyone. You can use any betting site that you want.


As much as we do not support breaking the law, we think it is okay to enjoy the selection of games that we offer when you visit the UAE as long as you’re not a citizen. If you ever choose to gamble, then don’t let it be a waste; learn how to play Deuces wild right now and start smashing big wins online.

WE SAID THIS: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.