Saudi Arabia operates under Sharia law, which means that gambling activities are banned. However, the world has opened up thanks to the internet, and
Saudi Arabia operates under Sharia law, which means that gambling activities are banned. However, the world has opened up thanks to the internet, and most casino activities are now carried out online. This has resulted in increased interest from Saudi Arabian citizens and expats as you can now gamble at online casinos from anywhere.
However, playing at an online casino Saudi Arabia is not as easy as in most other countries, and you will also need to be careful to avoid legal repercussions. Below is a guide to help you, based on our interview with Bernard Maumo from Online Casino Rank.
Understand the Legal Landscape
As it is an Islamic country, Saudi Arabia considers gaming to be a form of “maisir” or “qimar” – games of chance. This is strictly prohibited in Sharia law, so there are no gambling establishments such as casinos Saudi Arabia. Maumo notes that when caught practicing such, you can be subjected to harsh penalties.
However, the world of online gambling has made everything complicated. Despite being illegal, casino gaming is still accessible to most people in the country. The Saudi government has taken steps to prevent this by banning most online casino in Saudi Arabia sites, but some people still manage to circumvent this.
Get a VPN
“A VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) is the tool that most people who live in censored countries use to access restricted online resources,” says Maumo. “There are others, but a VPN is the most reliable.” It works by encrypting user traffic and then directing it to a server in a different country. When connected, the user can access the internet as if they are physically located in the second country, meaning they’ve evaded the restrictions put in place by their ISP.
“Once you connect to a server in a country that is not Islamic, you will be able to access the internet as if you were located in that country. However, it’s also important to note that Saudi Arabia bans some VPNs, so users need to go for one that uses anti-censorship technology known as obfuscation.”
Choose the Right Online Casinos in Saudi Arabia
There are thousands of casinos out there, but most of them are either scams or they offer poor-quality services. This means that you will need to select your casino carefully. According to Maumo, the first thing you need to check is the casino’s licensing and regulation, as this helps ensure that the VPN follows strict standards of safety and fairness. Look for reputable regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
“The regulation will sort most of the security issues for you but also confirm that the site uses SSL encryption to protect customer data,” adds Maumo. You can then dive into the game selection and the software providers that the casino uses. “Ideally, you want to have a wide selection of games from reputable providers such as NetEnt, PlayTech, IGT, and Microgaming.” Lastly, search online to see what other users think about the casino.
Choose the Right Payment Method
The payment method is an important consideration when selecting an online casino, but it needs to be on its own in the case of Saudi Arabia. This is because “since the country does not allow online gaming, it wouldn’t be wise to deposit or withdraw using your credit card or debit card. What will happen is that either the payment will be blocked or you will raise suspicions and give the authorities a reason to investigate you.”
According to Maum, the best payment method to use at an Online Casino in Saudi Arabia is cryptocurrency. “Such payments give users a good layer of anonymity as the government won’t know how and when you make a deposit or withdrawal.” The other alternative would be using an e-wallet like PayPal, Skrill, or Netteller.
Safe Gaming Practices
Before you even play your first game, you should already have in place limits that will help ensure that you gamble responsibly. Start with the amount of money you can afford to spend over a certain period, say a week or a month. You can then divide this into smaller chunks of per-session or daily. Maumo adds, “when your allocated bankroll is depleted, that’s your cue to take a break and wait for the next allocation. Just ensure you never use money intended for other purposes.”
Besides that, manage your time carefully to ensure that you don’t overindulge, and gambling remains a hobby. Use the responsible gambling tools provided by the casino, such as self-exclusion, to help you avoid gambling issues. “As long as you remain responsible, you will have a great time gaming.”