Poker in the Arab Gulf Countries

Compared to some of the other countries in the Arab Gulf region, UAE is more lenient as far as gambling is concerned. This doesn’t mean that one can gamble away to glory in UAE. There are strict rules in place even here and anyone looking to play poker and other gambling games has to make sure that they abide by these rules.


Because of the fascination with gambling, pockets of gambling enthusiasts can be found all over the Arab Gulf region. However, this is not an organized sector at all and almost all the gambling happens undercover. People don’t want to get caught because the penalties can be really, really harsh. Take Saudi Arabia for example. The country has some of the strictest laws in the entire world and one really doesn’t want to get caught playing poker here, offline or online. With the number of Islamic fundamentalists on the rise in this entire region, even the hitherto liberal countries are tightening their laws on gambling.

It is actually not right to criticize the fact that the authorities are really harsh as far as gambling is concerned. The Holy Quran clearly mentions that gambling as is a work of Satan and Satan is all about temptation. And as human nature is, we sometimes give in to temptations. This is the reason gambling is prohibited in this entire region.

As far as UAE is concerned, Dubai is perhaps the only place where one can gamble with some form of leniency. There are four casinos in Dubai and three of them allow gambling.

However, horse racing remains one of the more popular sports in the entire Arab Gulf region. Whether one can bet on horse racing remains a question though. Again, this is more possible in Dubai than anywhere else.

Now let’s consider online gambling. Like the rest of the world, online gambling has become a huge hit in the Arab Gulf region and sites like www.saudicasinos.com are widely visited by online gamblers. The largest poker sites in the world all made their presence felt throughout the region, especially in the UAE. But again, all the countries in the region clamped down on the online casinos. Even the riverboat casinos faced large scale outrage from the authorities.

Online poker in the UAE also faces the same issues now. The authorities have really come down hard on the online casinos operating in this region. The ships anchored on the shores are also monitored so that they don’t allow gambling. But for now, online poker and other casino games are still continuing in Dubai and some of the other parts of UAE.

It can be summarized that the Arab Gulf region is not really a hotbed for poker and other gambling games. The rules are strict and must be adhered to.

Play Poker @Bodog