How Online Gambling in Bahrain Can Grow Despite Being Banned?
Bahrain is a middle eastern country located to the east of Saudi Arabia and is a fairly wealthy island. Despite the high average annual income level, gambling is illegal in Bahrain and other Islamic countries.
Some Muslim countries allow some form of betting or gambling to collect social welfare funds, but in Bahrain, betting on blood sports, fantasy football, lotteries, etc., is illegal. Despite these challenges, the gambling industry in Bahrain is steadily growing. So how is this happening?
Is Gambling Legal In Bahrain?
No, it is not. The kingdom of Bahrain is an oil-rich Muslim country whose laws are deeply rooted in the Islamic faith and principles and follow sharia law. Sharia law consists of the fundamental concepts of Islam and acts as a code of living that all Muslims should adhere to.
According to the sharia law, gambling is forbidden because it is a kind of game without any serious purpose and benefit. Muslims are prohibited from any activity that leads to addiction, which promotes gambling. In Islamic law, gambling is mentioned in conjunction with drinking, which emphasizes the connection between gambling addiction and alcoholism.
Laws Regarding Gambling In Bahrain
According to the Bahrain Penal Code, Article 308, titled gambling, states that:
- Every person who gambles in a public place shall be liable for imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding BD 100.
- Every repeat offender within one year from the date of passing a final court judgment against him shall be liable for imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding BD 500.
- Every person who operates or oversees a gambling site in any capacity shall be liable for imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding BD 500.
- Any game dependent on luck rather than factors you can control will be considered a gambling game.
Reasons Gambling Is Popular In Bahrain
As you can see, there are strict laws against gambling in Bahrain. Despite these challenges, online casino games are gaining popularity in Bahrain, and that is because a large number of residents and tourists enjoy this form of activity. Let’s discuss the reasons for this growth in detail.
1. Online Gambling Is Not Mentioned In The Criminal Code
In the laws mentioned above, there is no mention of online gambling or online casinos in Bahrain. However, this doesn’t mean that online gambling is legal.
As all forms of gambling are prohibited, so is online gambling. However, since this law isn’t enforced for online gambling, players enjoy gambling on offshore casino sites regulated outside of Bahrain from the privacy of their homes.
These casino sites use external licenses from government agencies, providing you with adequate security and privacy so you can bet and gamble easily without getting caught.
Since these casino sites are regulated offshore, it is perfectly legal to accept players from Bahrain. However, placing bets on these websites is illegal for Bahraini citizens. Thus, enforcement of international laws can become complicated.
2. Use Of VPN To Connect To Offshore iGaming Operators
Bahrain has an extremely in-depth internet censorship program. It blocks all gambling-related websites at the ISP level. Still, players access these foreign websites through VPN to connect to offshore iGaming operators.
However, you must note that anyone who uses VPN for gambling does so at their own risk since there is no player protection in place. Moreover, as laws regarding online gambling are not clear, we don’t know the consequences and charges if someone gets caught.
Online Casinos In Bahrain
Having discussed the legality of gambling in Bahrain, let’s look at some popular online casinos in Bahrain that accept Bahraini players.
888Casino has been operational for over 20 years and is licensed and regulated under the London Stock Exchange. The casino offers high-quality gambling products, regular promotions, multiple banking options, excellent customer support, and great VIP programs to entice customers to keep playing.
Betway is a good choice for international gamblers as it is secure and reliable, and you can easily access online casino games without getting caught. It was launched in 2005 and worked with leading software providers like Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, etc. It offers jackpots, non-progressive slots, table games, and live dealer games.
Betfinal was launched in 2013 and is licensed in Curacao, thus following the international security standards. The website offers multiple casino games and sports betting options. You can bet on virtual sports or live stream games. Betfinal also has a mobile app for iOS and Android users.
We hope this clears up the confusion about how online gambling is growing in Bahrain despite being banned.