The Sharia laws prohibit its citizens from gambling. Such a situation can be tough for most gambling enthusiasts. Countries such as Saudi Arabia have stringent restrictions on betting, making it hard to access online casinos as well. That’s why you will find gambling enthusiasts shifting to Online Games to fulfill their need for gambling. However, there are a lot of things that the Saudi Arabia Government can do to legalize gambling and control it.
Since most gambling enthusiasts have to find pleasure in this hobby elsewhere, there is a lot of income that the government is losing on this sector. Besides that, it can be an ideal way to tap into the tourism sector when foreigners come to gamble in this great destination. Online Casino in religious countries like Saudi Arabia can become a reality if the government learn a few things from states that have legalized this venture. Before we proceed to unlegalized countries, it is essential to check how other Islamic nations are fairing with gambling.
Malaysia is predominantly Islam and bans all forms of online and offline betting. One of the prominent law that bans betting is the Betting Act 1953. Besides that, the civil contract law declares that any agreement made between two parties, such as gambling, is considered null and void. Therefore, if one fails to pay up a lost bet, there is no legal obligation that one can use to claim the bet. It also has regulations that impose hefty fines on anyone operating a betting house. However, it is unclear whether online casinos fall under the category of betting houses.
Despite the strict rules in Malaysia, the regulations do not affect non-Malayans such as Indians, Chinese, and other people who account for 40% of their population. In that case, the non-Malayans have their secular regulations that run side by side with the Sharia Laws. The secular laws do not prohibit betting, making it safe for non-Muslim citizens.
The Lebanese government restricts its citizens from any form of gambling. Besides that, it has stringer regulations that restrict foreigners to their state-owned offline casino; The Casino DU Luban
However, their citizens can still access online casinos through virtual private networks to access games such as Baccarat and Blackjack. People can also place, send and receive their money through unrestricted online payment methods, which are legal within the country. Finally, gamblers can access a casino ship off the coast of Lebanon and enjoy the game on international waters without worrying about breaking their local laws.
What Saudi Arabia can learn from Countries that have Legalized Gambling
The United Kingdom is one of the countries that betting is entirely legal. Even so, they still have strict regulations that keep effects such as addiction to check. Some of the rules that the British government has put in place include:
- Protecting children from being vulnerable to exploitation through gambling.
- Preventing the use of gambling as a source of disorder or association with crime.
- Ensuring that betting is done in the fairest way possible.
The government has even gone a notch-higher by establishing The Gambling Commission in 2005. The commission has the mandate of regulating everything related to gambling besides spread betting, which falls under the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority.
Although the commission has been successful in gambling control, there are a few setbacks that come along with their jurisdiction. For instance, the commission declared that it could not monitor the financial health of every company providing betting services, which can be a significant risk to gamblers.
All foreign companies without a Gambling license are prohibited from advertising their services to customers within the UK. However, there is a white list to any foreign company that meets all the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005. This means that the service provider can operate outside the UK jurisdiction to take advantage of the friendlier tax regulations in the country. Some of the foreign jurisdictions allowed by the commission include:
• Isle of Man.
• EEA (European Economic Area) countries.
• Antigua and Barbuda.
Some of the considerations that the commission can make include:
- Setting up other games that non-gamblers can consider.
- Restrict gambling to older people with a particular financial activity.
- Have strict tax regulations related to gambling.
- Establish ways that the commission can keep track of the financial health of the service providers.
- Operate state-owned online betting company to follow all rules to the letter.
- Allow deposits using online money transfer/payment platforms.
With these regulations, the Saudi Arabia government will be in a position of offering an ideal platform for their gambling enthusiasts reasonably and safely. It can also tap a lot of income generated from taxes paid by the service providers.
From the above-stated standpoints, it is evident that gambling is not a risky venture as long as there are strict regulations. The Saudi Arabian government can consider setting up its Gambling Commission that oversees every activity related to the enterprise.