Qatar is an Islamic country; hence all forms of gambling are illegal. Religion prohibits the authorities to make this activity legal. According to the Islam faith, all forms of gambling are against their beliefs, hence they must not be legal.
But, even though gambling is strictly prohibited in the country, many Qataris are still fond of casino games. That is the reason why so many underground dens where poker tournaments, bingo games, betting, and casino games are being held. Many residents go to these facilities to try their luck regularly.
Not only that, but they are also fond of online casino gaming. The government has a system that is designed to block all sites that are considered prohibited, but it is not very effective in its line of work. That is why Qataris gain access to online casinos very easily. More so, the government cannot penalize online casino operators because they are off-shore sites and do not belong in their jurisdiction, so these sites are more than welcome to offer their services to Qatari players.
But, since online gambling is illegal and the government does not support it, players that decide to go online and enjoy the latest casino games do that at their own risk. There are many unlicensed sites that roam and it is up to the players to make sure that they do not leave their personal information at a scam site, since they can get robbed of their money.
The only legal form of gambling in the country is the state lottery, which is conducted by Qatar Duty Free.
Regulation Laws and Authorities
Gambling laws in Qatar are very simple and short. The Decree Law of 2004 regulates all these activities. In articles 274, 275, 276, and 277, it is explicitly stated that all forms of gambling are illegal and all those who are caught in these activities will face pretty strict penalties.
Players who participate in illegal gambling activities can be fined between 3,000 and 6,000 Riyals. Not only that but depending on how severe the crime is, they can even face prison time between three and six months. The state does not prohibit the use of VPNs, but they are considered illegal if they are used to access unauthorized sites like online casinos.
There is no strict authority that regulates land-based and online gambling because it is prohibited. Speaking of online casinos, it was mentioned that even though it is illegal, players are still accessing these sites, but at their own risk.
Since there are a lot of unlicensed sites that have the potential to be scam sites, Qatari players are always on the lookout for sites that are licensed by some of the world’s most reputable game providers. These regulatory bodies include the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.