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If you are in UAE and would like to gamble, the best idea is to avoid this activity whatsoever. Online gambling is strictly forbidden in United Arab Emirates, and the punishment is severe, even for foreigners. There are cases of arrest, of both locals and foreigners, due to their gambling online.

There are numerous websites that actually allow players from UAE, but these websites are definitely located elsewhere. United Arab Emirates online casinos are all banned, while mobile casino in United Arab Emirates is also not available (unless you have a VPN installed before entering the country, but it is all risky still). So please avoid online gambling while you are in UAE. If you would really want to visit UAE casino sites, winning real money in UAE casinos, it is better to visit a legal land based gambling house. And still, be ready that the majority of legal facilities (and there are only eight in UAE) are racing facilities.

We provide the list of online casinos accepting for UAE players, but you have to keep in mind the legal situation. These are the best UAE gambling sites.

Alex Gambler

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Online Casinos for Players From UAE


History of gambling in UAE

The most ancient form of gambling entertainment in United Arab Emirates is camel racing. They had pursued this tradition for long, and only in the middle of the 20th century sport events like camel racing and horse racing were officially organized and eligible for betting.

Before the change of law in 1998, generally before the development of the Internet to the certain level, there were official and legal gambling centers in the majority of rich hotels everywhere in the Emirates. However, after 1998, all online gambling was banned, and the majority of land based houses also shut down. In 2017, the government has closed the last 12 websites that were accessible for local gamblers.

Current legal situation in UAE:online gambling laws and regulations

Currently, there are only racing facilities that are officially open for betting. You can try and find a casino in Dubai, but it is situated in the most luxurious hotel and is generally only for VIP foreign guests.

The majority of tourists gamble on cruise ships, but the law demands these cruise ships to stop any gambling activity when they dock, therefore, betting is possible only in the open sea and on board.

The main law on gambling online is the Internet Access Management Policy, according to which all the content available on the Internet for local users is monitored, controlled, and censored. The local users have no access to VPN software, so they cannot access banned content through other country’s server. If the content does not meet Internet Access Management Policy standards, it is banned and the owners of the platform are punished if they are a local company.

Absolutely all virtual content shall comply with the laws and codes of conduct developed by the UAE government, which means that absolutely any resource can be banned from access to locals.

Regulatory Authorities in UAE

The main regulatory agency in United Arab Emirates that controls the telecommunications, or, generally speaking, all types of media available to the locals. It is also responsible for controlling the presence of virtual platforms for gambling. The agency was established in 2003, and in addition to its provision of transparency and competitiveness among all parties, including businesses, it also has the right to censore the content and ban those sources that offer “illegal” content.

It is impossible for an online casino to be legal on the UAE territory, even if it has all the licenses, certifications, and is ready to pay all the taxes, because the content is censored mainly according to the religious rules, and gambling is considered to be the thing that sparks addiction (and this is not far from truth!). Therefore, gambling is banned as it is, and best online casino sites UAE cannot be considered legal under any circumstances.

This rule is established for foreigners and non-Muslims alike, so while you are on the UAE lands, you are not allowed to reach out for virtual gambling houses. You can use the services on cruise ships, or check out other options like sport bets on racing.

Taxation Laws on Gambling in UAE

Little is known on taxation laws, because the main laws associated with gambling are on punishment of gamers and also those who runs the facility or website. According to the current law, the player noticed in public or even private gambling will be punished with detention, or 2 years of prison, or a fine of 20,000 dirhams.

Those who runs gaming houses, both online and offline, risk to be imprisoned for 10 years. These are the reasons why we advise to avoid visiting casinos or platforms for betting while you are on the UAE territory.

Predictions About the Future of Online Gambling in UAE

Online gambling is not likely to become legal in UAE anytime soon. The point of the ban is of a religious nature, and to make gambling legal they have to deny the rules of Islam - which, in its turn, is not likely to happen anytime soon. Foreigners and non-Muslims can visit racing facilities, or play on cruise ships while they are not in port. Some locals, of course, visit illegal land-based casinos, or can organize private sessions at home (this is true for the richest locals), but still the punishment is so severe, that most people just do not risk it.

Land-based casinos in UAE

You are not likely to find any land-based legal casinos in any of the Emirates, except for those on cruise ships. Illegal casinos may be available, but the risks are too high, so avoid them altogether. Online casino in Dubai or anywhere else is not available.
In case you would still want to visit any gambling facility, you can check out horse racing. Below are three best options (like best casino in Dubai) for all those passionate gamblers who cannot leave their passion even in UAE.

Phone number:
+971 4 327 0077
Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Thursday, Friday, Saturday - 12:00 am to 12:00 am

This facility is a racecourse, a hotel, and a set of restaurants, entertainments, and SPAs. It was opened on the place of the older racecourse, and has been popular and in demand since its launch in 2010. Meydan Racecourse has almost 300 guest rooms, and can accommodate up to 60,000 spectators.

Jebel Ali Racecourse (Dubai)
Phone number:
+971 56 930 5177 / +971 56 880 4373
Jebel Ali Race Course Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

This place was built in 1990 and has some slight renovation in 1995, and since then it remained untouched. Compared to Meydan Racecourse, it is not a bit futuristic, and way less pretty, but the atmosphere is what makes it special. If you like informal and relaxed entertainment, Jebel Ali is just for you.

Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (Abu Dhabi)
Phone number:
P.O.Box: 590, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
8 am - 1 pm, 4:30 pm - 7 pm. Friday - closed

This is a home of racing in the city, and also the biggest riding school. It has a hotel and can accommodate guests interested in racing.

Other Popular Type Of Gambling In Uae: Lottery, Racing, Betting

Racing is one of the historically relevant sports and also entertainments in UAE. You can enjoy the horse racing, or if you are lucky, you can see camel racing as well. However, the conditions of betting differ a lot depending on the facility.

There is an overall rule in UAE that, whatever competitions take place, the prize is given only to the competitors, and third parties do not have the right to make bets and make money out of their guesses. This rule is not that strict because racing is still allowed (as we can see), but you will not be able to find any betting opportunities on any other sport events.

Yet, the lottery is available for all locals and also visitors, regardless of their nationality or religion. The tickets are mostly sold in duty-free shops, but sometimes you can find them sold in big markets. The prizes are luxurious, including cars and motorcycles, but the main prize is $1 million.

The lottery is allowed probably because it is seen as pure luck, and not exactly gambling. Yet all other types of betting are not popular because of those severe punishments.

Banking Options for Gambling in UAE

For those who would like to risk and play games online, there are numerous banking methods available. You only have to make a choice as to what fees you are ready to pay and how long you can wait for your money to get transferred.


Depositing money through an intermediary, which e-wallet is, gives you additional security. Plus, it is inexpensive and easy to set up and use. If you feel like e-wallet is the right option, consider providers like Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal.

Credit and Debit Cards

There are no more well-known names than MasterCard and Visa when it comes to credit and debit cards. Make deposits and withdrawals to your debit card, or deposit loaned money from a credit card.

Direct Transfer

It is not necessary to set up an e-wallet account because you can use online banking to transfer money from your account to a casino directly. You can do it either with the help of wire transfer, by writing a cheque or as an instant transfer.

Prepaid Cards

It is a relatively new method. You simply buy a physical card with money on it or sign up for a virtual card. Then you deposit money from any of this card whenever you wish. Visa prepaid cards, EcoPayz, and Paysafecard are true leaders among prepaid card brands.

Apart from the methods above, casinos allow making deposits from cryptocurrency wallets. For now, only Bitcoin and Ethereum are accepted by casinos as the most liquid currencies but the tendency is evolving.

Those gamesmen who does not like unnecessary risks connected to UAE Criminal Code, and prefer to check out cruise ships or racecourses, should pay attention to the fact that they cannot bet with local money. Only US dollars are accepted for this occasion.

Popular Cities in UAE for Gambling

There are only three emirates - the city-states of UAE - where you can find at least any facility for betting. These are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. There are two or three facilities in each of the first two emirates, and currently only one known legal facility in the third one. There is always an opportunity to find a cruise ship and go for a short sea trip on board for the sake of gaming, but you should check the presence, hours, and services of those ships directly when you are there.

The reason why only those three city-states host such facilities is their popularity with tourists, because generally only very rich foreigners and very-very rich locals get engaged into such activities. Online casinos for vip UAE players do not follow these rules - even if you are a millionaire, you are not allowed to play on a virtual platform.

Facts About UAE

Some interesting facts about United Arab Emirates in general and gambling in UAE in particular:

  • UAE consist of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah
  • every year, about 12 million tourists visit UAE. The nation’s GDP gets over 10% out of tourism. Probably this is why foreigners are allowed to visit the racing courses and cruise ships with casino facilities
  • UAE closely cooperates with the US in terms of business, health care, and international issues.
  • UAE participates in disaster relief across the globe.


There are no legal land-based casinos in Dubai or any other emirate. The visitors can gamble only on cruise ships during sea trips (not when the ship is docked). Overall, gambling in Dubai is not allowed. If you want to find a list of casinos in Dubai, you will find zero legal casinos.
Neither used nor new AED currency is not accepted for betting. You can use only US dollars.
No casino games are legal on the territory of Dubai or other emirate. You can legally bet on racing or take part in a lottery only. Online gambling is banned by the Criminal Code of the country.
Abu Dhabi is the richest city-state in the UAE, and it is actually one of the richest city in the world. Also, it is the biggest emirate of all in terms of territory, and holds the biggest population among all the emirates.
Horse betting is allowed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, but there are few facilities. Except horse racing and camel racing, locals and tourists are not allowed to bet on any other sports.
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