Best Online Casinos in Israel
Israel is a very religious state with strict moral code, so you must not be surprised about its strict legal prohibition of the majority of gambling entertainments. There are only very few gambling activities allowed legally in the country, and any violations of the laws in this niche lead to fines and even imprisonment.
So, if you are wondering whether you can play casino games online while in Israel, the answer is no. While access to many foreign gambling sites online operated from abroad is not yet blocked by the government, the bettors may access these casinos only at their own risk. Therefore, to be a trustworthy online casino reviewer, we have to claim that it is impossible for us to recommend any casino online Israel that are safe to play at if you’re from Israel.
Even if you are a tourist and actually have a legit real money account at some foreign online casinos, we do not recommend gambling while in this country. If access to your preferred casino in Israel is not blocked yet, you will still be unable to make any transactions to and from the platform. What is worse, you will be risking to violate the law and get caught.
So, avoid gambling at online casinos while in Israel. In this review, we will tell you exactly what gambling is allowed in the country, and how to play casino games without the risk to violate the law. Please keep in mind that websites which today show you the list of “safe” and “legitimate” real money online casinos allowed in Israel are misleading you.
If you are still interested in gambling online for real money, it makes sense to do so when you are abroad travelling around a casino-friendly country, and explore online casino in Turkey, for example. In this case, you can register at online casinos, take bonuses, and win real money on the best platforms listed below.
List of Online Casinos for players from Israel
History of Gambling in Israel
Compared to the majority of other states, Israel is pretty young nation, especially when talking from a perspective of modern lawmaking and legislation. Of course, we may suggest that some forms of gambling and betting were popular both on the territory where Israel is now, but there is no reliable documented information.
The history of modern Israel started in 1950s, when the state was created after the WWII. The government immediately banned all types of gambling and betting, in order to start and explore this segment in manual mode, so to say.
by the end of 1950s, the first national lotteries were legally allowed in the country. By 1968, Israel Sports Betting Board was formed and started to function, so betting on certain sports was also allowed.
At this stage, development of the gambling segment stopped and has not changed by now. This is the case even despite the fact that iGaming industry develops quickly, making Israel one of the leaders in this industry.
Current Situation on Gambling in Israel
As for today, no online gambling is allowed in Israel. Any form of gambling, betting, or punting in the web is illegal. Local banks and online payment processing companies that operate in the country, and prohibited from processing transactions to and from foreign online casinos. The state also has enough technical capability to limit access and eventually block foreign websites targeting Israeli residents.
Despite the fact that official law on gambling that applies to the niche in Israel does not mention online punting, because it was issued back in 1977, the state took care of that aspect. In 2005, they banned all offshore web platforms that were accessible to locals, because before 2005, the segment of playing casino games online was not properly addressed, and as a result, it was not regulated at all.
As for offline gambling, there are only two legally allowed activities. The first is national lottery called Mifal HaPayis. The organization that runs it was founded back in 1951, and today it is a company of national level. It is non-profit, meaning all funds deposited are spent on education, recreation, and arts. Any person 18 years old or older can take part in the lottery. Games allowed in National lottery include actually lottery, Keno, and scratch cards. Despite the fact of being a nation-wide and official body, the company behind national lottery does not run it online.
The second allowed entertainment is sports betting run and regulated by the Israeli Commission for Sports Gambling, also a governmental authority. There is a good dozen of sports available for betting, soccer and football enjoying special popularity. Recently, the agency allowed making bets on horse racing that takes place in other countries. This is perhaps the only case when anything connected to betting in Israel is done online.
The third option for casino lovers is brick and mortar casinos on cruise ships near major port cities. Since these ships operate in the international waters, the passengers are allowed to play games of skill and games of chance legally.
Laws for Gambling in Israel
In order to make gambling in Israel perfectly clear and comprehensive, we decided to create a table for you. Please check out what activity exactly is allowed or banned.
|Classic Casino games like slots||Prohibited||Prohibited|
|Betting||Allowed with The Israel Sports Betting Board||Allowed with The Israel Sports Betting Board|
|Sports / Horse racing||Allowed with The Israel Sports Betting Board||Allowed with The Israel Sports Betting Board|
|Lottery||Prohibited||Allowed with The Israel National Lottery|
|Social gaming with no money involved, and no money prize||Not specifically regulated||Not specifically regulated|
|Skill games without element of chance||Not specifically regulated||Not specifically regulated|
Now you are probably wondering what are social gaming and skill games? To meet the requirements of social gaming or skill games, in order to be allowed by the law, the games have to meet the following three criteria:
- be organized only for a limited number of people, and for a particular circle of people
- the scope of the game does not exceed entertainment and having fun
- it is not organized in the place of prohibited betting, or the place of allowed lotteries and betting
This means that allowed gaming can only be held in a circle of friends (or another limited circle of people), and must not involve any monetary value, or any tangible value at all. That is, classic casino games for real money that can lead to cash prizes are not allowed legally in Israel.
Regulatory Authorities in Israel
There is one main regulatory authority in Israel that controls the segment of gambling - the Israel Ministry of Finance. There are no licensing agencies that would provide license or certificate for casino operators, local or foreign alike.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Israel
In case you participate in the allowed gambling entertainments in the country, it means you will have to pay taxes on your winnings. According to current rules, the amount of the tax for players is 35% of the sum of winnings.
Land Based Casinos in Israel
Since land based casinos are not allowed, there are no cities that would host brick and mortar casino Israel facilities. However, you already know that there is a way out for those who just loves real casinos. It is possible to enjoy classic casino games in casinos on the cruise ships. Israel is country of busy ports, and it is also a popular tourist destination. So, ports do see numerous cruise ships almost all year.
Cruise ships, in their turn, operate in the international waters. You won’t be able to make real money bets while in the port, but as soon as the ship pulls off from the shore, all passengers, both israeli residents and tourists, can try their luck in gambling.
If you are wondering where to mount on the ship, check out the list of the busiest ports in Israel:
If cruise ship is your thing, make sure you purchase the ticket in advance. If you are planning to make real money bets at land based casinos in other countries on your cruise route, find out if it is allowed. Is gambling legal in Egypt? Will you be able to play for real cash? Rules are different for every state.
Banking Options for Gambling in Israel
Generally, all bets can be made directly from bank account. This enables the Israeli people to deposit using their usual plastic, including:
On the other hand, if you visit cruise ships, there may be access to online casinos from the ship. If you’d like to deposit, forget about using your plastic if you a an Israel resident, because the bank transaction will most likely be blocked. Instead, take care of that in advance and open one of the following e-wallets:
If you are interested in Bitcoin gambling, make sure you are informed about the most recent legislation. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is not held legitimate currency in Israel, but it is a taxable asset. So, you may or may not be able to make bets with Bitcoin, but every time you purchase Bitcoins, you have to pay taxes.
Overall, simply keep in mind that, if you participate in allowed gambling activities in Israel, transactions from the bank account are allowed. If you gamble while on cruise ship, make sure you can use your bank card, or maybe you will prefer cash. In case you’d like to access foreign online casinos while abroad (or in the international waters), using your bank card may be a bad idea. So, register yourself an e-wallet in advance, and fund it with international currency.
Facts About Israel
Here are some fun facts about Israel:
- it is the only country, globally, that has more trees on its territory than some 50 years ago
- voicemail was developed here
- local life expectancy is among the highest globally, reaching 82 years average
- cherry tomatoes were first grown in this country
- over 90 % of local homes use sun energy for water heating
- underweight models are banned in this country
- cell phone technology was developed in Israel
- the Dead Sea is the lowest location on the planet
- USB memory stick was invented here
- women are obliged to take part in military forces
- 5% of all the flowers in the world are grown here
- the only underwater museum in the world is situated here