Thursday, June 13, 2024

Why is Gambling not Allowed in Some Countries?

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Gambling as a prominent recreational activity predates modern history. From horse racing in the 16th century right up to the online casinos that we use today, gambling remains a central part of British life.

On the other hand, gambling is completely illegal in many countries, including Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Cambodia. While some of these countries may permit gambling for tourists, it is mostly illegal for the native population to partake in sports betting, casinos, or any other form of gambling.

The reason for gambling restrictions comes down to religious, economic, political, and social factors. In this article, we’ll explore these more in-depth.

Legal Issues 

As we’ve already established, the UK is a relatively unrestricted country when it comes to gambling laws. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s completely without restrictions.

Crypto casinos, for example, are currently not able to obtain a UK licence. Given that Bitcoin casinos are anonymous, popular crypto gambling sites such as Stake don’t fit in with the UK’s gambling framework when it comes to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations.

However, many people prefer to use crypto casinos as they keep their online activities and personal information private and secure.

Luckily for fans of crypto gambling, there are several Stake alternatives you can try, as this list reveals. Kane Pepi says the best crypto gaming sites offer a wide game selection, helpful customer support, and generous promotions such as free spins.

Moral and Religious Beliefs 

In several countries, gambling is prohibited as it goes against the general moral and religious beliefs of the nation.

For example, gambling is illegal under Sharia law as it involves the transfer of wealth based on an uncertain event. In the Quran, gambling is described as being “abominations of Satan’s handiwork” and a “grave sin”.

Islam is the main religion in several countries, including the United Arab Emirates. Laws in this country are based on civil and Sharia law, which is why gambling is illegal.

The UAE doesn’t even allow foreign visitors to gamble when in the country. Although the Dubai World Cup is one of the biggest horse races in the world, you cannot place a wager on the event – which had a purse of $12 million in 2024 – if attending in person.

Not only does prohibiting gambling ensure these countries abide by Sharia law, but it also helps them maintain their traditions and cultural values.

Islam isn’t the only religion that views gambling as wrongful. While Christianity doesn’t specifically deem gambling immoral, there are certain aspects of gambling that some denominations would claim go against the 10 commandments.

For example, gambling is a form of addiction that encourages greed. Plus, gambling could be seen as a way of putting personal desires in front of God’s.

Crime and Corruption 

As aforementioned, the UK does not permit crypto casinos due to their potential links with money laundering.

Criminals use gambling as a means of disguising the source of their earnings. They mix their illegal profits with money made from gambling, which makes it difficult to trace the origin of their funds. However, this is not the only way gambling is used for criminal purposes.

Other illicit activities that are often linked to gambling include loan sharking. This is where criminal groups provide high-interest loans to gamblers who are low on legitimate credit sources. The high interest rates often entrap the recipient into a cycle of debt, leading to bankruptcy.

Organised crime groups have also been known to bribe, threaten, or coerce athletes to fix the outcome of sports games. This allows them to bet in total confidence and receive a significant profit.

Countries such as Japan, China, and Brazil have long had issues of organised crime in relation to gambling, which is why the respective governments in each country have implemented gambling restrictions.

However, that’s not to say these countries totally prohibit all forms of gambling. China is home to the special administrative region of Macau.

Macau is currently the most lucrative gambling location in the world and S&P Global predicts that its Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) will increase by between 20 and 30% in 2024.

Regulatory problems 

Some countries deem casinos and online gambling as being too difficult to regulate – so much so, that it is far easier to ban the practice than it is to set up a regulatory system.

To ensure fair play in gambling, a sophisticated system of rules and regulations needs to first be established. This system then needs to be monitored rigorously to ensure all gaming institutions are compliant.

Measures also need to be put in place to support those with gambling addiction and to control organised criminal activity.

Some countries may not have the funding or the provisions to implement an effective regulatory gambling system. Without the ability to set up regulations, gambling goes unregulated, which causes a host of problems for the country. To avoid this, some countries prefer to keep gaming prohibited.

To put this into perspective, the Gambling Commission spent £19.33 million on regulating the UK gambling industry between 2022 and 2023.

Final Thoughts 

Gambling is heavily restricted in some countries due to legitimate religious, moral, and political concerns. While gambling is a popular and legal pastime in the UK, it is illegal for the likes of Japanese and Saudi Arabians to bet on casino games. Some countries have made moves in recent years to loosen their gambling restrictions, while other countries, such as the UAE, will likely keep their restrictions in place permanently.

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