Quick Guide to Gambling Laws in Qatar
A poster on quick guide to Gambling Laws in Qatar

Quick Guide to Gambling Laws in Qatar

Introduction

Excited to bet on different favourite teams for FIFA World Cup Edition: Qatar 2022?

Warning: If so, this article is for you. You must have a thorough understanding of the protocol and rules associated with gambling in this Islamic gulf nation. One of the notable rules is that neither land-based nor online gambling activities are lawfully allowed in Qatar.

Through this elucidated content on gambling laws in Qatar, we aim to provide comprehensive knowledge that every gambling enthusiast must know regarding legal sanctions and detailed information concerning online gambling. 

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How does Illegal Gambling Take Place?

Qatar does not have lawfully recognized poker rooms, casinos, lottery rooms, or betting shops where illegal gambling occurs. Criminal organizations and syndicates undertake illicit underground gambling from private properties without the permission of actual owners by bribing caretakers. Imposing penalties is challenging as they resort to frequently changing locations to avoid detections from the relevant authorities. 

Relevant Gambling Laws in Qatar

Qatar flag in a conference on Gambling Laws in Qatar

Gambling in Qatar is illegal in both online and offline modes as there is a lack of licensing regime that authorizes casinos and betting sites required for gambling. Gambling includes lotteries, sports betting, and online gambling. 

The main objective of the Qatar government is to curb the proliferation of unregulated markets and restrict organizations involved in illicit gambling activity. Gambling falls under Articles 274, 275, 276, and 277 of the Qatari Penal Code(QPC). Any activity that may lead to winning or losing depending upon uncontrolled factors is categorically gambling. A monetary prize is agreed upon between both parties and is provided to the winning party. 

Article 275 of QPC states that the penalties imposed on Qataris for gambling are a fine of no more than three thousand Qatari riyals and/or imprisonment for up to three months. These penalties can be extended to six months imprisonment or/and a fine that cannot exceed six thousand Qatari riyals on the condition that gambling occurred in an open or public place. 

Another penalty prescribed for the organization of gambling in public or in the house is imprisonment for not exceeding one year and a fine of up to five thousand Qatari riyals. Government authorities also impound materials, funds, and equipment used for gambling other than the shutdown of gambling houses. 

Apart from the legislation that prohibits gambling in Qatar, religious laws such as Sharia consider gambling an evil activity in which money acquired is unclean as it is not obtained through hard work but a sheer amount of luck. 

Online Gambling in Qatar

A wooden hammer and money for Gambling in a party

Mentioned below are specific ways to govern online gambling:

Recognition of Qatari Laws by Foreign Gambling Operators

As gambling is considered illegal under the ambit of religious laws in Qatar, various foreign operators decline to indulge in bets emanating from Qatar as they intend to honour and respect the Qatari’s secular laws. Individuals involved in prudent online gambling from their homes are not imposed with higher penalties, and no stringent actions are taken against them by the government. 

Blockage and Restriction of Gambling Sites

Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has streamlined internet censorship procedures that lead to the blockage of offshore betting sites in Qatar. 

The use of virtual private networks is not prohibited per se, but accessing prohibited materials or sites through VPNs is classified as criminal activity in Qatar. Hence, governing regulations are circumvented through VPNs that, result in cautious and discreet online wagers. 

Outlawed Cryptocurrencies

The decentralized cryptocurrencies through which individuals of Qatar withdraw or deposit wealth concerning gambling are put under an embargo by Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority. This governing body is enacted under Qatar Financial Center Law, Law Number 7 of 2005. The result has been oversight of registrations with the gambling sites from Qatar, and in this manner, gambling is regulated effectively. 

Embargo on Gambling Marketing

Compliance and adherence with Law Number 1 of 2012 law, the regulation, and control of the placement of advertising, is essential as it prohibits advertisers in Qatar from advertising gambling products and businesses. Fifa Qatar World Cup 2022 also puts an urgent obligation on the state authorities to block betting sites operated by offshore companies. 

Lawful gambling in Qatar

A gambling table in a casino

Qatar Airways, duty-free division organizes a legal game named “raffles” that was introduced in 2006. The different types of raffle are motorbike draws, luxury car draws, and millionaire draws. The passengers participating in the game must provide their nationality, contact information, and passport numbers to the airport authorities. 

If you have questions about the law that applies to your actions or incidents in Qatar, you can use LegaMart’s quick meeting feature (for a steal price!) and contact a qualified attorney familiar with Qatari laws and regulations.

Conclusion

The Islamic religion in Qatar and the penal code are against any form of gambling. The government does not distinguish between activities that involve skill and games based on pure chance. Therefore, severe restrictions are imposed on organizations and individuals who actively participate in gambling-related activities. 

Despite this prohibition, certain offshore companies accept Qatari players to register themselves for gambling. Interested individuals must remember that it is essential to exercise due diligence and act prudent before considering this illegal option. 

If you want to know more about the rules and restrictions in the FIFA world cup, we highly recommend you check out our ultimate football fanatic fans handbook, filled with everything you need while you enjoy the event of the year! Secret: It’s absolutely FREE OF COST! 

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