Active players: 400.000
Currency: Qatari riyal (QAR)
Regulated gambling products: No form of gambling is allowed
Operator types: Unlicensed online bookmakers and casinos
Designated authority: No designated gambling authority
Qatar is a country located on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It neighbors with Saudi Arabia and runs under a Unitary absolute monarchy. Emir Tamim bin Hamad is the country’s leader. It gained its independence from the UK on September 3rd, 1971. The 2022 FIFA World Cup took place in Qatar, drawing football fans from all over the world. The country has the 3rd highest GDP per capita worldwide and follows the Islamic religion. No strict measures apply to online gambling, although all of its forms are typically illegal. There are no land-based betting shops and no casinos. Nonetheless, there’s a reportedly big underground gambling scene focusing on camel races and football betting. Due to the lack of domestic options, players opt for international betting sites in Qatar like Bet365 and 1xBet.
Betting in Qatar - 5 things to know
- Fines of 3000 riyals and up to 3 months in prison await gamblers
- No bookies hold licenses
- There is no law specifically on gambling
- Duty-free raffles are the only legal ‘gambling activity’ in the country
- Many illegal bookies emerge from time to time, simply avoid them
Best betting sites in Qatar
If you are based in Qatar, here are the best bookmakers for you. They offer competitive odds, great promotions and a wide array of sports & betting markets.
The gambling environment in Qatar
Gambling is illegal in Qatar, in all its forms. It is a Muslim country, and this is usually the norm. Duty-free raffles in the airport are the only legal form of gambling activity. However, local players are keen bettors, so they try their luck online. Qatar's online gambling laws simply don’t exist. Only the state’s penal law refers to gambling, clearly pointing it’s not legal. Accordingly, there’s no tax model for operators, no licensees and no licensing procedures either.
If you’re an expat living in Qatar, bear in mind that laws apply to everyone, locals or foreigners. Indeed, in some cases, they might be stricter for locals, but you must abide by and respect the illegality of gambling. Therefore, you should definitely avoid any landbased bookie you might come across. Not only it will bring you trouble, you might even lose the money you bet from the dodgy organizers. If you still want to place a bet, do so only online. The use of VPN software is important since you should lay as low as possible. Lastly, stick to reputable bookmakers only.
Essential information for bettors
Online winnings are -as probably expected- exempt from taxes. Still, always remember that even when doing it online, it’s not legal to place bets in Qatar. With respect to that, just try to minimize the risks. Follow KYC (know your customer) guidelines from online bookies and stick to e-wallets for your transactions.
Many expatriates live here, with an estimated 11% of them being British. Many Indians and Philippinos too make up for a large percentage of expats. Qatar betting laws are reportedly a bit more lenient towards them, however, they do apply. Lastly, there is no strict surveillance of online gambling, as compared to other Arabic countries.
How to deposit at online bookies
There is no specific authority to inspect or restrict access to online gambling sites. However, don’t forget that it is still illegal to bet online. Therefore, try to use e-wallets in order to fund your betting account. Skrill, Neteller and WebMoney are offering their services in Qatar. Stick to these payments, keep your anonymity and move your funds in a fast and convenient manner.
List of betting sites accepting Qatari Riyal
Here’s a list of Qatar betting sites that accept local players while offering them the opportunity to keep a QAR account.
The future of online betting Qatar
Qataris have traditionally been fond of gambling. The thing is that gambling is illegal in all its forms, so they mainly try their online options. The upcoming FIFA World Cup could be a major opportunity for some change. There could be pressure from the organizers’ side to allow football betting.
However, being such a wealthy country does not leave many chances for this to happen. It’s not a country that will seek to gain money from allowing gambling and then taxing it. As a result, bookmakers are not expected to get licenses here any time soon. The online betting environment will probably remain local punters’ only refuge for many years and always under precautions.
The complete list of bookmakers in Qatar
Online betting is illegal and transactions might at any given time be under surveillance by the authorities. E-wallets like Skrill, WebMoney and Neteller help you keep your anonymity while offering faster withdrawals than bank wire and cards.
No law framework applies to winnings from gambling, since it is illegal in the first place. As a result, you keep what you win when betting online.
Gambling in the country is illegal in all its forms, including online. Despite that, many Qataris opt for online bookies and laws are reportedly a bit more relaxed when it comes to online betting.
Offering its services to Qatari punters, 1xBet delivers a great selection of different sports and markets. It comes with a fully localized interface and allows you to bet in Arabic and open a QAR account.
Bookies like 1xBet and Bet365 can guarantee you a safe betting experience. Generally, stick to reputable sportsbooks like the ones we listed for you above and you’ll face no problems.
One of the most reputable bookies, Bet365, accepts players from Qatar. It offers betting markets on 45+ sports, competitive odds and great promotions on a constant basis.