Active players: 10.000.000
Currency: Iranian rial (IRR)
Regulated gambling products: No form of gambling is allowed
Operator types: Unlicensed online bookies and casinos
Designated authority: No designated gambling authority
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in the north of the Persian Gulf. It borders Turkey and Iraq, among others. It has a significant geostrategic importance and Tehran is the capital and largest city. Iran's political system combines elements of presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. All authority is gathered in a "Supreme Leader"- Ali Khamenei, who has been in charge since 1989. Gambling in Iran has historically been a vital part of local culture, until 1978.
That was the year when the Islamic Revolution overturned the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. His administration brought strict reforms, including a complete ban on poker, sports betting and other traditional gambling games. Some horse and camel races are still open to betting; yet, all other forms of gambling remain illegal to this day. Locals however are still passionate gamblers. Luckily for them, betting sites available in Iran are quite a few, like Melbet and Betwinner.
Gambling in Iran - 5 things to know
- Gamblers could face up to 6 months in prison if caught
- Iran has a special cyber police department
- Cryptocurrencies are quite popular in Iran
- Visa and Mastercard don’t operate in the country
- ‘As nas’ is believed to be the Iranian predecessor of modern poker
Best betting sites in Iran
We’ve checked and we present you the Iran online bookmakers who offer a wide array of sports, high odds and variety of markets on the Persian Gulf Pro League, as well as the best offers and bonuses.
The gambling environment in Iran
All forms of gambling are illegal in Iran, with an exception on horse and camel racing betting. Offenders could face 1-6 months imprisonment or 74 lashes. The same applies to online gambling too and Iran has a pretty active cyber police also. Of course, online betting is taking place in Iran and a growing number of players are accessing offshore bookies. It is vital to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when going online though. Laws are strict, so don't lower your guard.
However, according to reports, the authorities are not too aggressive against players who bet online. They impose active surveillance and block websites from time to time, but they don’t seem to prosecute individuals. We advise you to keep your gambling activity as personal as possible and avoid dodgy online bookies that someone might suggest.
Betting in Iran: What to avoid
If you want to place a bet, Iran is not the most welcoming country to do so. A quite common thing here is for someone to act like an agent for taking bets. There’s a lack of options on funding one’s account, along with surveillance from the authorities. This keeps many people away from even trying to open an online betting account.
So, someone who has managed to open one with a few online bookies, does that: he uses his shop or even his house as an -illegally operating- agency and he accepts bets on behalf of individuals. This seems to minimize the risk for an individual, because he doesn’t practically gamble himself. However, it’s two times riskier. The ‘agent’ could at any given time disappear with your money, change his whereabouts, or get caught. With betting being illegal, you ain’t gonna actually go to the police to ask for your money back, right?
Thus, simply don’t trust your hard-earned money to dodgy ‘agencies’. There are also quite a few local sites available. All of them operate illegally and without a license from an acclaimed authority. To name a few, avoid Betravesh, Toofanbet, Tinybet and Taktik. These are all dodgy sites, offering you absolutely no security. On the contrary, all the bookies we suggest here are 100% trustworthy and guarantee you a safe betting experience.
Avoid funding your betting account through your bank account. Avoid using your debit card too, since it can easily lead to your online activity. Stick to the few e-wallets that operate in Iran, like Perfect Money and ZarinPal. If the bookie you choose accepts cryptocurrencies and you’re familiar with using them, do so. Bitcoin and Litecoin are very popular in Iran and offer a great deal of -a much needed- anonymity.
Here we present you the bookies that accept Iranian players while offering betting in the local currency (IRR).
The future of online gambling in Iran
Betting has traditionally been a part of Iranians’ lives. Locals were always, and still are, keen gamblers; despite the restrictions. There have been people talking about the once much more liberal Iran, but this is apparently not coming back and there are no signs of development either. Operators won’t be getting licenses anytime soon. Therefore, players will keep on betting online on popular international bookies; while being constantly cautious about the authorities’ surveillance.
Having reviewed the gambling environment in Iran, here’s the list of all the bookies that accept local bettors.