Gambling Laws and Legal Status in Qatar

When playing on online casinos in Qatar, it’s important to be aware of the current legal status of online gambling for a safe gambling experience.

In essence gambling of any kind is prohibited in Qatar and is considered an offence under Qatari law. The Qatari Penal Code states that any type of gambling activity, including betting on sporting events and other forms of gambling, is punishable.

Additionally, advertising or promoting gambling services or games is treated as an offense as well. Many websites related to gambling are blocked in Qatar, and any form of gambling activities carried out on any form of electronic device is not allowed.

We went a head and read in details the penal code of the great country of Qatar (so you won’t have to) and here is the breakdown:

In chapter 3 of the Qatari penal code (page 62) the following chapters relate to Gambling:

Article 274 – “Gambling is any game in which the probability of gain and loss depends on the luck and not on controlled factors and each party agrees to give the amount of money, in case of loss, to the winning party.”

Article 275 – “Anyone who gambles is convicted to no more than three months in prison and to a fine of no more than three thousand riyals, or to one of these who penalties. The penalty is no more than six months in prison in addition to a fine of no more than six thousand riyals, or one of these two penalties if gambling occurs in a public place, is performed openly or in any place or house made for this purpose.”

Article 276 – “Anyone who opens or runs a place for gambling, and anyone who organizes any gambling games in a public place, openly or in any place or house made for this purpose is convicted to no more than a year in prison and to a fine of no more than five thousand riyals, or to one of these who penalties.”

Article 277 – “In the crimes of gambling and drinking mentioned in this chapter, the court confiscates the materials, money and equipment used in the crime and pronounces a judgment of closing the place of the crime. It can only open for a legal purpose after the approval of the office of the attorney general.”

After reading carefully the above articles from the Qatari penal code, you will notice that by article 274, it is referred to only “Games of chance” meaning when the outcome is based on luck, will you say that BlackJack or Poker are games of luck only? if so how come serious professional poker players keep winning tournaments?

In addition, Article 275 + Article 276 mainly refer to openly gambling in a public place, or, organizing such gambling events in a public place, that is not the case the gambling online.

Same goes for Article 277, it’s written that it is possible to confiscate the equipment and materials for gambling, that is again not the case or it is not directed to online gambling.

As a result of the Articles above, there is no official body to regulate/oversee gambling activities as they are essentially forbidden, it is advised to those who wish to gamble online to firstly use ONLY licensed online casinos with proper gambling authorities from jurisdictions who takes the matter seriously, to name a few of the most popular gambling authorities:

  • United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)
  • Curaçao eGaming (CeG)

Following this simple tip will increase your security when gambling online.

Another very important tip for Qatari online casino players is to use a VPN, there are many providers to choose from, some are free some comes with a monthly subscription, we will write a detailed guide on the subject, but for now, those are some of the most popular VPNs available:

FAQs

Is lottery legal in Qatar?

The short answer is “Yes & No”, let me explain, buying a physical lottery ticket is only possible legally in Qatar’s airport, it’s not possible to legally buy a lottery ticket anywhere else in Qatar.
It is managed by Qatar Airways the official airline of Qatar, you can learn more about this lottery at Qatar’s Duty Free site: https://www.qatardutyfree.com/Raffles/MillionaireRaffle.aspx.
The official name of this lottery game is “Millionaire Raffle” in order to get in touch with Qatar’s Airways for more questions and clarifications feel free to email: qdfconlineshopping@qatarairways.com.qa