Most Popular eSports Bookies in United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has some of the most luxurious and glamorous tourist destinations, attracting millions of tourists each year. That makes it easy to assume that there would be countless betting opportunities in the country, especially for tourists. However, that is not necessarily the case in the UAE. The government is opposed to gambling despite the lucrative revenue that the industry could generate. Several laws make it illegal to gamble.

Despite the limiting laws, it is still possible to gamble. That is especially the case for online gambling, particularly eSports betting. The laws have some loopholes that punters can take advantage of to get their gambling fixes. However, the options are quite limited. Punters have to seek offshore alternatives to enjoy the best gambling experiences in most cases.

Most Popular eSports Bookies in United Arab Emirates

The popularity of gambling is particularly high among ex-pats and tourists. Most residents are not for the idea of gambling, primarily due to religious reasons. That is because most of the residents profess Islamic religion, which is against gambling. However, the popularity is gradually growing even among the residents. That is due to the heavy influence from the many tourists visiting the country.

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History of esports betting in the United Arab Emirates

History of esports betting in the United Arab Emirates

Esports betting is relatively new in the UAE. For a long time, eSports were not considered mainstream sports to be included in the betting markets. That was mainly because no formal organizations could be trusted to manage and regulate eSports events and tournaments to ensure that outcomes are not manipulated. However, all that has changed as eSports are now featured in mainstream online casinos globally.

Future of esports betting in the United Arab Emirates

As mentioned earlier, eSports betting in the UAE is growing slowly. However, the growth is positive, meaning there is a high chance that the industry will flourish in the future. Most eSports casino operators ensure that the industry thrives in the country. That includes running effective marketing campaigns and providing the best offers to incite new punters to try betting.

With the ever-increasing number of tourists visiting the UAE, it is also possible that the country will find ways to capitalize on the potential revenue it can get from the gambling industry, especially among tourists visiting. That means there are chances of the laws becoming a little favorable for tourists to gamble legally while in the country.

History of esports betting in the United Arab Emirates
The history of gambling in the United Arab Emirates

The history of gambling in the United Arab Emirates

The history of gambling in the UAE dates back further than most people believe. It all started as entertainment related to traditional sports such as camel racing. At first, the betting activities were not a big deal as they were not particularly viewed as addictive, which the Islam religion is against. Eventually, more and more people began investing more money in the sport. In 1970, Sheikh Zayed invested in making camel racing an organized sport. The investment was so successful that he invested further in racing tracks and centers in 1990.

Significant historical changes in the UAE gambling industry

The sports betting industry also began to thrive alongside the growing sports industry. Gambling centers sprung up in numerous countries, especially in upmarket hotels. More sports were introduced during the 90s, increasing the number of gambling markets offered by the gambling operators. The increased popularity of gambling was so much that the government introduced new gambling laws.

The new laws were introduced in 1998. The laws were generally against gambling activities, particularly among its residents. Only a few land-based casinos were allowed to operate legally in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other places. Such gambling centers still operate to date, but with strict regulations. The new laws dealt a heavy blow to most casino operators who had invested a lot in their businesses. To pivot the situation, most of them started operating casino cruises. Casino cruises are still quite popular and among the main tourist attractions in the country.

Future expectations

As mentioned earlier, the United Arab Emirates could soon prohibit gambling. That is based on the industry's gradual but steady growth and the willingness of the government to allow the tourism gambling industry to flourish. Currently, there are no particular laws in the making that will support the legalization of gambling in the UAE. However, that could change soon as the influence of the international gambling industry grows.

Improving popularity will also contribute to the growth of the online gambling industry. That is because punters can now use VPNs and other emerging technologies to gamble online without leaving any traces of their gambling activities. Payment options such as cryptocurrencies contribute to that as they offer anonymous payments.

The history of gambling in the United Arab Emirates
Betting acts in the United Arab Emirates

Betting acts in the United Arab Emirates

The gambling laws in the United Arab Emirates are defined in the 2012 decree passed by Sheikh Khalifa. The decree is quite clear and extensive regarding the prohibition of online and offline casinos. Residents are also not allowed to take part in any form of gambling.

However, the law does have some exceptions regarding gambling among tourists. A few land-based casinos are licensed to provide gambling services to specific tourists. Such casinos are generally operated on cruise ships.

There is also an exception for players to bet on sports they actively participate in. That means that players are allowed to bet on the sports they play, as long as they do not involve any third-party gambling providers. That is because the law only prohibits transactions with third-party gambling providers. Players are also limited to betting on the particular events they participate in and not the sport in general.

The Cyber Crime Law

The Cyber Crime Law is designed to prevent individuals from publishing, producing, exploiting, or transmitting any material that can prejudice public morals, including gambling materials. According to article 17 of the Cyber Crime Law, offenders can be imprisoned or fined 250,000 - 500,000 dirhams.

The Penal Code

The Penal Code contains most of the United Arab Emirates online and offline gambling laws. The Penal Code describes all the possible punishments prescribed to individuals or organizations that break any of the gambling laws. For example, article 414 of the UAE Penal Code defines the punishment for gambling illegally as two years imprisonment or up to 20,000 dirhams fine. Article 121 of the Penal Code dictates that a foreigner who gambles illegally faces the same penalty, which can be changed to deportation from the UAE by the court.

Religious Law

The Quran prohibits all forms of gambling, stating that gambling is immoral. The United Arab Emirates follows the teaching of the Quran, and the government promotes following the teachings even when they are not formally passed as law. Most of the residents are guided by religious teachings, meaning that they abide by the religious rules.

Betting acts in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates players' favorite games

United Arab Emirates players' favorite games

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)

CS: GO is UAE's most popular esports game. The country has some of its citizens in professional teams that play at the international level. The popularity of CS: GO in the UAE is fueled mostly by the numerous tournaments and events that usually feature the game, both locally and internationally. The game is also rather entertaining for both players and spectators.


Overwatch is another popular team-based game. The gameplay involves first-person shooting action among 12 players, six in each team. The game features many characters, referred to as heroes, each with unique abilities. Players assume the role of preferred characters.


FIFA video game is particularly popular among individual, non-professional players. It is pretty common to find e-gamers of all ages enjoying the game during their free time at home. The popularity is fueled by the popularity of association football in the country. The FIFA video game is a simulation of the real association football game.

Fortnite Battle Royale

The popularity of this shooting game exploded because of its free-to-play model. Anyone looking to experience a fun shooting game can access the game. It also has a considerable presence among the most popular online streamers. The game is also popular because it is available on most platforms, including popular gaming consoles and operating systems.

United Arab Emirates players' favorite games
Payment methods in the United Arab Emirates

Payment methods in the United Arab Emirates

When choosing the best esports betting site in the United Arab Emirates, punters also have to consider the payment methods offered by the casinos. The right payment option might vary for different punters based on several factors such as accessibility, transaction costs, transaction amount limits, and processing time. Some of the best and most reliable options in the United Arad Emirates are highlighted below.

Debit and Credit Cards

Debit and credit cards are some of the most popular payment methods among punters in the United Arab Emirates. That is primarily because of how easily available they are. Punters also prefer banking cards because they are easy to use and attract better bonus offers than other payment options.


E-wallets are the second most popular payment alternative in the United Arab Emirates among esports punters. The main reason is that they offer convenience, given that payments are made easily and transactions are processed immediately. E-wallets also allow for safe withdrawals, unlike many other options that support only deposits.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are also quite popular in the United Arab Emirates. That is because they allow users to make transactions easily and anytime, right from their mobile devices.

Direct Bank Transfer

Some eSports punters prefer making deposits via direct bank transfers. That usually comes with the benefit of tracking all transactions easily from the banking records. A downside to this payment method is that the transaction processing time might be longer than other alternatives.

Payment methods in the United Arab Emirates


Is betting on esports legal in the UAE?

Unfortunately, eSports betting in the UAE is illegal. The law does not allow citizens to participate in any form of gambling. However, there are ways that punters use to bet safely in the UAE. Such include betting in offshore eSports casinos.

Are there any online casinos based in the United Arad Emirates?

Currently, there are no online casinos based in the UAE. That is because the law prohibits the operation of gambling businesses, meaning the government does not issue licenses to gambling operators.

How can punters in the UAE bet on esports?

The best solution for accessing eSports betting markets is visiting an offshore betting site. The punters must ensure the betting sites allow punters from the UAE to play.

How can players bet on esports safely?

Punters should ensure they choose trusted eSports casinos with top security features and privacy policies. Additionally, punters should invest in reliable virtual private networks to bolster their security and privacy. Punters should consider using payment options that offer the most security when making deposits or withdrawing funds, such as cryptocurrencies.