Although many Middle Eastern countries are cosmopolitan and can offer as much pop culture as Western societies, by and large the region is not known for mainstream legal gambling entertainment. One country is the exception, which is Lebanon. Not only does it contain land-based casinos, there are nearly two hundred Lebanese online casinos, as well as dedicated sites for poker, mobile casino games, sports betting, real cash bingo and lotto.
A World of Contradictions
This fact about most Middle Eastern countries not allowing gambling, obviously, is culturally rooted in a deep way; Islamic states’ prohibition of this entertainment, if you will, is simple to understand, while the reasons are more complex.
In contrast, most of the United States also forbids gambling for money (at the Federal level), but the American law and custom comes from a different, secular cultural tradition. Yet, similarly, there are ‘hot spots’ in America where it is legal to gamble and to use online casinos, just like in the Middle East.
The United Kingdom has relatively unlimited, regulated gambling and betting. Again, this is to be explained by the cultural fact that the British love this pastime (real cash bingo halls, for example, used to exist in most English villages and towns, although Web versions have decreased them dramatically). Websites offered by British casinos and betting companies attract players worldwide, and the UK has a kind of international brand in this entertainment marketplace that other countries might even envy or hope to challenge with their own offerings.
The Internet, on the other hand, is stirring things up for the enforcement of regional laws because the Web is mostly without boundaries. People in places where certain things like poker or slots are illegal can find them to play online instead. Actually, going online to gamble while inside a country where land-based gambling is forbidden also is illegal, technically. Some such countries crack down or seek to punish this infraction while others may not bother about the Web-based variety so much.
Ways and Means
While any government or society (anywhere in the world outside the Middle East as well) may have banned gambling, the Web has provided a platform for newer policies to evolve that strike a new compromise. On the one hand, large scale amenities for gamblers, which may even attract tourism, are known to have certain social effects that are unwanted and even unacceptable on a moral or ethical basis; but on the other hand, people who want to gamble always seem to find a way; above and beyond, the taxation of gambling is known to generate a large amount for any state that regulates it instead of outlawing the games. So, a more pragmatic approach has been adopted in many countries (or even individual states and districts in America).
Not only does Web technology itself lend a hand in taking a more moderate attitude toward this entertainment type, many online services, especially financial tools, have evolved to facilitate gaming. Allowing a Web-powered casino to launch and operate is very different than granting licenses for land-based casinos to be built and begin operating.
On the Internet, the software technology permits trials to be staged very easily (and, importantly, these tests can be ended and the services revoked in an instant, if need be); or, limitations upon the games can put in place from the start to keep it manageable and satisfy the critics.
But perhaps the biggest benefit and advantage whenever a country or society deems online casino gaming acceptable to some degree is the fact that this format can keep players relatively safe. They are protected when using online money products like e-wallets and innovative cash vouchers, and this from a practical point of view removes most of the stigmas on the games.
Even the world’s most reputable and most visible online payment system, PayPal, has embraced legal gambling services. Any British paypal casino at classycasinos.co.uk, for instance, draws players from both inside and country and abroad. Other regional financial tools exist that offer similar benefits and allow regulatory agencies to ensure fairness and correct taxation. From these examples, we can see that gambling on the Web is not as easy to dismiss as traditional forms — it can be thought of as a middle way, socially and politically, or even morally, and this may be a larger trend internationally in the future.