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Is betting legal in Saudi Arabia?  If so, is public gambling different from betting online?

If you choose to start betting on sports from Saudi Arabia, you should know that gambling in all forms is banned by the government as gambling is not allowed by Islamic law.  This means a few things for you:  

One, Saudi Arabia filters some forms of website content so that it may not reach their citizens.  The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission is the governmental organization in charge of this task.  The government is likely blocking at least some of these sports betting sites, if not all of them.  As such, you may need access to a virtual private network (VPN) in order to access these websites, though these may have issues in working completely from Saudi Arabia.  If you are concerned about which sites might be blocked, each of the buttons and links above will open new tabs.  Simply click them all then look at the tabs to see which ones are available to you.  If they loaded, you can get started.  In the end, while sports betting is not legal, it is far less objectionable than many other kinds of content.

Second, punishment for gambling online is essentially just as severe as if you were caught in an illegal gambling den in a public place.  Thus if you decide to start betting online from Saudi Arabia, do so with a high level of discretion.  Do not talk about your betting activities with anyone as they could report your activities to the religious police.  In the end, if you operate with discretion and use the above methods to access and transact with betting sites from Saudi Arabia, the risks will be minimized.  We explore how to make and receive sports betting payments below.


Will the legality of sports betting change in Saudi Arabia?

This is an interesting question.  There is no doubt that on the spectrum of conservative to progressive Islam, Saudi Arabia tends to be on the conservative side of things.  Though, things have progressed in some areas in recent years, allowing for new activities and allowances to occur within Saudi society.  As things progress in Saudi Arabia, there may be some leniency for sports betting in the coming years and decades.  Saudis love their sports, especially football, with an excellent local league and millions of supporters for the top clubs in Europe.  With this, The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has investigated making investments in English Premier League clubs including both Manchester United and Newcastle United.  

Although nothing has yet come to fruition, such an investment will increase pressure to allow sports betting within the Kingdom.  Why?  Each and every Premier League club has an official sports betting partner.  At the time of writing, NUFC, which was under offer from the PIF, had three betting partners.  This includes an international sportsbook brand which is included in our list above, one brand focused only on Asia, and another brand focused only on the UK.  Should the PIF succeed in investing in a Premier League club, the PIF will be profiting directly from corporate partnerships with gambling companies.  This will create uncomfortable questions at home in the Kingdom.  How on one hand can Saudi profit from gambling sponsors, but prevent their own citizens from partaking in the very same activity from which they profit?  In time, like other neighbouring GCC nations, one can expect a loosening of restrictions with regard to online and mobile betting in the Kingdom.  Although gambling in public will likely remain a banned activity.


Saudi Arabia banking methods for online sports betting

Third, you should use sports betting  banking methods that provide you with an additional level of anonymity.  Unless you hold a position that you feel provides you with a position of safety, it is best not to transact directly with these bookmaker companies from your bank account or credit card that is based in Saudi Arabia, though they are available for use.  You can use an e-wallet like EcoPayz, Skrill, Neteller or Much Better which is an app that you may download from the app store.  These companies are located outside of Saudi Arabia and are used for all manner of online transactions, so transacting with them is less of a risk.  You’ll be able to link a bank account or credit card to these e-wallets so that your Saudi-based transactions are not directly linked to betting or gambling.

You can also use a prepaid solution like paysafecard.  These are cards that that can be purchased at retail locations across Saudi Arabia and can thus be used anonymously as online cash.  To find local retail establishments near you that sell paysafecard, visit paysafecard Saudi Arabia.  Once at the betting site, you simply enter the code and your money is granted.

If you would like to make payments via Bitcoin, Marathon, Pinnacle and 1XBET are options that allow you to do this, which is of course an extremely secure and anonymous way to transact.

Saudi Arabia Riyal (SAR) sports betting accounts

For your purposes in banking and betting from Saudi Arabia, most bookmakers do not offer SAR accounts.  As such, you should select an account in US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds upon registration, as banking methods will work more seamlessly for you.  In fact, you will have more banking options when your betting account is in another currency.

When it comes to a much wider range of available currencies, MarathonBet and 1XBET offer more than any other major bookie, and they both offer accounts in the Saudi Arabia Riyal.  This means that if you wish, you can avoid the hidden cost of exchanging your currency if you wish, though your payment method choices will certainly be fewer than if you played in another currency.  If you so desire, your credit card or Skrill e-wallet will be able to transact directly in Riyal with either MarathonBet or 1XBET, ranked above at #4 and $8 respectively for the Kingdom.

If interested, you may see the current exchange rates for the Saudi Arabia Riyal versus the top sports betting currencies here:  SAR to USD and SAR to EUR.

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Rank

Saudi Bookies

Notable points of interest for Saudi bettors

Perhaps the best reputation in the world. High odds. Very high stake limits. Arbitrage friendly. Casino + Live Casino.

Arab bonus offer. Arabic site version. Cash out. Competitive odds. Lots of markets.  Horses + Casinos.

High odds. Lots of markets. Great interface. Horses + Casinos. Cash out + AdvanceBets. Man City sponsor. SAR accounts

Lots of promos. Solid odds. Elegant interface. Early cash out. Lots of markets. Horses + Casinos. Bet with Didier Droba

Review or Visit

10Bet Review

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MarathonBet Review

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Spin Sports Review

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Pinnacle Review

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Find the best Saudi Arabia betting sites - Online bookmakers that serve Saudi Arabia.

Established

1998

2003

2010

1997

bet365 Review

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2000

Perhaps the best interface. Early cash out feature. Football Bet Builder. Horses, Casinos, Poker, Bingo & more.

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1XBET Review

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Bonus offer. Arabic site version. Sponsors of FC Barcelona & Serie A. Casinos + more. SAR accounts

2011

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888sport Review

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1997

Special Arab bonus. Bespoke betting platform. Early cash out. Good Odds.  Lots of markets. Bet Builder. Horses.

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Saudi Arabia Bookmaker Bonuses

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Find sports betting sites by Arab country

2006

Betway Review

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Largest Saudi Arabia bonus. Excellent interface. Early cash out. West Ham sponsor. Horses, Casinos + more.

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Do these Saudi sports betting sites offer other types of online gambling ?

For the most part, yes they do, but they differ quite a bit in terms of what gaming verticals might be available.  888sport is purely an online sportsbook platform - no other games are available there for you.  Online and live casino games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette and slots with many variations are available at essentially all of the other providers listed above.  If you are also interested in having access to an online poker room to play against other players, or access to online bingo in the same way, from the same sportsbook account, these types of offerings require a lot of customer scale at a given company.  For poker and bingo in addition to casino and sport betting, your best option is bet365.  If you are interested in learning more, you can read about Saudi Arabia online casinos for far more detail on the subject.

Saudi Arabia Online Casino Bonus: 10Bet

Unfortunately, most betting sites do not make their new customer bonus offers available to Saudi players.  This is unfair on you.  We have listed several offers below that are available to new bettors in Saudi Arabia.