Most Popular Bookies in Qatar

Qatari residents often find picking the best sports betting site somewhat tricky. For starters, almost every bookmaker offers a unique mix of features that make their offering suitable for a specific clientele. For a player from Qatar, the priority is always to find a bookmaker that accepts players from the country.

Like most Islamic states, all games of chance are prohibited in the country. This, however, does not mean that Qatari players do not get the opportunity to wager on their favorite sports. Sports betting often falls under the general Islamic ban on games of chance, but this position is not usually a significant concern for the local authorities.

Most Popular Bookies in Qatar
Best betting sites in Qatar

Best betting sites in Qatar

In recent years, betting has been fast gaining prominence in the country. However, since gambling is outlawed, most sports bettors resort to playing at international casinos accepting players from Qatar. Fortunately, most of the world's best sportsbooks accept players from Qatar. Thus, players from Qatar only need to look for the best sports betting sites based in countries where gambling is legal, licensed, and regulated.

Some betting sites can be unreliable, so any prudent Qatari player should carefully sift through the available options and choose the best online bookmaker. That said, here is a general outlook of the betting landscape in Qatar.

Best betting sites in Qatar
History of Betting in Qatar

History of Betting in Qatar

People in Qatar have always been passionate about sports, including soccer, cricket, camel racing, tennis, and much more. However, no official records indicate a time when sports enthusiasts were legally allowed to wager on the outcome of any sporting contest.

It is also worth noting that no record shows a land-based or online casino licensed in the country. However, the fact that gambling has been outlawed in Qatar does not mean there is no place for gambling in the country.

Over the years, there have been reports that some Qatari punters have been playing at illegal betting houses. However, the sporting culture largely influenced the love for betting in the country, with camel races playing center stage.

History of Betting in Qatar
Betting Nowadays in Qatar

Betting Nowadays in Qatar

Qatar is a global hub for sporting competitions. Despite this, there are still no betting shops or bookies in the country. The local laws explicitly make all gambling activities in the country a crime under the Qatar penal code. Under the local laws, casual bettors risk fines of up to three thousand Riyals, three months in prison, or both, for defying the penal code. However, many Qataris still gamble today, primarily online.

Local laws seem not to stand between Qatari players and the desire to place wagers on their favorite sporting events. However, due to some legal loopholes, anyone keen on placing sports bets can always risk signing up with a foreign sportsbook.

As a result, it is common to find many Qatari players betting on offshore accounts. Better yet, the best online bookmakers cover almost every sport, including local sports and leagues such as the Qatar Stars League.

Bypassing Online Gambling Restrictions

It is also worth noting that the authorities in Qatar are well aware of the betting situation in the country. As such, there are growing calls to block offshore betting sites. However, those determined to place bets can always find ways of circumnavigating these blocks, mainly using virtual private networks (VPNs). Ideally, VPNs have allowed bettors in Qatar to play their favorite games discretely and safely.

Betting Nowadays in Qatar
Betting Legislation in Qatar

Betting Legislation in Qatar

The betting laws applied in Qatar are pretty simple. Article 274 of the penal code of 2004 clearly defines what gambling entails: "A game where the probability of gain and loss depends on luck and is not on controlled factors and each party agrees to surrender some amount of money, in case of a loss, to the winning party."

There have been a series of disagreements on the skill factor as applied in some casino games. However, the Qatari government remains reluctant to give in to some of these influences and thus strictly prohibits all games with an aspect of luck, including online sports betting.

The law also defines the penalties for anyone found participating in gambling. Under the 2004 Qatari Penal Code, anyone participating in gambling could attract a three-month jail term or fines of up to 3,000 Riyals.

It is also worth noting that the Qatari government uses censorship to regulate inappropriate content. Interestingly, this only applies to anti-Islamic content, pornography, or political content. There are still no records of the government blocking online betting sites, which is quite telling as far as the government's position in curbing online Qatar betting goes.

Betting Legislation in Qatar
Betting Acts in Qatar

Betting Acts in Qatar

2004 Qatari Penal Code

This is the fundamental law on matters gambling in Qatar. It comprises gambling-specific articles. Here is a summary of these articles:

  • Article 274 defines gambling.
  • Article 275 proposes punishments for anyone who gambles in the country.
  • Article 276 outlines punishments for individuals found organizing gambling games
  • Article 277 gives the court the mandate to confiscate gambling materials and order the closure of gambling facilities.

Law No 1 of 2012 on Regulation and Placement of Advertisement
This legislation outlaws any form of marketing on gambling targeting Qataris.

Betting Acts in Qatar
Qatari Players' Favorite Sports

Qatari Players' Favorite Sports

Qatar enjoys a rich sporting heritage. From martial arts, cycling, motorsports, equestrian sports, and athletics to indoor handball championships, among other sports, these sports enjoy a massive following in the country. Besides the sporting aspect, bettors also place wagers on these events. That said, here are some of the most popular sports from a betting perspective.

Soccer

As with other countries from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, soccer or football greatly appeals to bettors from Qatar. Besides the local league, punters also enjoy some international tournaments such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, French League One, and the UEFA champions league, among others.

Handball

Handball is another sport that players from Qatar highly wager on. The domestic league run by the Qatar Handball Association (QHA), which runs from February to May, is usually highly wagered on. Although some international bookies do not offer QHA's betting markets, it is generally not hard to find the best bookmakers covering these markets.

MotoGP

MotoGP is usually the pinnacle of motor racing competitions. With a season comprising 18 annual races, one of these has always been held in Qatar since 2004. As a result, the sport has grown to be a top favorite among sports enthusiasts and bettors from the country.

Notably, racing events are pretty popular in Qatar, not just MotoGP. Players are often wagering on anything from camel racing to F1 and Powerboat racing.

Qatari Players' Favorite Sports
Biggest Local Tournaments and Events

Biggest Local Tournaments and Events

Unsurprisingly, some of Qatar's local tournaments feature prominently on international betting sites. Most of these competitions attract a massive audience, not just the locals but also sporting enthusiasts from other parts of the world.

Over the years, there have been several standout recurring events. Some notable events in the country include FEI Equestrian Championships, Moto GP Grand Prix, WTA Tennis Open and Championships, and the IAAF Diamond League.

On the other hand, there also have been some standout landmark events. Recently, the country hosted the Asian Cup Football Championships (2011), FIVB Volleyball Club World Championships (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012), FINA World Swimming Championship (2014), IHF Men's World Handball Championships (2015), and the World Boxing Championships (2015).

As Qatar prepares to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, this event will create a historic moment for the country and probably go down as the biggest local tournament in history.

Biggest Local Tournaments and Events
Best Odds for Qatari Players

Best Odds for Qatari Players

Odds are undoubtedly the lifeblood of any betting experience. It is worth betting that the odds usually differ from 3% to 10%, considering every bookmaker operates within unique margins. As a result, players must compare odds offered by different bookies and choose high-value odds if they make the most out of their stakes.

In light of this, players might consider employing odds comparison websites before placing wagers. This is usually the easiest way to find the best odds.

Best Odds for Qatari Players
Payment Methods in Qatar

Payment Methods in Qatar

As stated earlier, players from Qatar do not have to worry much about the legal ramifications when betting online. However, it is also best to handle themselves with care, and choosing a proper payment method can be an invaluable safeguard.

Currently, players from the country can use bank transfers and card payments without any issues. However, the government's perspective could likely change over time. Thus, players in the country should consider turning to ‘safer alternatives.’

E-wallets

are undoubtedly a great alternative for safe and secure casino payments. Such payment methods allow punters to make payments to betting sites without posing the risk of exposing their personal and financial details. Some of the common e-wallets utilized by Qatari bettors include Neteller, Skrill, MuchBetter, and ecoPayz. The good thing about e-wallets is that most double up as deposit and withdrawal options.

Prepaid cards and crypto payments

are also great alternatives, especially for players seeking to add an extra security layer. As for prepaid payments, Paysafecard comes in handy for players in the country. Crypto payments such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, on the other hand, are highly preferred as they offer instant payments with optimal security.

Payment Methods in Qatar
FAQs

FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in Qatar

No. All forms of gambling, including sports betting, are illegal in Qatar. However, some legal loopholes exist that bettors can take advantage of and place wagers on their favorite sports. Also, the government appears to be rather laidback in combating online betting, which creates an opportunity of some sorts for players from the country.

Could sports betting be legalized in Qatar?

Currently, there is no indication that the country will consider reconsidering its stance on gambling. Thus, tourists and locals must embrace the fact that there will still be no legal way to gamble in the country.

How to bet in/from Qatar?

Even though the law prohibits betting, many people still bet at online betting sites. While it is possible to access these sites without much hassle, most prefer employing VPNs for added security and anonymity.

Which is the best sportsbook for Qatari players?

It is not easy to come up with an outright answer to this question considering that players have different expectations. However, any decent sports bookie with a long list of betting markets, trusted payment methods, and competitive odds deserves a spot among the best.

Are Qatari bettors eligible for promotions?

Yes & No. The availability of promotions often depends on the bookie's terms and conditions. For example, some bookmakers restrict their bonuses, making them available to certain countries or players using specific payment methods. That said, players should always be alive to these variations when signing up with a bookmaker.

FAQs