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Gambling in Israel – Beyond the Fractured Laws



Israel – situated on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan – is a religious country that’s considered sacred by the Christians, Jews and Muslim alike. However, throughout its long history, there has always been tension between Arab Muslims and Jews.

The complex hostility between these two religious groups goes way back to the ancient times; and even today, there’s still conflict around which group occupies the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip.

Despite the differences, there is one thing that Israel has in common with its neighbours: the laws on gambling. As a strongly religious state, Israel keeps tight control over the gambling industry regarding what’s permitted in the real world and what its citizens can access over the internet.

However, this situation isn’t as tough as it seems to be – attempts to block access to online casinos have largely been thwarted. What this means is that, despite the government’s position on gambling, and its strong measures to prevent gambling, Israelis still have access to numerous gaming sites that are run by operators from other countries.

No Israeli operators   

The Israeli government does not condone the internet casinos, and has repeatedly, attempted to block its citizens from accessing any online casino from foreign operators. The ban on online gaming sites was effected in 2005 when the AG ordered the closure of local real money gambling platforms as well as warned the credit cards companies against processing casino-related transactions. But until now, only a single backgammon website is an exception to these orders.

What’s interesting is that despite all these rules and regulations on gambling, the Israelis still have unlimited access to dozens of foreign gambling sites. Although the court and other government officials have tried to limit access to these sites, they’ve been very unsuccessful. Their ISP level method of internet blocking or filtering sites is not entirely effective – to say the least. Meaning, Israeli punters are still enjoying their play unnoticed.

The government is aware that numerous foreign operators are aiming their solutions at potential Israeli gamblers and is striving to prevent them from doing so. Just recently, a handful of domains were blocked from targeting their services at players through a court-ordered an injunction. According to this order, all local ISPs were to block these domains to keep the locals from accessing the gambling services.

In a 2012 case, courts established that Tel Aviv Police didn’t have the legal power to instruct ISPs to block sites’ access. The government attempted to approve legislation that would make the police’s order valid – however, their efforts to prevent internet access to poker rooms and online casinos remain limited.

So, any Israeli who wants to try the casino gaming has plenty of choices. There is just no limit when it comes to casinos. In fact, these casinos even offer services in Hebrew, accept shekels, and are more than happy to sign in Israeli players. Finding the right online casino in Israel is as simple as going online and performing a quick search.

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