The 2022 World Cup promises to be yet another extraordinary exhibition of the beautiful game complete with high drama, exhilarating action, and astounding physical prowess. So much so, that Qatar has settled on the campaign slogan ‘Expect Amazing’.
However, bettors venturing to the Middle East may beg to differ as the host’s legal system is a mixture of civil law and Islamic law which makes it less than amazing for betting. Under Sharia law gambling and sports betting is strictly forbidden.
The risk of betting in Qatar
Naturally, there are always risks involved with betting, but betting in Qatar carries a significantly different risk in the form of 3 months in prison plus an $800 fine according to Article 274-275 of the Qatar penal code. If you’re found to be betting in public you can count on an aggravated sentence of 6 months in prison and a hefty fine of $1900.
It’s to be expected that online betting does occur in Qatar based on the number of offshore sportsbooks that cater to Qatari residents. Of course, there are ways around things but it’s worth being aware of the risks involved and to proceed with caution rather than blind bravado.
The risks of betting in Qatar include the following:
- You may be fined $800 – $1900.
- The state security service may arrest and detain you for up to 30 days without referring you to the public prosecutor.
- If found guilty of betting you may face a prison sentence of up to 3 or 6 months depending on where the gambling took place.
- Your winnings and equipment i.e. phone or laptop may be confiscated.
It’s unclear whether the police can search your phone or laptop without a warrant once they suspect you of participating in gambling. As always it’s advisable to encrypt and password protect your devices.
Under Qatari law, neglecting to inform the authorities of an offense carries a prison sentence of up to 3 years and a maximum fine of $2800. Meaning the telco or internet service provider (ISP), hotel’s IT department or any concerned citizen looking over your shoulder may be inclined to alert the authorities of your illegal activities!
VPN Betting in Qatar
Whether you’ opt to use roaming or a local data SIM it’s best practice to use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you’re betting or doing crypto transactions.
Using a reputable crypto accepting VPN helps safeguard your anonymity and security, while also preventing Qatari telcos and ISPs from blocking the sportsbooks themselves.
Live in-play betting while you’re at the stadium offers unbeatable thrills but be aware that network congestion could be problematic especially considering that Qatar only has 2 mobile phone operators.
If you get caught using a VPN on a crypto gambling site that isn’t VPN-friendly then your account may be closed and your funds may be confiscated. These VPN-friendly sites will be ok with it, they include Sportsbet (review, bettors are geo-blocked) and Cloudbet (review, bettors are geo-blocked).