Situated on the east bank of the Jordan River, the Middle Eastern nation of Jordan is better known for its historic monuments and nature reserves than it is for its flourishing gambling trade. Nevertheless, if you’ve got cause to visit the country, it makes sense to learn the law in advance so you can discover whether or not it’ll be safe to indulge your penchant for playing online roulette.
Indeed, whatever type of gambling you’re into, it pays to familiarise yourself with the local laws concerning what is and isn’t permissible in the nation that gave the world the famed archeological site that is Petra, dating to 300 BC and characterised by exquisite pink sandstone cliffs. Beautiful as it is, you’re going to want to fill the remainder of your stay with more contemporary pleasures, and gambling can fill that gap. The question, if you’re spending time in Jordan as a resident or visitor, is how?
Playing Roulette at Casinos in Jordan
If you’re intent on hitting up a casino while you’re in Jordan to play a spot of roulette, the short suggestion is don’t – your search will be fruitless. As it stands, casino gambling is banned in the Middle Eastern state, but all that could be about to change.
Moves are afoot in the country to legalise casino gambling in an effort to bolster the country’s tourism industry and bring in some much-needed cash. There has been talk of legalising land-based casinos in prime tourist spots such as Aqaba and Petra, with foreign passport holders only permitted to enter; locals would still be prohibited from gambling.
Proposals such as this are nothing new; Jordan has mooted the concept of establishing casinos in the past, but nothing came of them. This is down largely to the conservative religious groups that hold influence and who, for ideological reasons, are opposed to gambling. That’s because Jordan is a Muslim country, and as even non-believers know, the Koran isn’t big on gambling, among other vices.
Of course, that hasn’t prevented some Muslim locations such as Dubai from permitting gambling in a limited capacity, but so far Jordan hasn’t followed suit. Want to play roulette in a Jordanian casino? Until they legalise it and build one, unfortunately you can’t.
Legal Forms of Gambling in Jordan
Despite the absence of casinos in the Middle Eastern state that flanks the biblical river that shares its name there are still some forms of gambling permitted. Don’t get too excited however; the country runs a charity lottery with a top prize of JOD 40,000. For the record, that’s about US $55,000. Because proceeds from the lottery go to charitable causes, this is deemed permissible.
You might also encounter the odd bingo hall in one of the hotels you’re staying in, but that’s about as far as it goes in terms of gambling. It’s not much, but it’s arguably better than nothing.
Jordan’s Attitude to Gambling
Hard-line conservatives may be vehemently against gambling in Jordan, and the government’s official stance may still be opposed to it, but that’s not to say your average Jordanian feels the same. If there’s one lesson to be learned from prohibition – be it alcohol, sex, drugs or gambling – it’s that criminalising a pursuit doesn’t lessen the demand for it.
Many Jordanians regularly play roulette, poker, slots and all the other forms of gambling that take their fancy, but they certainly don’t do it in land-based casinos. Instead, they get their kicks from the same place where all citizens living in anti-gambling territories do – the web.
You won’t encounter any licensed Jordanian online casinos, so don’t waste your time looking. What you will find, however, is that despite all forms of gambling being illegal, the country hasn’t bothered enacting measures to prevent its population from getting online. Wherever you like to play on the web – dedicated roulette sites, poker sites, sportsbooks or casinos – you can do so with impunity in Jordan.
That’s not to say you want to proclaim your proclivities to all and sundry however; it still makes sense to be discreet about what you’re getting up to.
What the Law Says About Gambling in Jordan
The law in Jordan says pretty much the same thing as the koran says, albeit in less vehement terms: gambling is haram. It might seem hypocritical for the state to legalise a lottery, albeit for charitable purposes, and small-scale bingo halls, but contradictions are interwoven into all hardline religious countries, and this isn’t just limited to Islamic countries – a similar trend can be seen in America, where the devout Christianity that characterises certain states in particular hasn’t served to lessen the demand for various vices.
The good news about Jordan, from a gambler’s perspective, is that not only do the authorities seem to have no interest in blocking overseas casinos, but they have no interest in pursuing players who flout the law either. Perhaps this is because the government is astute enough to appreciate the futility of such measures, or perhaps it’s because it is willing to give residents an outlet for gambling, one which can be conducted in the privacy of homes, rather than flaunting it in huge purpose-built casinos.
How to Play Online Roulette in Jordan
If you’re eager to play roulette and other casinos games while in Jordan, the good news is that you can do so with ease. Simply go online using your preferred device and sign up for whichever site takes your fancy. Some casinos will make a point of targeting Jordanian players, knowing that the country offers them no licensed gambling sites.
For the most part, however, it’s simply a case of signing up at whichever site will allow you to do so based on the geolocation of your IP.
While accessing online casinos within Jordan’s borders is simple enough, you’ll want to give some thought to the payment method you’ll be using to fund your account. If you possess a credit or debit card registered in your home country, it should work just fine. You may decide that an alternative payment option, be it Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard or Bitcoin is preferable, however.
If you’re a permanent resident of Jordan it’s unlikely you’ll be able to withdraw casino winnings into your bank account, so bear this in mind. Even if you are able to, it’s probably not wise to do so; while the Jordanian government hasn’t made a point of prosecuting online gamblers, it seems wise to exercise caution just in case.
The Future on Online Gambling in Jordan
Given the half-hearted moves to legalise and establish casinos for the benefits of the tourist trade, it’s safe to say this will happen sooner or later. Should that prove to be the case, don’t expect Jordan to become a fully-fledged nation of gamblers however; it’ll still be frowned upon, in keeping with Islamic law, but at least the tourists who visit will have a means of playing roulette and other table games.
Is gambling legal in Jordan?
No. Save for a charitable national lottery and bingo halls in some hotels, gambling is illegal.
What about online gambling?
It’s illegal, but it’s widespread in Jordan and the government doesn’t prosecute players.
Is it easy to gamble online in Jordan?
Yes. Sites aren’t banned by the government so you can effectively gamble wherever you like on the web.