Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Iran

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Picture of Iran's capital city, Tehran. Gambling in Iran is illegal.

Guide to Gambling in Iran

 

Iran (also known as Persia), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Western Asia. The country shares borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Russia and Kazakhstan across the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afganistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. Iran is the second largest country in the Middle East with a land area of 1,648,195 km2. It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The country’s population is around 78 million residents, making Iran the 17th most populous country in the world. The country’s official language is Persian. The official religion of Iran is Shia Islam but the country recognizes other religions such as Christianity, Sunni Islam, and Judaism amongst others. Iran’s capital and largest city is Tehran with approximately 15 million residents in its metropolitan area.

Modern-day Iran’s territory was home for one of the oldest civilizations in history. Iran was a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age producing many scholars, thinkers, artist, and scientists. Throughout its history, Iran was home for several empires such as the Median Empire, the Sassanid Empire, and the Safavid Empire amongst others. Iran started losing its territories in the 19th century. Iran became a constitutional monarchy in 1906 following the Persian Constitutional Revolution. The country became an Islamic republic in 1979 due to the revolution which occurred that year. Iran is a founding member of organizations such as the United Nations, the ECO, the NAM, the OIC, and the OPEC.

Gambling in Iran is illegal due to the official religion of Islam. The Sharia law forbids all kinds of gambling as it sees gambling evil, addicting, and a cause for people to forget their social responsibilities. Therefore, there aren’t any legally operating land-based casinos in the country for players to enjoy their favorite games like poker, roulette, or blackjack to name a few. If someone caught conducting illegal gambling, the penalties could be up to 6 months in jail or 74 lashes. However, if the offenders caught gambling publically they will be sentenced to both the punishments.*Online gambling is illegal too, and the government blocks foreign online casinos as well. It is not known if players are prosecuted for playing online, though.

 

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*Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran

 

Summary:

 

 

 

Casino gambling in Iran

 

Online casino gambling in Iran: illegal

 

All forms of gambling are illegal in Iran. This anti-gambling mindset comes from the teachings of Islam. The Sharia law forbids all kinds of gambling. These laws are heavily enforced in Iran too. Therefore, there aren’t any legally operating brick-and-mortar casinos in the country. Online gambling is forbidden too and the government blocks foreign gambling sites, but it is not known if players are prosecuted if they play online, though.

 

 

Bingo in Iran

 

Online bingo in Iran: illegal

 

Bingo is a quite popular game amongst players around the world, especially in the United States. However, in Islamic countries gambling is illegal so is bingo. It is no different in the Islamic Republic of Iran either. Online gambling is also illegal and the government blocks offshore online casinos as well. It is not known whether players are prosecuted for playing online or not, though.

 

 

Poker in Iran

 

Online poker in Iran: illegal

 

Poker is quite possibly the most popular casino game ever created. Its ever growing popularity could be traced back to the constant television broadcasts, the regularly held world championships, and of course, the game’s competitive nature. Many would argue that poker requires more skill than luck, but it still counts as a form of gambling. Therefore, it is illegal in Iran due to the Sharia law. The government blocks foreign gambling websites but it is not known whether players are prosecuted if they play online or not, though.

 

Sports betting in Iran

 

Online sports betting in Iran: illegal

 

Sports betting is one of the most common and popular forms of gambling around the world. In Iran, like in many other Islamic countries, gambling is illegal so is sports betting. Offshore online casinos are blocked as well but there is not much information about whether players are prosecuted for playing online or not.

 

 

Lottery in Iran

 

Online lottery in Iran: illegal

 

Arguably, the lottery is the most common for of gambling out there. It is safe to say that where gambling is legal and regulated there is a national lottery. However, in Iran, all forms of gambling are illegal. Therefore, there is no national lottery. Online gambling sites are blocked by the government as well.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Iran

 

Bitcoin gambling in Iran: illegal

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a”cryptocurrency” first introduced in 2008. It quickly gained a worldwide popularity as an alternative mean of payment. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the currency and continues to gain popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. However, Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon os only just a handful of countries issued laws concerning it. Some countries don’t recognize Bitcoin as a currency, they see it as an asset (like Norway or Lithuania for example). As of now, there aren’t any specific laws in Iran concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general. However, all forms of gambling are illegal in Iran so it is safe to assume Bitcoin gambling is as well. It is not known whether players are prosecuted for playing online or not (Bitcoin trades mostly occur via the internet so Bitcoin gambling is technically a form of online gambling).

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2016.02.10.

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Simon's Guide to Gambling in Iran
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Simon's Guide to Gambling in Iran
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An overview of gambling's legal status in Iran.
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