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Oman Online Casinos

OmanThe Sultanate of Oman is a Middle Eastern nation that is located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing borders with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen. Once a powerful empire that was one of the Arab world’s great powers, it spend much of the 20th century under the influence of the United Kingdom, and today exists as an absolute monarchy ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said since 1970.

Like many of its neighbors, Oman is officially an Islamic state, a designation that comes with some restrictions on the behavior of its citizens. One of the major taboos is gambling, which has led to a near complete lack of betting opportunities for residents here. The government would also like that to be the case on the Internet, though some Omanis regularly enjoy placing wagers at online casinos.

Ruling Government Forbids Gaming Industry

The fact that there are no casinos in Oman shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. While policies certainly vary between Islamic and Middle Eastern nations, control over gambling tends to be pretty strict in many countries, and outright bans are common – meaning that the policies here are more or less in line with most neighboring jurisdictions.

What does that mean for people who live here, or them many tourists who visit the nation every year? Of course, there are obviously no brick-and-mortar resorts with slots or table games, as not even “foreigner-only” establishments have been permitted here so far. Omanis have been known to have some rather crazy sessions at overseas casinos, but there hasn’t been any real attempt to bring that action back to their homeland.

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Other forms of betting are equally prohibited. Bingo, sports betting, and poker: all are disallowed under the laws of the Sultanate. Horse racing is popular, as is the traditional sport of camel racing, but no bets are taken on either of these pastimes. There are no lotteries offered by the government, either; the closest things available are legal raffles occasionally held by banks and other businesses as parts of promotions, but these hardly constitute the kind of activity we generally talk about when discussing gaming industries worldwide.

As in most nations with strict or total prohibitions on gambling, though, there are some underground games that can be found if you know where to look. Obviously, these operations are completely illegal, and either running these games or playing in them can carry moderate jail time and fines – which means that we can’t recommend that anyone go seeking out these opportunities. In one case in 2013, police in Muscat raided an illegal gaming and prostitution den, arresting 17 people found in a flat where the illegal activities were allegedly taking place.

Internet Restrictions Don’t Thwart Gamblers

It would be unusual to see a government that was against land-based gaming decide to welcome Internet betting sites with open arms, so it is only natural that Omani officials do what they can to prevent Internet casinos from flourishing here as well. The general laws that apply to other forms of gambling also apply to virtual bets, and as such, you won’t see any regulated or licensed betting sites here.

However, that’s not the same as saying that no online play takes place in the country. While the government has a fair amount of control over the Internet, gambling sites have not been at the forefront of these efforts, so many foreign casinos can be visited by players here. Given the lack of a regulatory framework, it is true that some of the largest companies in the industry do not offer gaming in Oman, but others that are frequently seen in so-called grey markets are a constant presence here. And with no indication that the government has any interest in prosecuting players who place bets online, this has become the most convenient way for citizens to place bets on slots, blackjack, baccarat, sporting events, or anything else they’re interested in wagering on.

Surprisingly, there are a wide variety of software providers represented among the various sites you’ll find in this country, meaning that you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to the games you want to play. A few of the best-known developers whose games you might see on Omani Internet casinos include:

  • Realtime Gaming (RTG)
  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • Betsoft
  • Rival
  • Topgame

Little Talk of Expansion

While many countries have at least considered using some sort of gaming venue as a lure for tourists, we’ve seen nothing to suggest that this is the case in Oman. If anyone in the country is promoting the idea of regulated gambling, they’re being rather quiet about it: there have been no news reports of debate or discussion on the topic, and the Islamic nature of the country is a major stumbling block for any efforts that might spring up in the future.

Another reason that the nation might shy away from even a tourist-only model for a resort is the fact that the tourism industry here is already quite strong – it’s just a bit more family friendly than a gaming hub would be. Water parks and other waterside destinations are quite popular, and there are many high-class hotels providing accommodations in resort towns. With such a vibrant influx of revenue coming from visitors already, there may be less impetus to dip into activities that are less palatable to an Islamic government, such as casinos.

With that in mind, we find it unlikely that you’ll be able to place bets on anything in Oman anytime in the foreseeable future. This prediction applies to both brick-and-mortar and Internet play, as neither seems to be gaining any momentum in the country at this time. It’s certainly possible that this could change over time – while Oman is a conservative country, it isn’t nearly as oppressive as some of its neighbors – we would expect that the first reforms to gaming policy would come through horse (or camel) racing, or perhaps a lottery, and that even those modest offerings are likely decades away at this point.

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