Eritrea is bordered by the Red Sea to the east, with approximately 1,000 kilometers of coastline. To the northwest, it shares a border with Sudan and to the south with Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Dahlak Islands are also part of Eritrea, a coral archipelago off the coast of the city of Massawa. The official languages include Tigrinya, Arabic, and English. The country is famous for its high altitudes and its heavy Italian influence that stems from the former colonial power in the region. The two major religions of Eritrea are Christianity and Islam. For that reason, gambling is quite a controversial topic as the Quran forbids partaking in such activities. Let’s take a closer look…
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Gambling is mostly unregulated but the Penal Code of the State of Eritrea (more on this below) covers this topic to some extent. As a result, there are no officially licensed casinos in the country. Certainly, there are some underground gambling activities going but taking part in such events is not advised as it is prohibited by the Penal Code. If you want to play online you can do so in foreign-based online casinos as many of them do accept players from Eritrea. Generally, there is no specific law against this, but it is not entirely without risk either – especially if you are a part of the Muslim community. If that’s the case, you should be aware that under the Quran gambling is seen as a sin and can be severely punished under Sharia law. Be aware of the following:
In order to get a good overview of what online casinos are suited for players from Eritrea, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and online casino reviews.
At this point, there are no specific gambling regulations in place within Eritrea. However, to some extent, it falls under the “Penal Code of the State of Eritrea” and is, therefore, considered to be prohibited. This means that there are no licensed casinos to be found in the country.
For online casinos, the situation is a bit more complicated. Many international online casinos accept players from Eritrea since there are no specific laws prohibiting this. But you should be aware that, according to the Penal Code, a person involved in gambling activities can be subject to penalties. Usually, players are not prosecuted but there is no guarantee that this won’t happen in the future.
On top of that, the Muslim population can be fined or jailed in accordance with Sharia law. Since about 7% of the local population has access to the internet, however, online gambling is not seen as a major threat and is mostly ignored. We have not heard of any active investigations but every player should be aware of the risks of playing on the gray market online.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that international online casino operators do not target players from Eritrea as it is a gray market. As a result, you won’t be able to find any localized version of the casino sites in wither Tigrinya, Tigre, Kunama, Bilen, Nara, Saho, Afar, or Beja. However since English is also an official language in Eritrea, you have a good alternative that is available in almost every online casino out there. English is also your best bet when it comes to customer support, as it is the most widely used language for this purpose.
The biggest problem for players from Eritrea is to make a deposit at an online casino. Since credit cards are not commonly accepted in the country, they are not widely available. As cash is the dominant form of payment here, many people do not have access to a bank account either. This combination also limits the use of eWallets such as Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal, as they require either a bank account or a credit card to get funds in and out. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin might be the best option, then, considering the situation. But in reality, it is also rather difficult to get your hands on cryptos without a credit card or bank account.
Since gambling is prohibited at a local level there are no official casinos, hence gambling for Eritrean nakfa is not a real option. There are reports of underground gambling operations were Eritrean nakfa are commonly used, but it is prohibited to take part in such activities. The situation is similar when it comes to online casinos. The international online casino operators only support major currencies such as US dollars and the euro.
As previously mentioned, there are no officially licensed casinos in Eritrea, as you would expect for such a religious country under Sharia law. This is true for the land-based market, as well as online casinos. At this point, there is no indication that the government is going to change its stance on this topic. As a result of this, we predict that gambling will remain prohibited in the near future and beyond. The best option for locals is to try one of the international online casinos that are open for players from Eritrea. These are regulated in their respective jurisdictions. Online casino licenses are often issued by online gambling regulators in Malta, Curaçao, Gibraltar, or Kahnawake, amongst others. Good luck!
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.