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Israel – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Israel is one of those countries that has decided to take a middle-ground approach to gambling, meaning some gambling is illegal and some isn’t. In short, two types of gambling are allowed in Israel: Sports betting and lottery. The gambling options are restricted to what is offered by two separate government entities.All other forms of gambling are illegal. There are also no online or land-based casinos in the country. Although online casinos are illegal in Israel, foreign online casinos that are not aimed specifically at Israeli players are not targeted by Israeli law.
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When you’re looking at online casinos, you’ll notice that there are lots of them out there. Some are aimed at slot players while others are aimed at sports or live casino players. You’ll also find some casinos aimed at big spenders and others that cater to casual gamblers. Knowing what type of games you’re interested in playing is important, and it’s an excellent way to narrow the search.
There are a few things that you’ll want to look out for when checking out an online casino. The answers to the questions listed below will determine if the casino you’re considering is a great, good, or not-so-good casino. Of course, deciding to play at one, despite the current gambling regulations, is entirely up to you.
- Does the casino allow players to play using Shekels?
- Is Hebrew a selectable language?
- Are players from Israel allowed to open an account at the casino?
- Can Israeli players participate in competitions or receive bonuses?
- Is there a customer support section available, and can you contact support?
- What license does the casino have?
- Do iTechLabs, eCOGRA, etc., audit the casino?
Finding the answers to all of these questions is time consuming, especially if you’re just randomly checking casinos online. That’s why we here at GoodLuckMate have done it for you. We’ve collected the casinos that accept Israeli players, and we’ve reviewed them. Check out our list of selected casinos.
As mentioned earlier, the only legal types of gambling in Israel are sports betting and lottery. These two types are offered by the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB) and Mifal Hapayis. The only type of online gambling available in the country is the betting offered by the ISBB.
Online gambling and online casinos are subject to harsh punishments if prosecuted because the government states that online gambling is more harmful to the population than other forms of gambling. The government works hard at blocking ISPs to make foreign casino websites less accessible to local players.
Participating in gambling outside of the above-mentioned governmental services is deemed illegal. There’s no clear legislation stating that gambling at foreign online casinos is a criminal offense, but, since neither the ISBB nor Mifal Hapayis offer it, it’s still considered illegal. That said, Israeli online casino players do exist; it’s just a matter of whether individual players want to take the risk or not.
Some of the online casinos available to players in Israel today are localized for Israelis. A localized casino will allow you to hold your account balance in shekels and choose Hebrew as a language option on the site. Note that not all games will have an in-game language option for Hebrew, so you’ll come across games that are played in English even though the website is in Hebrew.
You’ll also be able to use several different payment methods such as e-wallets, various bank transfer solutions, and sometimes even cryptocurrency.
If you want to be sure you’re gambling legally in Israel, you’ll have to rely on the games offered by the ISBB and the national lottery. Unfortunately, there are no casino games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, or slot machines in the country.
In addition, as you might have guessed, there are no land-based casinos in Israel. The only way that you can gamble anywhere near Israel is by taking a cruise. Since cruise ships operate mainly in international waters, they aren’t subject to Israeli law.
To summarize, online casinos are illegal in Israel, and foreign casinos online that are aimed towards the country’s residents are as well. International online casinos that aren’t targeted at Israeli players aren't subject to penalties under Israeli law, but players gambling on these sites can be.
Participating in gambling activities in any other form than those offered by the ISBB or the Mifal Hapayis may be considered illegal. Choosing whether or not to gamble online is, therefore, something that each player has to decide for themselves.