What’s the situation with offshore casinos in Israel?

  (photo credit: UNSPLASH)
(photo credit: UNSPLASH)

Casino games are very popular among the Israeli people. Like most people in the world, Israelis tend to enjoy playing casino games as one of their favorite pastimes or sources of entertainment. The fact that these games are associated with gambling is just an unavoidable inconvenience. 

That being said, there are casinos who allow players to play their games for free. However, gambling of any sort is strictly prohibited in Israel. Even though there are restrictions, people from Israel mostly rely on offshore casinos for entertainment. 

Some even opt for quick casinos to avoid deduction. You can read more here about quick casinos and their advantages over other online casinos. That being said, the Israeli government is aware of the situation, as well as about the existence of offshore casinos. 

They are actively trying to block such services from targeting Israeli players but with little to no success so far. With That in mind, let’s have a closer look at the situation with offshore casinos in Israel.

What exactly are offshore casinos?

Offshore casinos are online casinos that operate outside Israel’s jurisdiction. In other words, they have no representatives in Israel. Instead they are licensed to operate online by another country, such as the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, the Gibraltar Gaming Commissioner and so on. 

These online casinos are usually welcoming towards most countries in the world and players from all over the world are free to use their services if they wish to do so. 

Even though they aren’t allowed to operate within Israel’s borders, you can’t really forbid them from operating online. However, the Israeli government actively tries to suppress those websites from providing such services to Israeli people. 

There are no laws that would prevent citizens of Israel from using online casino services, to begin with. That’s why plates from Israel rely on methods such as VPN (Virtual Private Network), bypassing DNS blocks and so on. 

What about other games of chance?

So far, the only games of chance allowed in Israel are sports betting and the National Lottery. People from Israel can enjoy these two as much as they want. That said, an Israeli man recently won $25 million playing the lottery for the first time. 

Many people play for years or even decades without winning anything but this man got very lucky with his first attempt at the national lottery game of chance. 

As for their games of chance, such as casino games, Israeli people can either try their luck with offshore casinos or be important enough to join one of the cruise ships docked in major Israeli ports where such games are played regularly. Other than that, land based and online casinos operating from Israel are strictly forbidden. 

Government’s take on offshore casinos

While the Israeli government is working tirelessly to prevent offshore casinos from providing their services to the israel people, there’s nothing much they can do except block ISPs and Casino domains that players from Israel frequent. 

Therefore, Israeli players are forbidden from accessing offshore casinos but only in theory. There are no laws that can prevent offshore casinos from providing access to their services to Israelis unless the government that issued their license prevents them from doing so. 

Since no one really bothers with such inconveniences for the Israeli government, the more likely scenario is that gambling might eventually be legalized in Israel. 

As you might imagine, there is a conflict of interest between Israeli politicians who’d like to legalize gambling so that the country can profit from it and religious groups that won’t give any ground due to their beliefs. How the events will unfold remains to be seen. 

Closing Words

Israeli government may be focused on preventing any kind of unsanctioned gambling in Israel but there’s not much they can really do to stop it. The very existence of offshore casinos proves that some regulations or even laws can easily be avoided. As long as the situation remains the same, players from Israel will be able to enjoy the services offshore casinos provide. 

This article was written in cooperation with uudet-pikakasinot-fi.com