Egypt is a country with a rich history, some of which has been discovered thanks to numerous archaeological works. Despite that, the pyramids still remain a mystery to mankind and no one can explain how they were built in times when manpower was the main resource that everyone relied on.
During the Anglo-Egyptian War, between 1882 and 1956, Egypt was occupied by British forces. The 1954 Anglo-Egyptian agreement put an end to this period. In the years between 1882 and 1914, the Khedivate of Egypt was still an autonomous territory of the Ottoman Empire but the British established a de facto protectorate over the country. When the Ottoman Empire became a part of the First World War in 1914, Britain constituted a protectorate over Egypt.
In 1922, Egypt managed to gain its independence back and had its own laws and regulations. Nowadays, it is one of the most well-developed countries in Africa and the tourism sector plays a major role in that. Being a Muslim country, it is clear that it does not consider gambling a legal activity. Despite that, the gambling laws and regulations in Egypt are more complicated and whether you are an Egyptian resident or a tourist is extremely important when we talk about the legality of gambling.
There have been some discoveries about gambling being popular in Ancient Egypt and it clearly has a long history that cannot be ignored. What is more, being one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the country strives to ensure a great experience to all of its visitors. This is why there are several legal land-based casinos in Egypt that will, however, welcome only tourists who can prove they are not Egyptian residents.
Land-Based Gambling Regulations in Egypt
As mentioned earlier, Egypt is a country with a predominantly Muslim population. Despite that, land-based casinos are not illegal in Egypt. There is one important clarification, however, and that is that any form of gambling is still forbidden for residents of Egypt.
This means that only tourists who provide their passports and prove that they do not reside in Egypt will be legally allowed to bet at the brick-and-mortar casinos based in the African country. The legal age for tourists to be eligible to enter a casino in Egypt is 18 years. This being said, several land-based casinos have settled on the minimum gambling age being 21.
Online Gambling Regulation
When it comes to online gambling, things get very vague as this is a market that is not regulated in Egypt. While, in theory, online gambling is illegal in the country, as there is a lack of any regulations, it cannot be said for certain that it is not legal for Egyptians to bet on slots or table games online.
Even though you will not come across a virtual casino licensed in Egypt, players who reside in the African country can actually register at quite many offshore casinos. Since there is no law that prohibits Egyptians from registering and placing bets at international gaming sites, there are many offshore casino operators that accept players from Egypt and allow them to bet real money on different games.
Considering the fact that Egyptian residents are not allowed to gamble in any of the land-based casinos in their country, it is no surprise that many decide to bet at offshore gaming websites. Many of the interactive casinos that accept players from Egypt will also enable them to choose from different payment solutions for their deposits and withdrawals. Since the definition of online gambling is simply not regarded in Egyptian laws, there are no specific restrictions on payment solutions that can be used by Egyptian players.
In addition to casino games, online sports betting is also popular among Egyptian punters. Of course, this is also carried out at offshore virtual sportsbooks that accept bettors who reside in Egypt. You can even find gaming and betting websites that will allow their patrons to settle their payments in EGP. This being said, not all virtual casinos and sportsbooks support the Egyptian currency so players will often have to opt for options like USD, EUR, or GBP.
Licensing and Gambling Taxation
Although land-based casinos are legal in Egypt and there are over 20 casino facilities operating in the country, the government has imposed quite the harsh taxation for casino operators. Turns out that despite the harsh criticism on gambling, about 60% to 70% of the casinos’ profits go to the government of Egypt.
The casino operators in the country are obligated to pay a 50% tax on their gross gaming revenue. In addition to that, According to Article 7 of the 2005 Egyptian Income Tax Law Number 91, casinos should also pay a 20% income tax. Casino operators in Egypt are also obligated to pay import duties as well as a 42% corporate tax on their year-end profits.
The gross gaming revenue of Egyptian casinos represents the amount that is left as a result of the total bets that were placed and after the casino has paid out winnings to players. The gross gaming revenue is calculated before any operating costs are deducted from the casino’s profit. The 50% tax is evenly distributed to the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance.
As mentioned earlier, only 4 and 5-star hotels in Egypt that are located in territories with a strong tourists presence can apply for a casino license. It is the Ministry of Tourism that grants Egyptian land-based casinos the permission to operate. The conditions under which the casino will operate must be included in the license. Casino operators can obtain a license that can last for 5 or 10 years.
Future of the Gambling Market in Egypt
As of now, although gambling is still illegal in Egypt, as well as in Islam countries in general, many Egyptians still have the chance to gamble online. Since no law mentions or regulates online gambling, there are still no cases of Egyptians being prosecuted for playing at offshore virtual casinos.
Many foreign gaming sites welcome players from Egypt, offer them a menagerie of games, and even accept payments in EGP. If online gambling continues to remain an unregulated market, there are no signs of Egyptians stop playing at offshore casinos anytime soon. As there are also no consequences for foreign casino operators, as of now, many virtual casinos still continue to accept players from Egypt.
Online sports betting is also popular among Egyptians who also resort to offshore sportsbooks to bet on popular sporting events. Punters who reside in Egypt will be able to pick from different online bookmakers who offer competitive odds on numerous sports.
Even though gambling is illegal in the Muslim country, sports betting through a licensed bookmaker does not fall under the category of illegal wagering. This is why there are quite a few land-based sportsbooks in Egypt and with the major deal between the Egyptian National Post Organization and Intralot, this market continues to grow in popularity in the country. Sportsbooks based in Egypt are open for both locals and tourists, which is definitely not the case with brick-and-mortar casinos.View more...