Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country in North Africa, located in the Maghreb region. Morocco is one of the more powerful countries in Africa, managing to keep its independence throughout most of its history. The most widely spread religion in the country is Islam, however, it is the freedom of religion that plays a major role in the establishment of the legal framework of Morocco. Since Morocco combines different cultures and beliefs, laws may often differ from those established in other Muslim countries.
While gambling is deemed illegal in most Islamic countries, Morocco has legalized most forms of gambling. The country hosts several land-based casinos, with the oldest one being in operation ever since 1952. The casino industry in Morocco may not be as large as some international ones but it is definitely one of the most prominent markets in Africa.
Even though land-based gambling has been legalized in Morocco, however, online gambling is pretty much unregulated. Similar to other African countries, Morocco is also not taking any serious measures to ban online gambling, leaving players the option to gamble on foreign gaming sites. Since there are no legal consequences, Moroccans often choose to play on offshore virtual casinos, with many of them catering specifically to players from the African country. Unfortunately, as this type of activity is not regulated in Morocco, there is barely any protection for those playing on foreign sites.
Gambling Regulations in Morocco
Land-based casinos in Morocco date back to the time when the country was still under French rule. The first brick-and-mortar casino in the country opened in 1952 and was a part of the Es Saadi Hotel in Marrakech. Until this day, Casino de Marrakech is still operating, making it the oldest land-based casino in Morocco.
In 1956, the country regained its independence, giving the start of the launch of many more brick-and-mortar casinos in Morocco. Since the country was under French control until the mid 20th century, the gambling legal system in Morocco is largely based on the French code rather than following the Sharia law like many other Muslim countries. With the Prime Minister passing a decree in 2002, casino establishments in Morocco started operating legally.
Online Gambling Regulations in Morocco
While land-based casinos have been legalized in Morocco, online gambling is not regulated in any legal form. Since there are no laws that mention online gambling, there is no way for operators to apply for an online gambling license and offer virtual casino games to Moroccans.
While there are no Moroccan online casinos, however, locals often resort to playing on offshore websites. With no regulations imposed on online gambling, those wagering on foreign sites have no legal consequences to worry about. This is why one could come across a number of offshore online casinos that welcome players from Morocco and can even be loaded in Arabic or French to cater to the needs of their Moroccan members.
There are some speculations about Morocco introducing laws to legalize online gambling in the future. With that said, currently, this sector remains unregulated, with Moroccans often resorting to foreign websites to wager real money on casino games. Unfortunately, the lack of any online gambling regulations also affects the safety of Moroccan players. With no laws in effect, there is no way to offer real player protection to those participating in online gambling on foreign websites.
While Morocco is an African country with e predominantly Muslim population, gambling is a regulated and legal activity. Even after regaining its independence, the country was still heavily influenced by the French code and many of its laws are generally laxer than the legislations implemented in other Muslim countries.
Gambling was launched in the country while it was still under French rule and was then legalized yet again after Morocco was independent again. Thanks to a decree signed by the Prime Minister in 2002, land-based casinos have been legalized in Morocco, with the country boasting several top-notch brick-and-mortar casino facilities.
Winnings generated through legal gambling activities in Morocco are not taxable so players do not have to worry about paying any dues when playing in a casino or the state lottery. However, licensed casino operators as well as the operator running the state lottery must pay taxes.
Even though the country has been quite ahead of other African countries with the legalization of land-based gambling, when it comes to online gambling, there are still no relevant regulations. With Moroccans facing no legal consequences for playing online, however, numerous individuals turn to online gambling on foreign websites. While many believe that Morocco could benefit from a regulated online gambling sector, currently there are no signs for a change in the gambling legal framework of Morocco.