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Betting in Egypt

Published on: 30/11/2015

Gambling venues have been available in Egypt since the 1950s with lotteries, casinos and sportsbooks proving popular throughout the nation. Six-sided dice found on archaeological digs have proven that games of chance were being enjoyed in Egypt thousands of years ago.

Out of all of the Arab countries, Egypt has the most licensed gambling establishments with almost thirty casinos in operation. The open approach adopted by the last three Presidential regimes has contributed to the success of the country’s gambling industry.

The majority of the nation’s gambling establishments are located in the capital city of Cairo. Tourists from all over the world come to wager at venues such as Cleopatra, Omar Khayyam, Sheraton and the London Club. In addition, business attracted by the Suez Canal has helped Egypt to become such the most popular Arab country for gamblers.

The Conrad Cairo Casino facilitates over 600 sumptuous guest rooms, eleven gambling tables and 30 slot games. The Casino Semiramis at the InterContinental Hotel has over 700 rooms and is open 24 hours a day, except for during Ramadan when it still opens daily but only from 8pm to 6am. The casino offers over 30 slot games machines and over 10 gambling tables.

One casino development in Taba has sparked controversy because the owner has a rather notorious reputation, although he has never actually been charged with any crimes.

Since then many other casinos run by companies from all over the world have appeared on Egyptian soil. Including one casino hosted on a Nile cruise ship. Sports gambling in Egypt used to be ungoverned and only played between friends, with football being a particular favourite. However, a national sports lottery became available following a partnership between the Egyptian National Post Organization and a Greek lottery organiser. Gamblers can place sports bets at thousands of kiosks across the country.

Direct sports betting can be carried out online via foreign bookmakers; however, there are no sportbooks hosted by Egyptian companies available. A lack of restrictions has allowed bookmakers from other countries to offer their services to Egyptian citizens. As a result, more than 500 online betting portals are available to punters with Egyptian addresses. At the moment, only a handful of those offer services in Arabic. Popular deposit and withdrawal methods include Visa and MasterCard, Moneybookers and Neteller.