Casino Tourism in Israel
Like people from the rest of the world, the residents of Israel are fond of gambling. Unfortunately, the country has legalized only two forms of gambling—lottery games and sports betting. Residents of Israel can, therefore, only play the national lottery game or bet on their favourite sports events.
Two organizations oversee all legal forms of gambling in Israel. They are the Mifal Hapayis, which supervises the country’s national lottery game, and the Israeli Commission for Sports Gambling, which supervises all activities related to lottery gaming and sports betting.
However, Israelis who want to play baccarat, roulette, blackjack, craps, or slots have a problem as the country does not have any land-based casinos. Such players have to head over to cruise ship casinos, which are docked at the country’s largest ports.
Despite the country’s strict casino gaming laws, residents are fond of playing table games such as roulette and blackjack. The absence of brick-and-mortar casinos in Israel is driving these residents to online casinos registered and licensed in offshore jurisdictions. The absence of casino gaming legalization has also led to the creation of an underground casino gaming sector in Israel, which is currently believed to the worth more than $3.5 billion.
How Israeli Residents Play at Online Casinos
Technically speaking, online casino gaming is a grey area in Israel. Some lawmakers are of the opinion that it is illegal although Israel’s law books do not specifically say so.
A number of online casino enthusiasts in Israel want online casino gaming to be legalized and regulated. But the government does not appear to be interested in taking any steps in this direction. The only forms of online gambling that are legally permitted in Israel are online sports betting and online lottery gaming. You will find plenty of government controlled online betting sites and online lottery sites in Israel.
The government of Israel does not want its citizens to gamble at online casinos licensed in offshore jurisdictions. But it does not have any effective method to stop Israeli residents from doing so. Israel has no effective method of blocking the domains of offshore online casinos.
A number of Israeli residents, therefore, have signed up at foreign online casinos. And many online casinos cater to the needs to Israeli players, offering services in Hebrew and even accepting deposits in Shekels.
Meanwhile, the government of Israel is doing everything in its power to prevent residents from playing at offshore online casinos. Recently, a court injunction was used to block the domains of a couple of online casinos. But Israeli online casino players are expert at working around domain blocks. In fact, there are plenty of online tutorials and YouTube videos that show them how to access blocked sites.
Online casino legalization is the only solution to Israel’s problem of illegal gambling. The citizens of Israel as well as many lawmakers feel that online casinos should be legalized. They feel that legalization is the only way to prevent gambling related criminal activities and to protect consumers from illegal gambling sites and problem gambling. At the same time, there are many religious leaders and social organizations that are against the legalization of online casinos.
How to Find the Best Online Casino in Israel?
If you are keen to gamble online as a tourist in Israel, it is possible for you to do so. The lack of proper laws makes Israel a lucrative market for several online casinos, many of which are licensed and reputed. Several of these sites offer gaming services and customer support in Hebrew. They allow players to make deposits and withdraw winnings in Shekels.
While choosing an online casino in Israel, make sure that it is licensed in a reputed gambling jurisdiction such as Malta, Gibraltar, UK, Alderney, and/or Isle of Man. You should also make sure that it implements the latest data protection and digital encryption technologies. Before registering a real money account at any online casino, find out what other players are saying about it at online gambling forums and social networking sites.
If you want to play online casino games in Israel, the best advice we can give you is to find and sign-up at a trusted and reputed online casino!