A Comprehensive Guide to Gambling in Algeria

Algerian dinars

Algerian dinars

In Algeria, gambling is forbidden due to religious reasons as 99% of the population is Muslim and a large majority of them are practicing the Sunni Islam branch of faith. The Sharia law is recognized as the basis of the legal system in Algeria. Quran has strictly forbidden Maisir or gambling and it is referred to as the handiwork of Satan. There are twofold reasons for this prohibition, which include:

  • It is considered unlawful for a Muslim to acquire wealth by gambling. Islamic teaching dictates that a person needs to earn their living through serious and honest work and depending on luck for gaining money is deemed contrary to this teaching.
  • Muslims shouldn’t participate in gambling for the purpose of recreation. This is mostly because gambling is addictive in nature and this may cause the gambler to neglect their responsibilities to society and also their Creator.

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Let’s take a look at what games and activities are allowed in Algeria:

Casinos in Algeria

You cannot find casinos in Algeria because the Islamic law has forbidden gambling. Internet censorship was introduced in Algeria in 2010, which was aimed at blocking blogs, political websites and online radios. As for foreign gambling sites, it is known if any of them are blocked. Even if a particular website is blocked, gamblers don’t need to worry as the legislation for outlawing the use of VPNs hasn’t been passed as yet.

For now, it is possible to access foreign online casino gambling websites and participate in the games if they are accepting players from Algeria. However, it should be borne in mind that gambling is termed as illegal in Algeria. Although, there have been no cases reported of any prosecuted gamblers, it remains a rather risky hobby.

Poker in Algeria

Strictly speaking, poker is not a game of luck and is actually a game of skill. Nonetheless, it is still forbidden under Islamic law. Algerian players can access some foreign online poker sites.

Bingo in Algeria

As this game is mostly unknown in Algeria, Bingo is not specifically highlighted in the regulation. However, since it is also a game of luck, playing Bingo is forbidden under Sharia law. Algerians may be able to access foreign online Bingo sites similar to the online casino sites. In fact, it might be easier to access the Bingo sites as fewer may be blocked primarily because of lack of interest. Algeria’s internet penetration figures are quite low as only 14% of the country’s total population has access to the internet and their internet connection is said to be one of the slowest in the world.

Algeria Lotto Games

It is somewhat surprising to know that Algeria does have a national lottery. Algerian lotto games are organized by the Pari Sportif Algerian. There are two different types of lottery games that are offered to the players. The first one is called the Loto Erriadhi, which follows a 6/49 format. This means that six numbers are selected from a pool of 49. The other game is referred to as Loto Mohtaref, which offers 7/35 odds i.e. seven numbers chosen from a total of 35. The greatest reported win of the Algerian lotto games is about 47 million dinars and was won by two colleagues, Mohamed and Naima.

Apart from these Algeria lotto games, the national lottery also has scratcher cards to offer to the players that helps them in earning small cash prizes. Regardless, it is important to remember that winnings of the Algeria lotto games are subjected to heavy taxation. Almost 40% of the money is used for contributing to the youth sporting programs and 20% is also given to the lottery operators.

Online lottery in Algeria

As far as online Algeria lotto games are concerned, currently the national lottery is not offering any such platform. It seems highly unlikely that this stance will change anytime soon because it is easier for the country’s government to regulate land-based lottery shops. Those who are looking for internet lottery options in Algeria are foreign lottery sites that allow Algerian players to participate. There are a number of such websites that can be found and provide excellent opportunities of winning cash prizes.

Improving your Odds

When you are playing Algeria Lotto games, you can improve your odds of winning the jackpot. It is not always wise to opt for numbers that coincide with birthdays because that can reduce your odds considerably. You can check statistics to see what numbers have been chosen recently and avoid those as their chances of being chosen are very low. Likewise, select numbers that haven’t been drawn recently as their chances are higher.

Sports Betting in Algeria

While sports betting is also a game of chance, the laws in Algeria are somewhat laxer when it comes to this type of gambling, similar to Algeria Lotto games. There are some hippodromes in the country where horse races are conducted and the most renowned hippodrome is the Hippodrome de Caroubier. Betting on the horses is undoubtedly legal, but it is safe to say that some form of sports betting does happen. Société des Courses Hippiques et du Pari Mutuel Algérie organizes the races.

As far as online sports betting is concerned, the situation is quite similar to that of online casino and online poker game sites. In a nutshell, they are illegal under the law, but are rarely prosecuted.

Bitcoin Gambling in Algeria

While not completely unheard of in the country, Bitcoin is known and recognized by only a fraction of the population. This is mostly because of the low internet penetration in Algeria. Theoretically, Bitcoin gambling may be possible, but it is not prevalent in Algeria. Some initiatives have been taken for using this cryptocurrency in the country, especially when money has to be transferred by workers in Europe to their families in Algeria. Using Bitcoin can save them the high costs of transfer, but there are some difficulties associated with this method because currently there is no way of converting Bitcoins into Dinars.

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