The most bizarre gambling bans around the world

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Gambling has a long and complex history that is deeply embedded in the cultures and traditions of various societies around the world. For example, while some countries welcome and regulate gambling in various forms, others have introduced unique and often surprising bans that may be considered bizarre or unusual. In this article, we take a look at some of the strangest gambling bans around the world, ranging from historical laws to modern regulations.

1. The United States: Bans online gambling

Despite its popular casino culture, particularly in areas such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, online gambling in the United States has a complicated legal landscape. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 prohibits banks and other financial institutions from processing transactions related to online gambling. While this is not technically a direct ban on online gambling, it has effectively caused many online gambling operators to withdraw from the American market.

2. Cambodia: Locals banned from playing in casinos

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Cambodia is known for its thriving casino industry, which primarily caters to foreign tourists. Surprisingly, Cambodian citizens are legally prohibited from gambling in casinos. This regulation aims to protect the local population from the potential negative effects of gambling. Despite this ban, there are reports that many locals are gambling in illegal establishments or finding ways to circumvent the laws.

3. Japan: Traditional casinos banned, pachinko allowed

In Japan, gambling in traditional casinos was until recently banned by law, but the country has a unique alternative in the form of pachinko parlors. Pachinko is a game that resembles a cross between a slot machine and a vertical pinball machine and exploits a legal gray area in Japan’s gambling laws. Players can exchange won metal balls for prizes, which can then often be sold for cash at a separate location, indirectly playing for money.

4. United Arab Emirates: Strict ban on all forms of gambling

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The United Arab Emirates has one of the strictest gambling bans in the world. All forms of gambling are illegal, including online gambling. This is in line with Islamic laws prohibiting gambling activities. Despite this, there are reports of covert gambling activities and the use of online gambling sites through technologies that circumvent location restrictions.

5. Monaco: Locals banned from playing in casinos

Monaco is world-famous for its luxurious casino in Monte Carlo, but what many don’t know is that Monaco residents are banned from playing in the principality’s casinos. This unusual ban was imposed by Prince Charles III in the 19th century. introduced and is intended to protect residents from financial losses. Instead, Monaco’s casinos are exclusively for the international elite and tourists.

6. Greece: Ban on electronic games

In a particularly unusual move, Greece banned all electronic games in 2002 – a measure originally aimed at combating illegal gambling. This wide-ranging ban covered not only online casinos and games, but also simple video games in public and private spaces. After international criticism and the realization that the ban was impractical, it was eventually adjusted to only apply to games with betting.

The world of gambling is as diverse as the countries it is home to. These bans are a fascinating insight into the different approaches being taken around the world to manage the potential risks of gambling while attempting to reap its socio-economic benefits.

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