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Qatar online sports betting laws

Qatar’s sporting profile has been boosted significantly in recent years – but wagering on sport is strictly forbidden in the oil-rich Gulf state. There are ways in which you can place a sports bet in Qatar, but you should be aware they carry a degree of risk.

Is sports betting legal in Qatar?

Qatar has used various sports to raise its worldwide profile in recent years. Winning the right to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2022 put the state on the map – as did the acquisition of leading French soccer side Paris Saint-Germain in 2011.

Prominent individuals in Qatar have spent significant sums on racehorses, and on sponsoring major racing events including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s richest race. However, when it comes to the legality of betting in Qatar, that is quite a different matter. All forms of gambling in Qatar, including sports betting, are strictly illegal - as in most Muslim states. There are no casinos, betting shops, bingo halls or any other form of gambling-related premises anywhere in Qatar. The government here is also active in blocking online material that might contravene the laws of the country.

This has not stopped numerous international sportsbooks licensed outside Qatar offering online betting services to the three million people who live and work here. Technically, if you sign up to wager with one of these websites, you could be prosecuted. This is highly unlikely if you are a tourist or an expatriate working here. Qatar likes to be seen as a modern, progressive country – and locking people up for the crime of having a bet doesn't quite fit that image.

Nevertheless, it has to be understood that there is a risk if you register to bet with an overseas sportsbook while in Qatar. The site in question could be blocked without notice – and there is a chance you could be arrested and charged.

As a consequence, most people in Qatar who do sign up for an international website do so using a VPN (virtual private network) to maintain their anonymity. It’s also advisable to use an e-wallet such as Neteller for all your financial dealings so that you can stay undetected. And, of course, you should use only respected and reputable sites that are licensed in another territory. Given the fact that Qatar is a Muslim state, it is extremely unlikely that this situation will change any time soon.

What odds format is used in Qatar?

Decimal odds

Of course, there is technically no such thing as a Qatari betting shop or website. However, people in the state who use overseas sportsbooks to enjoy wagering on sport will be most familiar with decimal odds. This is the format most used across Europe and Asia, and in other parts of the world where betting is legal outside the UK , Ireland and North America. One of the reasons for the format’s widespread application is the fact that it is so easy to understand.

For instance, if you place a bet on Liverpool to win the Premier League title, you may see the odds as 5.0. This means that for every $10 you stake on your wager, you will receive $50 if you are correct.

In fractional odds, popular in the UK and Ireland, the same wager and outcome would be displayed at 4/1, while in the moneyline odds used in North America, it would be +400. In each of those instances, the fact that your stake is returned as part of your winnings is not reflected in the price quoted.

Top sports in Qatar

Soccer

In Qatar, soccer has been massively popular for several decades. The top Qatar soccer league is called the Stars League, and dates back in various forms to 1963. As well as this 12-team competition, there are four annual knock-out cup tournaments to keep local fans excited. The Qatar soccer national team is rising in the FIFA rankings, incredibly winning the Asian Cup in 2019 and the staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup represents a considerable boost to the prestige of Qatar football. It’s possible to bet on the Qatar Stars League with international bookmakers here, as well as the best of the soccer action from Europe and South America.

Qatar sports betting FAQs

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Is online betting legal in Qatar?
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