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Qatari Gambling Laws
By Reno Rollins
There is no gambling in Qatar, as it is forbidden by the religion of Islam. Almost all residents of Qatar adhere to Islam.
Illegal Gambling in Qatar
While casinos are banned in Qatar, that doesn’t mean that illegal gambling dens don’t exist. In fact, one of the most popular schemes is to organize illegal card games using the homes of those out-of-town on business or vacation.
The caretaker of the home is paid off, and then prospective players are contacted via text message. Games usually take place after midnight, with an average of 20 to 25 players participating. The organizers of the event usually keep 10% of all winnings.
Qatar is an Arab emirate located in Southwest Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. The current ruler, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has ruled since he seized power from his vacationing father in 1995. Per capita, it is the ninth richest country in the world (assisted by the fact that the state has no income tax).
Qatar was one of the first places occupied by Muslims, and it would be dominated by the Ottoman and British empires for centuries. In 1968, Britain announced that they would withdraw politically from the region in three years. When this announcement came, Qatar joined a federation of other Arab states.
However, disputes led to Qatar leaving the federation and declaring their independence. On September 3rd, 1971, Qatar would become an independent sovereign state. The other members of the federation would go on to become the United Arab Emirates.
In 2003, Qatar would serve as one of the main launch sites for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
With a population of just under one-million, Qatar is divided into 10 municipalities. They are:
– Ad Dawhah
– Al Ghuwariyah
– Al Jumaliyah
– Al Khawr
– Al Wakrah
– Ar Rayyan
– Jariyan al Batnah
– Ash Shamal
– Umm Salal
In the early days, fishing and pearling were the focus of the Qatarian economy. This all changed with the discovery of oil in the 1940s. Since that time, Qatar has become a world leader in the export of oil and natural gas.
During the rule of Emir Hamad, numerous advancements have been made in Qatar society. Women have been granted the right to vote and hold high-ranking government positions. Men can wear shorts in public, and alcohol is somewhat tolerated (although limited to expensive hotels and clubs). A new constitution has also been enacted, and the world-renowned news service, Al Jazeera, has been launched.
The official religion of Qatar is Islam, and Arabic serves as the official language. English is also spoken in the country.
Camel Racing in Qatar
A popular sport in Qatar, camel racing is also a very lucrative business for the owners. An elite camel can bring as much as six figures on the open market. While there is no gambling involved (at least not legally), pride and prize money are both on the line.
In the past, young boys were brought from the Sudan and forced to serve as jockeys. Starved and denied an education, the plight of these children (often as young as four) soon caused an international incident.
In 2003, the United States threatened trade sanctions if something wasn’t done, so the Emir declared that robots, not children, would serve as jockeys from that point on.
By 2005, a Swiss company was able to develop a working robot jockey to stand up under the intense heat and rough riding conditions. These robots were sold to Qatar for $10,000 each.
The child jockeys, unfortunately, were simply returned to a life of poverty in the Sudan.