IL

Israel

Moderate

Israel is a yellow-level online gambling jurisdiction where some forms of online gambling are allowed, but most are not.

Israel is located in the Middle East. It borders Lebanon to the north, Syria to the north-east, Jordan to the east, the Red Sea to the south, Egypt to the south-west and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.

Overview

Israel has a relatively complicated history with online gambling. Their standard laws on gambling do not reference Internet play directly. However, their Attorney General called for all online gambling (other than certain specific types) to stop in the country, and they called on credit card processing companies to stop issuing payments. The national lottery, bet on horse racing and bets on certain sports (basketball and soccer included) are the only forms of betting allowed online or in land-based arenas.

What's really interesting is that Israel has previously been home to some of the biggest names in the Internet gambling world, including companies like 888 and Playtech. This irony may be lost on politicians, but it's not lost on industry experts.

Licensing

There's really no general licensing process available strictly for online gambling companies, and there's unlikely to be one in the future. Because all of their politicians agree that their ban on gambling includes Internet gambling, and because they've been so consistent with keeping other forms of gambling from being made legal, there's not really much hope there for an expansion of online gambling in the near future.

A lot of effort has also been made towards creating a legal framework where the government could force the Internet service providers into banning the games on that level, but it's been a topic that's seen a lot of debate because of the potential for government abuse to censor the Internet in other ways.

Player Protections

For the types of online gambling that are allowed, there are specific protections in place to keep the players' confidence in the games. Government oversight of these games keeps the companies honest in the sense that they do not have free reign to take advantage of players. For games that aren't allowed, especially with play on foreign sites, there are no protections. It's not recommended that players get in on the action with foreign sites from Israel because of how they've been pushing to get things blocked on the ISP level. If that block was to suddenly go into effect, players could be simply cut off from their funds in one stroke of a pen.

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