Home to many successful hi-tech companies including such industry legends as Playtechand 888, Israel takes a surprisingly tough stance on gambling.
According to current legislation, all the games of chance are banned, therefore this Middle Eastern pearl is one of the few popular tourist destinations unable to provide a festive atmosphere of land-based casinos to their guests.
Similar to other countries that frown upon betting-relative activities, Israel makes two exceptions to the general ban.
First, it allows various lotteries and raffles run by Mifal Hapayis, the National Lottery. Established in 1951 under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, Mifal Hapayis also used to operate a limited number of VLTs, but this permit was revoked in 2017.
Second, the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB) has an exclusive right to organize and regulate sports betting. Launched in 1967, at the beginning it could take wagers only on football and basketball but later acquired a license for other sports such as tennis, handball, and others.
Poker somehow has managed …
.. to strike a special status despite all odds. In 2018, the Supreme Court of Israel was perfectly straight on this score - poker should not be considered a game of chance, especially in the context of poker tournaments.
And one more thing. The picture would not be complete without mentioning Eilat casino cruises. Situated on the Red Sea, this famous resort town offers a bunch of perky ships loaded with a full spectrum of Vegas entertainment: from Progressive Jackpotsto high-limit tables. Of course, once international waters are reached.
Online Gambling Laws In Israel
Introduced in 1977, the Penal Law remains the main legislative framework that defines and prohibits all land- and web-based betting-related activities, since there is no specific legislation on online gambling.
Throughout the years, numerous court decisions and official standpoints have made it absolutely clear – everything said in the Penal Law refers as much to iGaming.
Although neither some popular casino classics as roulette or blackjacknor slot machines are directly mentioned in Israeli legislation, they are recognized as illegal or were ruled prohibited by different judgments of the Supreme Court.
However, the year 2017 has added an innovative twist to the old-fashioned story that came in the form of a new law entitled the Powers to Prevent the Commission of Offenses by Means of an Internet Website Act, 5767-2017.
Intended to impede access to foreign sites, it empowered district court judges to issue ISP blocking warrants. The Bank of Israel, in its turn, was advised to prohibit the transfers of funds related to gambling by Israeli financial institutions
Getting Started with Israeli Online Casino Action
All restrictions withstanding, international gaming platforms still find ways to cater to Israeli punters who obviously fancy this type of pastime. Despite existing measures, which are not that effective as the authorities wish them to be, players do not have a hard time reaching numerous online casinos.
It’s not a secret, a number of globally-renowned websites offer their services in Hebrew and greet with open arms New Shekels. In fact, the main question is not how to access offshore venues but rather how to find a decent casino that has a good reputation and perhaps even native Hebrew speakers in the customer support team.
In connection with the latter, we give you a hand – our accurate reviews below cover all details essential for estimating the quality of a particular casino and benefits it gives to the players.
Everything counts: from a massive game lobby through conditions for bonuses to the availability and frequency of slot tournaments. Needless to say, the assortment of payment solutions and quality of customer service also have a say.
1. Is there any Israeli entity that protects my player’s rights?
No. Since Israel prohibits any form of online gambling, there is no authority intended to regulate such activities and take care of eventual disputes between a player and a casino.
Therefore, it is very important to stick to websites licensed in credible jurisdictions and do a little bit of research before placing wagers.
2. What banking options are available to Israeli players?
Traditionally, the assortment of payment methods varies greatly from one website to another, although at the majority of them you will come across all widespread options: credit/debit and postpaid cards, instant e-Wallets, as well as other banking solutions.
3. Do online casinos offer Hebrew interface?
Yes. Interested in the Israeli market, many web-based venues aim to deliver the best possible experience, hence provide the entire content in Hebrew.
4. Can I play using New Shekels?
Yes. If you prefer your national currency, some online casinos will gladly offer you this option.
5. Are Live dealer games available for Israeli players?
Yes. Usually, you will be offered different versions of roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, as well as other popular card and dice games.
Just a heads up: Live games cannot be played for free, so RNG roulette in Demo mode, as well as other non-dealer table games, are your best friends if you want to get familiar with a certain variant.
6. Can Israelis play with Bitcoin?
Yes. Subject to no government authorities or financial institutions, Bitcoin is often a first choice among the gambling community.
Most advanced online and mobile casinos have recognized its multiple advantages, so Israeli punters who own this cryptocurrency can enjoy instant payouts and high level of privacy protection.
7. Do I have to download software to play?
No. Nowadays you can take advantage of instant play directly in your browser thanks to the headway made by top-tier software developers.
Still, some online casinos can offer a download option aiming to optimize the player’s experience in the case of eventual problems with an internet connection.
8. Do online casinos provide bonuses for Israeli players?
Yes. Online casinos have no shortage of sign-up, deposit-related, and no-deposit bonuses, just make sure to read the T&Cs of a particular perk before claiming it. Why waste your time on impossible missions in the shape of ridiculous wagering requirements or too short time frames, right?
9. Are Israeli users eligible for VIP Clubs and comp points?
Yes. Unless otherwise stated in the T&Cs of a website, all registered punters earn reward points in accordance with real-money bets they place. It is also the way, players move upward to a higher level of loyalty programs.
10. Is mobile gambling available for Israeli players?
Yes. In order to keep pace with the latest tendencies, the majority of web-based casinos offer fully mobile-optimized content compatible with all smartphones and tablets.