Online Casinos in Israel for 2022: Play for Real Money
Online gambling in Israel is a popular activity, but current laws prevent casino play in the country, with authorities cracking down on any presence or promotion of any related activity. Despite this, online casino action is still possible through offshore operators that fall outside of Israel’s jurisdiction. Check out the best online casinos in Israel below!
- Trusted Offshore Casinos for Israeli Players 2022
- The Reality of Online Casinos in Israel
- Is Online Gambling Legal in Israel?
- Can You Play at Offshore Online Casino Sites from Israel?
- How to Choose the Best Online Casinos in Israel
- History of Casinos and Gambling in Israel
- Land-Based Casinos in Israel
- What is the Future of Online Casinos in Israel?
- Best Online Casinos Israel FAQs
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The Reality of Online Casinos in Israel
The strict laws against gambling within Israel prohibit most forms of casinos online, including popular real-money games like baccarat, roulette and blackjack.
But the continued allure of casino games has led many to seek out online operators based in reputable, foreign countries as an avenue to gamble online in Israel.
These regulatory bodies oversee the vast majority of legal and licensed casinos for Israeli players, and they have a well-established reputation for providing secure and enjoyable platforms for Israel online casinos.
Furthermore, they offer bonuses in various forms that give players extra cash to play with. Whether it comes in the form of a welcome bonus, no deposit bonus or free spins, registering with online casinos licensed by the above-mentioned countries will always be a safer and more positive experience than you’d have with unlicensed operators.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Israel?
Usually, with the majority of countries, this would be a simple yes or no answer. However, regarding gambling in Israel, there are a few regulations worth highlighting, especially with regards to online casino sites.
As mentioned above, licensed online casino sites are regulated in foreign countries. According to the Israeli Penal Law 5737-1977, however, the organisation of lotteries, betting and games of chance are prohibited in Israel itself.
Yet, the key word here is ‘chance'. Under this law, a “prohibited game” is defined as “depending more on chance than on understanding or ability”.
For example, activities such as blackjack and slots have no specific legislation against them, but courts do consider these activities as ‘prohibited games'. The same goes for online casinos in Israel too.
The law does not explicitly refer to online gambling, but it is considered to be illegal, and is generally grouped under the same rulings as terrestrial gambling.
Therefore, there are no legal land-based casinos in Israel. However, you’ll find a good number of online casinos that do not restrict access from Israel.
Play Poker Online for Real Money in Israel
Therefore, Israeli players can technically play poker online for real money from offshore casino sites, even though they may not do so at terrestrial establishments.
At online casinos, there is the opportunity to play poker games such as Texas Hold’em for cash rewards, as you pit your wits and casino strategies against others playing poker online for real money in Israel.
Israeli National Lottery Online
Playing the national lottery of Israel online is one of the most popular forms of gambling; likely because it is legalised and regulated from within the country itself. The Mifal HaPais is responsible for organising this lottery, which also includes scratch card games, weekly lotteries and raffles.
Back in 2005, Greek company Intralot SA created a way for customers in Israel to play the lottery online. Initially, this system included five games: Chance, 777, Keno, 123 and Lotto. Players could access them in four different languages: English, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.
Bingo at Online Israel Casinos
Bingo is another of those casino games that does not fall under specific legislation, but which remains prohibited nonetheless. As a result, there are no land-based bingo halls in Israel.
Under Israeli law, bingo is categorised separately to playing the lotto in Israel online, so an overlapping of the two is virtually impossible, although the game concepts are quite similar. Keno is an example of a game resembling bingo, but it was discontinued in Israel in 2018.
Esports at Online Israel Casinos
Similar to the lottery, sports betting is another activity that is legal and organised in Israel by the ISBB (Israel Sports Betting Board).
In recent years, esports betting has grown massively in popularity within Israel. Although the ISBB does not yet offer it as a betting opportunity, bettors can access offshore gambling operators with sportsbooks to place their bets.
As it so happens, an Israeli, Tal Aizik, is currently one of the top earners in esports itself, with $2,398,570.81 in career earnings from DOTA 2 events.
Can You Play at Offshore Online Casino Sites from Israel?
The possibility of playing at casinos online in Israel largely depends on where they are licensed and regulated. As we have mentioned, the Mifal HaPais (National Lottery) organises the lotto within Israel online, while the ISBB regulates sports betting.
Having said that, beyond these two bodies, foreign online casinos seem to occupy a legal grey area that falls between the cracks of Israeli law. Law enforcement tends to focus more on gambling operators within the country that target the Israeli market specifically, as well as online gambling companies linked to local criminal organisations.
To date, no conclusive action has been taken against offshore online casinos that have no physical presence in Israel and do not explicitly target the Israeli market.
In the past, prohibitive measures also sought to prevent players in Israel from accessing foreign online casinos. However, the courts rejected this due to a lack of legal authority, which has allowed such operators to continue offering services to Israeli players.
Therefore, offshore online casinos in Israel still have a strong presence, and they offer users the opportunity to gamble online for real money in Israel. Playing at a casino online in Israel remains extremely popular, and offshore virtual casinos generally offer best means to do so. Still, online casinos in Israel remain limited, as many offshore operators restrict access to Israeli players because of the current legislation.
How to Choose the Best Online Casinos in Israel
When it comes to choosing the best casino online in Israel to play at, there are a few criteria you should look out for. The licensing is the most important aspect, as these credentials confirm that this particular operator is legitimate and safe. It also indicates which countries these online casinos can be played in.
While these casinos are accessible in their own jurisdictions and indeed, other countries worldwide, the lack of an Israeli licence means that they cannot explicitly advertise or operate on Israeli soil. Nevertheless, players in Israel can still access these offshore gambling sites from within their country.
The range of games available at the casino or payment methods can also be taken into consideration. The choice is largely down to your own personal preference, but we will list a few things to keep in mind below.
In Israel, Hebrew and Arabic are the two most spoken languages, followed by Russian and English. Since the operation of casinos within Israeli is strictly prohibited, you would do well to find an online casino that offers an option in Hebrew.
However, for players in Israel, their native language may not readily be available. That being said, virtually every online casino in Israel will offer their services in simple English, and some in Russian and/or Arabic as well.
The majority of online casinos accept a wide range of currencies in order to adapt to players around the world. While you can find some offshore sites offering Israeli Shekels (ILS), most online casino players in Israel will have to convert to dollars or euros in order to make deposits and withdrawals.
You can visit the ‘Banking' or ‘Payment Method' page to see a list of available currencies. They may also be listed in the terms and conditions.
For any reputable casino, a great emphasis is placed on providing the best customer care possible. This can come in the form of a telephone helpline or email correspondence, as well as the very common and helpful live chat service.
Casinos online in Israel take great efforts to provide 24/7 support, which means that you can find answers to your queries regardless of your timezone.
Real Money Games
Whether real-money roulette or baccarat (the latter increasingly popular in Israel), the name of the game is to win while having a good time. Always be on the lookout for games from some of the top casino software providers, including NetEnt, Thunderkick and more.
There are many real-money games at casinos online in Israel available to players. These include favourites like slots and poker, coupled with wide selections of live casino games such as live blackjack and live roulette.
The Bank of Israel follows the strict guidelines on online gambling in Israel, placing substantial burdens on financial services that facilitate transactions with foreign online operators.
Again, there is no specific law with regards to these transactions, but Israeli authorities retain the right to block financial institutions from processing online casino deposits. Nonetheless, for those offshore online casinos accessible in Israel, there still remains a wide selection of payment methods.
For the two official gambling bodies in Israel, Mifal HaPais and ISBB, the basic Visa and Mastercard payment methods are the standard.
The anonymity of these currencies in crypto casinos initially proved popular with Israeli players, but these have since been outlawed for gambling by authorities in Israel.
Bonuses and Promotions
For the best player experience, it is key for online casinos to offer bonuses, the likes of which you’ll find at many online casino sites in Israel.
Besides the aforementioned bonuses for new registrations, users can claim reload bonuses throughout the week, seasonal and game-specific promotions, as well as tournaments, jackpot drops and loyalty/VIP rewards for high rollers.
Reputable Offshore Licence
As we have already mentioned, the licence held by an online casino is a good indicator for the legality of the operator. You can be rest assured that the casino platform is secure and well-regulated if it is licensed by one of the following regulatory countries: Curaçao, Malta (MGA), Gibraltar or Cyprus.
This is likely your best bet to play online casino sites from Israel, since these licences require transparent security verification and ethical business practices.
History of Casinos and Gambling in Israel
Israel turned up late to the gambling scene; the National Lottery was only founded in 1951. The Mifal HaPais offered scratch card games, a weekly subscription lottery and various lotteries and raffles, all of which were regulated by the Ministry of Finance.
Later, in 1967, sports betting entered the market after the ISBB secured exclusive rights to organise and regulate wagers on a variety of sports, including football and basketball.
Over time, this has extended to other sports, but the slow speed of development is an overall indication of the conservative attitude Israel has towards online gambling.
Despite this, Israel does house some big names in the online casino industry. iGaming giant, 888 Holdings, one of the best online casinos, was founded in 1997 by four entrepreneurial Israeli brothers: Avi and Aaron Shaked and Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak.
The 888 brand has since gone on to spawn 888sport, 888casino and 888poker. Another big player in the online casino world, game developer Playtech, also has strong connections with Israel, having been founded by Israeli tech mogul Teddy Sagi.
Land-Based Casinos in Israel
Due to the strict rules in place on gambling in Israel, land-based casinos are prohibited. This ruling also extends to social games if the winner gains cash prizes from the outcome.
The main resulting issue of the laws is obtaining a licence for these casinos to operate legally. Israel only grants two licenses for gambling, and they are reserved for Mifal HaPais for lottery and the ISBB for sports betting.
One of the most popular ways to gamble in Israel is aboard a cruise ship. While this option may be prohibitively expensive for some, it does offer true peace of mind as far as playing games of chance goes.
This is because, once cruise ships get about 200 nautical miles (approximately 370 kilometres) from the shore, they enter international waters and abide by maritime law. Thereafter, their in-house casinos can begin operations fully outside Israel’s legal jurisdiction.
These cruise ships are naturally located at port cities around Israel, and have proven popular holiday getaways for Israelis. Additionally, there has been regular conversation about turning the holiday resort of Eilat into a gambler’s paradise. While this has not yet come into fruition, we’re hopeful for what’s to come.
What is the Future of Online Casinos in Israel?
The future for online casinos in Israel is unclear. The prospect of Eilat becoming a hotbed of casino activity is certainly exciting for Israeli players and people in the region. However, proper legislation first needs to be passed, and this could prove difficult.
To date, the Israeli authorities remain obstinately opposed to any form of chance-based gambling in Israel, which includes Israel-based online casino sites.
However, with the continued popularity of online gambling amongst Isreali nationals, the government’s conservative stance could change if it seriously considers the financial benefits that casinos in Israel could bring.
The financial advantages posed by online gambling in Israel could be a significant boon to the country’s economic growth, as well as a welcome reprieve for the growing community of Israeli players.
Best Online Casinos Israel FAQs
Digital casino gaming is prohibited in Israel, as is land-based casino gaming. However, offshore casinos, in the form of online casinos with foreign licences or cruise ships that move into international waters, are legal for players in Israel to play at.
The best options for online gambling in Israel are generally offshore online casinos – with reputable licensing – that can be accessed from the country.
It is possible to play at foreign online casinos from Israel. There are many online operators that do not exclude Israel from playing on their platforms.
The most trusted offshore casinos are those with licensing from a reputable country or authority, since they provide the most secure playing environment and are the most lawful. This generally requires licensing from Curacao or Malta (MGA), though you’ll also find licences from Gibraltar and/or Cyprus.
This is a matter of checking the terms and conditions page, where you'll usually find a list of excluded countries. In some cases, the website automatically blocks you if it is not permitted in your region, or otherwise won’t allow you to complete registration.
You can play poker online for real money in Israel at offshore online casinos. Following adjustments to legislation, poker is now considered to be a game of skill, rather than chance.
The National Lottery is one of two organised and licensed gambling activities in Israel, with the other being sports betting. There are a couple of lotto sites in Israel, Mifal HaPais and Lotto Sheli, where you can play directly.
Israeli players can make deposits via credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and mobile wallets. These may include brands such as Visa, Mastercard, NETELLER, Skrill, and Apple Pay, to name a few.
Offshore online casinos in Israel do offer Israeli players good amount of bonuses to enjoy.
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