Sports betting is popular in most parts of the world, more so in the countries of the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. These countries see heavy betting on sports, especially on cricket. As online betting has become increasingly popular in these parts, more and more punters are turning towards betting exchanges like Betfair. Is Betfair legal in Pakistan?
Unfortunately, the answer may not be one that you like.
Is Betfair legal in Pakistan?
No, Betfair is not legal in Pakistan and is not accessible from the country either. As of this writing, Betfair does not accept players from Pakistan.
However, the gambling laws of Pakistan are not so simple. Until independence, Pakistan was united with India, which had the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Under this act, gambling or betting of any kind was considered to be illegal.
After independence, Pakistan became an Islamic country, and betting or gambling of any kind is considered to be a sin in Islam. In 1977, Pakistan passed the Prevention of Gambling Act, which is based on the Public Gambling Act.
The new law considers all sorts of gambling or betting to be illegal, and punishable by a fine of up to ₹1,000 and up to a year in prison.
However, the law finds no mention of online betting, since it did not exist back then. There have been no amendments in the law to include it too, therefore leaving a large grey area. Taking advantage of this outdated law, many foreign betting websites currently accept Pakistani players. Some of the most popular sites include bet365, betway, Marathon Bet, 888sport, and Bet Victor.
These sites are hosted in countries like Malta and Curacao, and hence outside the jurisdiction of Pakistani laws. They are governed by the laws of the countries in which they are hosted, which allows them to accept players from any country.
Is Betfair legal in Pakistan? Until there are explicit laws banning online betting, players from Pakistan can enjoy betting on a number of betting websites but Betfair is not going to be one of them.