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Tunisia is a country on the northernmost point of Africa, one of the Arab African states, with a population of about 11 million people. Tunisia is 98% Muslim, and many Muslim countries are very gambling unfriendly, but Tunisia is one of the exceptions.
Protests in Tunisia were the first wave of what is being called the Arab Spring, which ended up spreading to neighboring Arab African nations as well, and there was some concern that the revolution that ensued which resulted in the overthrow of the government toward a less secular one would threaten Tunisia’s gambling market, but this has not been the case thus far anyway. (1)
Tunisia is one of the more prosperous of the African nations, with a per capita PPP GDP of almost $12,000 per year, which places them in the top 8 and only slightly less than South Africa.
What’s really impressive though about Tunisia is that only 4 percent of their population is below the poverty line, the lowest rate in Africa, and in comparison, South Africa’s poverty rate is over 30%, and some African countries have as high as an 80% poverty rate. So people here are definitely better off as a whole, and the wealth of the country is more well distributed than in most.
Tunisia does have legal gambling, although it is strictly confined to gambling in one of the casinos. However, rather than prohibit their own people from gambling in their casinos, as is the case in several countries around the world who have casinos in order to bolster their coffers but shield their own residents from them, Tunisia does allow Tunisians to gamble in their casinos alongside foreign visitors.
Tunisia does have horse racing tracks but spectators are not allowed to place bets on them. The thinking here seems to be to benefit the casino industry by letting Tunisians gamble there as well, to support the industry, and most Muslim governments aren’t so open mind about such things, but the Tunisian government is much more secular than most Muslim governments, even after this recent revolution. (3)
Tunisia has a total of 4 casinos, the Grand Casino Djerba, the country’s largest, with 18 table games and 159 gambling machines, the Grand Casino Yasmine, with 10 tables and 110 slot machines, the Grand Casino Kantaoui, with 10 gaming machines and 50 slots, and the Casino La Medina, with 13 tables and 100 slot machines.
So there is a decent amount of live gambling in this country but all the legal gambling in Tunisia is once again limited to playing at one of these establishments.
Playing Poker in Tunisia
Tunisia only has a 46% internet penetration rate, which is actually way above average for African countries, but they lag a little behind the most technologically developed African countries. Neighbor Morocco for instance is up to 62%, and even Kenya has a higher internet penetration. Still though they are in the top 10 on the continent and this number should continue to grow. (4)
So as far as the potential for playing online poker goes, at least as far as accessibility is concerned, there’s quite a good sized market here, over 5 million people with the ability to go online, but as it turns out, it is not legal for Tunisians to gamble online, and that together with the religious beliefs that many Muslims hold that one should not gamble, this does serve to dampen the online gambling market and the online poker market in Tunisia considerably.
Tunisia does have 3 poker rooms, located at 3 of their casinos, with a total of 10 full time poker tables. So those eager for live action can get their fix as long as they are willing to travel to one of these poker rooms. (6)
The larger poker tournaments haven’t come to Tunisia as of yet, and it’s hard to say when that might change, but that would certainly provide a shot in the arm as far as Tunisian poker goes, although getting more people interested in gambling in general is the first step toward expanding the poker market here.
There is no plans to regulate online gambling or online poker any time soon here, as the government’s liberal attitude to gambling is just liberal compared to other Muslim countries, and they are a long way away from allowing online gambling sites to operate here.
However, the Tunisian government does not see fit to intentionally block online gamblers and online poker players from playing at foreign based websites, and some actually do, although there’s not a lot of Tunisians that do play online poker as of yet, although there’s nothing to really stop them from doing so if they wish to.
In spite of playing online poker being technically illegal in Tunisia, this isn’t something that governments have really been able to prosecute, and if someone is still nervous about getting caught doing this, they can take the precautions that players in countries where the government does actively seek to block them take, which is connecting to the internet via a virtual private network, and perform their financial transactions with online websites through internet wallets.
Top Online Poker Sites For Players from Tunisia
If you are indeed up for some online poker and are from Tunisia, or you play now but you’re looking to know what they very best online poker sites are for you from among the great many that do take Tunisian players with no qualms, we have a list of recommendations for you.
Of our top 5 online poker sites on the internet today, the great news is that 4 of the 5 do accept Tunisians, and if you’ve never had an account at one or more of these top sites before, you are eligible for some free bonus cash to help welcome you to their site.
888 Poker is as good as it gets in the world of online poker, and they not only have free poker money for first time depositors, they even offer free money to players who are not ready to make a deposit yet but would still like to give them a try in the mean time. Everything about 888 Poker is top notch, and if you haven’t played there lately, you will see why they are regarded by many people as the very best out there.
The iPoker Network is another great place to play online poker, and like 888 Poker, this is an immensely popular spot, which also has the benefit of providing all of the traffic you need at any time of the day or night. From among the dozens of poker sites on this network, we have two picks for you, Titan Poker and Bet 365 Poker, both of which are excellent, just take your pick here and you can’t go wrong with either of these.
Black Chip Poker rounds out our top 4 for you, and this is another site that offers both good traffic and softer competition. Black Chip has a little less traffic than the other 3 of our top picks, but the players here are a little softer, so this is good tradeoff and is also well worth trying out. Black Chip Poker has always been a great site but now that the word is out on them more and they have become much more popular they are now well worth a look from you as well.