ASIA POKER LAW INDEX

Yemen Poker Laws

yemenYemen is a country in the Arabian peninsula south of Saudi Arabia, although in spite of its being in a pretty oil rich part of the world, is actually one of the poorer countries in Asia. This is what Saudi Arabia would probably look like without the oil, as their economy relies on agriculture primarily, and their per capita GDP is barely over $2000 a year, in stark comparison with Saudi Arabia’s more than $50,000 per person per year. (1)

Yemen does share with Saudi Arabia a staunch conservatism, and this country is not only Islamic but is pretty conservative as far as Islamic countries go. Gambling is outlawed here completely, as is a great deal other things that are considered vices. So no forms of gambling are permitted here, and there are therefore no places that you can gamble at legally, including gambling on the internet. (2)

Prohibition of gambling is widely accepted among the people of Yemen, for religious reasons, so this probably won’t be changing anytime soon. While many countries have progressed so to speak on their view of gambling and in particular have looked to raise tax revenue from it, even when they don’t feel their own people should be permitted to gamble, Yemen isn’t interested in allowing gambling even among tourists, and Yemen doesn’t get that many tourists anyway.

Gambling isn’t very popular in Yemen at all, and poker even less so. Poker is really catching on these days in Saudi Arabia and it’s not hard at all to find games there, particularly in Jeddah, a lot of young Saudis who consider themselves more progressive have taken to Western culture quite a bit nowadays, but this isn’t the case here in Yemen very much.

So Yemen does have some illegal gambling but not that much of it, and as is typical in Islamic countries, the punishment for getting caught can be pretty harsh.

 

Poker in Yemen?

With very little live poker to speak of here in Yemen, either legal or otherwise, players are still able to turn to the internet to look to play, although Yemen has one of the most restrictive internet filtering systems in the world, seeking to block access to a great many things that they don’t feel appropriate, including gambling and poker. (3)

Even sites which merely talk about poker are filtered out, they not only don’t want people to play it for money, they don’t want people playing it at all, or even reading about the game.

These filters don’t work as well as they are designed to though, and people have been known to access material they aren’t supposed to. People who want to get clear of all of this though can simply use a virtual private network where they connect to the internet through a proxy server in another country, which is beyond the grasp of domestic authorities.

Online Options for Yemen Customers

Even with these opportunities though, very few people play online poker in Yemen, or play poker at all actually. This is likely to remain the case, as the internet has fueled the explosion of poker around the world, but without being exposed to this, and the people here really aren’t, and with poker not being part of the culture here, there really isn’t much to fuel it.

Yemen is also among the countries that some online poker sites such as PokerStars have stopped taking players from, probably mostly due to a lack of interest, and this interest isn’t set to grow much anytime soon.

So things likely won’t change here in the near future, and it will take a much more progressive view of gambling and internet freedom in general to allow poker to do much growing here, and we’re a long way away from anything like that happening here.

Still though, if you are in Yemen and really want to play online poker, the opportunity is still there for you to do it, as it is in every country actually, in spite of what governments may want.

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References:

1. Yemen

2. Online Gambling Sites in Yemen

3. Internet in Yemen

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