What's behind the provincial regulations on iGaming in Pakistan?

Like in many Islamic countries, online gaming are strongly prohibited in Pakistan. The law concerns all four state’s provinces, so residents are restricted from conducting and participating in iGaming. Many might be surprised by such regulations in the quickly evolving iGaming world, but the Quran bans all the games of chance, marking them as a grave sin. Individuals breaking the laws are susceptible to significant fines or even imprisonment, and the government is not projected to release any regulatory updates on this issue. However, everything is not as simple as it seems at first glance, as the industry is still flourishing in the country.

Peculiarities of iGaming Sites in Pakistan

It’s worth noting that online gaming sites are not specified in Pakistani legislation, which makes many users consider them allowed entertainment. Unfortunately, it’s not true, as they are still restricted at the federal level. But the ban actually doesn’t prevent risk seekers from joining gaming platforms and trying their luck in thrilling slots and games. For instance, licensed casinos not on GamStop operate globally and offer more freedom and flexibility for players; the lack of customer verification on many platforms is the best choice for the country’s residents. So, locals can still engage in iGaming, but bets are increased right at the moment they enter a restricted site.

Illegal iGaming Industry Is Booming

The ban on iGaming doesn’t prevent new companies’ creation or international businesses from entering the market, and players actively join online gaming and bookmaker sites. The country has a massive iGaming industry that is growing annually, with numerous operators targeting the country’s players. Several online gaming platforms were banned in Pakistan, but the government hasn’t taken severe measures to prevent restricted activity. While state-based iGaming companies are thoroughly checked, abroad-licensed websites are still available for locals.


International sites have more freedom, as local laws only aim to prevent in-country iGaming. Therefore, overseas operators licensed by offshore authorities provide services to Pakistani players, and even though it’s illegal, no one has yet been fined. The government doesn’t seem to be planning to initiate any changes to the existing regulations, which is why it’s predicted that the sector will continue evolving.

A Gap in the Law

Despite most iGaming activities being illegal in the state, there’s a loophole passionate players and punters often use. The thing is, some entertainment options that fall into the “games on chance” category in other countries are not considered such in Pakistan. Therefore, horse racing betting, cricket betting, and prize draw like lotteries are not banned. Users actively utilise this opportunity to get an adrenaline rush without the possibility of being fined.


The Pakistan National Lottery is another way of engaging in iGaming legally, but it’s poorly run and doesn’t satisfy participants. Payouts are really low compared to potential cash prizes in iGaming sites, which is why users still prefer to bet illegally.

Future Plans for iGaming Legislation in Pakistan

Currently, the country’s government and regulatory bodies haven’t initiated any changes to eliminate the law or at least make it less strict. The legalisation of iGaming activities, both online and offline, goes against the Quran, which is sacral in the region. However, providing more opportunities for iGaming operators to work legally in the state would definitely open up more opportunities for all parties.


IGaming companies could get the right conditions for offering their services, while risk hunters would get a fair and transparent gaming experience without fear of being fined or imprisoned. The punishment depends on the sum an individual invested in iGaming. At the same time, the government could receive additional revenue in the form of iGaming taxes. The latter usually adds significant sums to the budgets of countries where the entertainment is legal. Therefore, legalising the sector would have been beneficial for everyone, but unfortunately, no changes are predicted in the near future.

Should Pakistani Players Take the Risk?

Of course, iGaming is forbidden in the country, and breaking the law is not the best idea. So, no, it’s not recommended for residents of Pakistan to engage in online gaming sites. On the other hand, would the ban stop passionate risk lovers? According to reports, over 20% of the country’s population is involved in the sports betting industry – and it’s only the official statistics. Therefore, it’s hardly possible that all locals will simultaneously quit this entertainment. The Pakistani government should address this point and consider all the pros and cons of legalising the activity in the country, which can possibly change the industry and bring more benefits to all.

Final Thoughts

iGaming is officially illegal in all four Pakistan provinces, and those engaging in this entertainment can be fined or imprisoned. At the same time, the iGaming niche is constantly developing, with more and more residents excited about this thrilling pastime. The high accessibility of iGaming lowers the risk of punishment, which is the regulatory gap players actively use. Even though the government hasn’t initiated any changes or updates, it seems that the latest ban is irrelevant in the quickly changing industry landscape.


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