Online Sports Betting in Saudi Arabia
Just like across the rest of the Middle East, the people of Saudi Arabia love to partake in an array of different sporting activities. Whether that’s by playing, spectating, or even placing bets. Although the country adheres to strict Islamic laws which render gambling-related activities illegal, the younger generation still likes a flutter.
Betting on sporting fixtures can really enhance your enjoyment of the occasion. But how can you do that in a country where betting sites are blocked and there is no land-based sports gambling allowed? The answer is simple. By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and we’ll talk more about this later in the article.
For the time being, here’s a collection of the very best sports betting sites available to players in Saudi Arabia.
List with Online Betting Sites in Saudi Arabia
- 10bet – 100% up to $300
- 22bet – 100% up to $300
- 1xbet – 100% up to $300
Top Saudi Online Bookmakers
Once you have opened a betting account with a top overseas sportsbook, you’ll need to fund it. Unfortunately, you are not likely to be able to deposit using the Saudi riyal (SAR). That’s because these offshore betting sites are generally targeting a broader audience.
Instead, you’ll need to deposit in USD, GBP, or EUR. Any bookmakers claiming to offer SAR deposits could be scam sites, so proceed with caution. Be sure to use our recommended betting brands for peace of mind, since we have verified that they are safe and secure. And don’t worry, it’s really easy to convert your SAR into more appropriate international currencies.
Making Deposits and Withdrawals
You can easily deposit and withdraw by registering an account with a popular e-wallet. Companies like ecoPayz, Neteller, and Skrill facilitate payments in multiple currencies and most offshore betting sites accept them. Simply deposit your SAR into your e-wallet and they’ll do the currency conversion for you.
E-wallets are extremely quick and convenient payment methods, but they also give a layer of privacy. By putting a buffer between your bank account and your bookmaker of choice, it becomes harder to track your gambling activity. Which is never a bad thing in a country where wagering is forbidden.
On that note, cryptocurrencies are also a fantastic deposit method for sports bettors in Saudi Arabia. First of all, they provide even more anonymity than e-wallets. But secondly, they offer super-fast payouts, meaning you can get your winnings in just a few hours. This is a big improvement on many traditional payment methods which can take up to a week.
Betting Sites with PaySafeCards
Betting Sites with Skrill
Betting Sites with Bank Transfer
Betting Sites with Cryptocurrency
Popular Sports to Bet On Online in Saudi Arabia
There are dozens of different sports to be found in Saudi Arabia. Let’s now take a look over the most commonly played and learn which sports Saudi punters like to bet on.
Betting on Football
The beautiful game is the most beloved sport in Saudi Arabia, as it is across the whole of the Middle East. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the country’s national side was a regular at the FIFA World Cup. During this period, they also enjoyed local success, winning the FIFA Arab Cup twice, the Arabian Gulf Cup three times, not to mention further AFC Asian Cup triumphs in the 1980s.
In terms of domestic football, the Saudi Professional League has been running since 1976. The country’s top flight has historically been dominated by Al Hilal, who produced local legend Sami Al-Jaber, among other top players.
Al-Jaber enjoyed a brief stint in England at the end of his career, playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers. And England is definitely the most popular country when it comes to betting on football in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the Premier League, there is also interest in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.
Betting on Basketball
Although not quite at the same level as football, basketball is a much-loved sport in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Premier League has seen plenty of talented players pass through over the years, including the likes of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who spent a decade playing in the NBA.
In terms of betting, America is undoubtedly the main focus of Saudi basketball punters. Although the NBA is the most popular wagering event, there’s some interest in the top European competitions too. Turkey, Spain, Italy and Germany all have leagues which are followed by Saudi bettors.
At an international level, Saudi Arabia hasn’t had too much success since the creation of the Saudi Arabian Basketball Federation in 1964. Arguably their most notable achievement came at the 1999 Asian Championship, when they finished third. Though more recently, they did claim gold at the 2018 Arab Nations Championship.
Betting on Cricket
Like much of the Middle East, a large part of the population in Saudi Arabia is made up of immigrant workers. A significant proportion of these come from the Indian subcontinent, where cricket is worshipped almost like a religion. So the growth of cricket in the country is understandable.
The Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation (SACF) was formed in 2001. Soon after, in 2003, the country was granted affiliate membership status by the International Cricket Council (ICC). And in 2016, Saudi Arabia was eventually promoted to associate member status. The country is still something of a minnow, but their 2019 victory in the five team ACC Western Region T20 event is perhaps a sign of things to come.
When it comes to betting on cricket, it’s usually the T20 events that attract most attention in Saudi Arabia. The T20 World Cup held in neighbouring Oman and UAE was of particular interest to punters, as is the Indian Premier League.
Betting on Motorsport
Most types of racing are enjoyed across the Middle East, whether it’s animals or vehicles. But in Saudi Arabia, motorsports are especially popular, with Formula One being the highlight. In 2021, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit played host to the country’s first ever Grand Prix.
Plenty of other motor racing events have been held in the country, however. Recent examples include the Dakar Rally, F1H2O Grand Prix events and the 2018 Race of Champions. The latter includes the best drivers from the world of F1, IndyCar, Rally and NASCAR, among others.
From a betting perspective, the Formula One Grands Prix are undoubtedly the most commonly played events. The best sportsbook sites in Saudi Arabia offer betting on the race winner, qualifying and even the outright championships. But you’ll find the locals betting on Superbikes, MotoGP and even powerboat racing too.
Betting on Ice Hockey
Apparently, ice hockey is no longer just for cold countries like Russia, Canada and those in Scandinavia. The first ice hockey events in Saudi Arabia took place in the early part of the 1990s, with mostly expats involved. But the popularity of the game is really beginning to grow and in December 2019, the Saudi Arabian Ice Hockey Association was created.
The country’s first major tournament came in 2010, in the form of the Gulf Ice Hockey Championship. Four teams took part and Saudi Arabia managed to claim the bronze medal, beating Oman in the process.
Those Saudis that enjoy betting on ice hockey are mostly interested in the NHL. But the leagues of Sweden, Russian and even the UK’s Elite League also attract some betting attention.
Betting on the Rugby Union
Although not the biggest of sports in the country, Rugby Union is very much on the rise. It was the British who first took the game to the Kingdom in the middle of the 20th century. And thanks to the large ex-pat population, the game not only survived but is beginning to grow
In April 2016, Saudi Arabia played their first fully recognized international match against Jordan. But prior to that, they had taken part in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. A local league was set up by the Saudi Rugby Federation in early 2015, to promote the game among young men in the country.
In terms of rugby union betting, the best sportsbooks available to Saudi players do offer odds on the top events. International tests, the Six Nations and the World Cup are among the biggest betting competitions.
Other Sports Betting Categories
The sports covered so far don’t even tell the full story about the popularity of sports in Saudi Arabia. Although these are the most beloved activities, both in terms of playing and wagering, many others take place too.
In late 2019, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee announced plans to further diversify sport in the region. They gave the green light to the creation of five new sporting federations, including lacrosse and baseball. It remains to be seen how quickly those sports will develop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe for players to bet online in Saudi Arabia?
For sure. By using a VPN to open up the internet, Saudis are free to register accounts with a variety of different offshore bookmakers. These sites are based outside of Saudi Arabia. As a result, the law doesn’t apply to them, so the authorities can do very little to prevent you from using them.
Are casinos legal in Saudi Arabia?
Definitely not. That’s why you won’t find a single land-based casino anywhere in Saudi Arabia. However, by using a VPN to unblock censored content online, many Saudi players enjoy casino games at international sites. Since their operations do not take place in the country, they cannot be held to the local laws.
What is the best deposit option for Saudi sports bettors?
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin are a good choice for bettors in Saudi Arabia. Anything that increases your anonymity when using online bookmakers is never a bad thing since gambling is frowned upon in the region. E-wallets like Skrill and Neteller also help put a buffer between your bank and betting accounts.
Do online bookies in Saudi Arabia award free bets?
All of the top online betting sites available to players in Saudi Arabia offer a wide range of promotions and bonuses. Free bets are a big part of that. Often given out to new customers upon registration, free bets are also awarded as part of a loyalty program to thank repeat customers.
Which Saudi sports betting site is the best?
That’s easy. We’ve listed all of the best bookmakers for Saudi punters right here on this page. Although everyone has their own preferences when it comes to betting sites, every brand named here offers a myriad of top-quality features. Whether it’s the wide range of markets, a choice of trustworthy payments, good customer service, or competitive odds, these betting sites have got the lot.