National gambling laws prevent the operations of both real world and online casinos in Algeria. The laws of the land are influenced by Islamic tradition and forbid all forms of gambling, to include sports betting, casino games and poker. The closest thing to legal gambling in Algeria is the national lottery run by Pari Sportif Algerien.
Fortunately, Algerian officials have to date expended little effort in preventing citizens from visiting online casinos headquartered in other countries. There is some internet censorship, but the web filters do not block everything and personal VPN services can be used to access casino sites that have been blocked.
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The thing to remember with these casinos is all reside in countries where online gambling is legal and regulated. In fact, each one of these holds a license to operate in its home country but is permitted to accept players from around the world. These may not be true Algerian casino sites, but the end result is the same: you can play real money casino games at sites that have been deemed safe by reputable governing bodies.
As much as Algerian officials would like to shut down these casinos, they have no jurisdiction to do so. The only thing the Algerian government can do is implement internet blocking or try to scare us players away by threatening legal action. Internet censorship in Algeria has had mixed results and the government does not appear very interested in pursuing individual players.
It remains unclear to this day if you would be punished if caught visiting online casinos in Algeria. The Algerian Penal Code does prohibit being in the business of gambling, but does not mention how individual players are treated.
Those who are caught running an illegal casino or other gambling operation in Algeria face punishments of 500 to 20,000 dinars and three months to one year of imprisonment. But note; this applies to those involved in the business of gambling. The penal code does not provide any punishments for individual players.
However, we must remember that sharia law does have a presence in Algeria. The criminal code is entirely secular, but matters of a personal/family nature are generally arbitrated according to sharia law. The government may not exactly outlaw participating in gambling, but that does not necessarily mean you should go around and gamble out in the open. The wisest strategy is to keep your gambling activities private and avoid the issue altogether.
Although some progress regarding freedom of the press has been made in Algerian, internet censorship remains a concern. It is unclear if Algerian authorities attempt to block gambling websites, but the government does maintain the right to block access to websites deemed “contrary to the public order or decency.”
The government does monitor the internet, but seems mostly concerned with postings that are critical of those in power. In June 2016, Algerian authorities jailed freelance journalist Mohamed Tamalt for blog posts critical of the President and public institutions. The penal code only calls for fines in such cases, but Tamalt was jailed anyways pending the outcome of his case. He later slipped into a coma after going on a hunger strike that had lasted two months at the time.
Mr. Tamalt’s case shows that we cannot rely on the penal code for the full story and explanation of all risks. The Algerian government retains wide authority to prosecute those whom it chooses to target. These risks appear mostly related to challenging the government, but we still urge you to exercise caution when gambling at Algerian casino sites.
Gambling Online with Algerian Dinars
There are no major online casinos that accept Algerian dinars by default, but that is not a problem. The best casino sites accept customers from around the world and have the know-how to easily convert deposits in any currency to the world’s main currencies such as euros, British pounds and US dollars.
In some cases, you may even be able to deposit directly with your credit card. However, some credit card transactions may be blocked. We also do not recommend depositing directly with your personal account as that increases the risk of exposure.
You can instead use a third-party e-wallet such as Neteller or Skrill. We have verified that each of these three deposit methods does operate in Algeria. An increasing number of casino sites are also beginning to accept bitcoin payments as a means for both depositing and getting paid. If you’re interested in using bitcoin to play online but your casino does not accept bitcoin deposits, you can upload bitcoin funds to your Neteller account and then make a normal deposit via Neteller.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.