Is Gambling Legal in Israel?
Although gambling has a rich history in Israel, the legality of gambling activities in the country is limited and highly regulated. Currently, the only legal forms of gambling in Israel are the state-run lottery and sports betting through the state-owned organization Mifal Hapayis. This means that other forms of gambling, such as casino games and poker, are illegal in the country. However, despite these restrictions, many Israelis still participate in gambling activities, either by traveling to nearby countries with legal casinos or through online platforms.
What is the Legal Status of Sports Betting in Israel?
In Israel, sports betting is legal and regulated by the government. The only authorized operator for sports betting is the state-owned company Toto (or Winner), which offers a variety of sports events to bet on, such as football, basketball, and tennis. While there are no privately-owned sportsbooks in the country, many Israelis still place bets through foreign online sportsbooks that accept Israeli players.
What is the Legal Status of Online Gambling in Israel?
Online gambling is not explicitly regulated in Israeli law, but it is generally considered to be illegal. The Israeli Penal Law prohibits the operation of gambling houses and the participation in games of chance. While this law does not specifically mention online gambling, the government has taken steps to block access to foreign online gambling sites. Despite these efforts, many Israelis continue to gamble online using virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass the restrictions.
What is the Legal Gambling Age in Israel?
The legal gambling age in Israel is 18 years old. This applies to both the state-run lottery and sports betting through Toto. However, it is worth noting that, as mentioned earlier, most other forms of gambling are illegal in the country, and those who participate in such activities do so at their own risk.
What are the Most Famous Casinos and Games in Israel?
Since casinos are illegal in Israel, there are no famous casinos or casino games within the country. However, the most popular forms of legal gambling in Israel are the lottery and sports betting, both of which are operated by state-owned organizations. The lottery, operated by Mifal Hapayis, offers various games such as scratch cards, weekly draws, and the popular Chance game. Sports betting through Toto is also popular, with many Israelis placing bets on local and international sports events.
Do You Need a Gambling License in Israel?
Since most forms of gambling are illegal in Israel, there is no need for a gambling license for individuals or companies. However, the state-run organizations Mifal Hapayis and Toto hold exclusive licenses to operate the lottery and sports betting, respectively. Any attempts to operate a gambling business without proper authorization are considered illegal and may result in severe penalties.
Is There a Gambling Tax in Israel?
Yes, there is a gambling tax in Israel. Winnings from the state-run lottery and sports betting are subject to taxation. The current tax rate for gambling winnings is 25% for winnings up to 50,000 ILS (approximately $15,000) and 30% for winnings above 50,000 ILS. This tax is automatically deducted from the winnings before they are paid out to the winner.
What are the Official Links and Resources on Gambling Legality in Israel?
- Mifal Hapayis – The official website of the Israeli national lottery, offering information on games, results, and more.
- Toto (Winner) – The official website of the Israeli sports betting organization, providing details on available bets, results, and more.
- Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority – The Israeli government agency responsible for combating illegal gambling and other financial crimes.
- Nevo – An online database of Israeli legislation, including the Penal Law, which contains provisions on gambling.