Brunei Betting Laws and Industry

Brunei betting laws limit the extent its people can freely gamble legally  because they live in an Islamic country where every kind of gambling is prohibited with the utmost severity [1].

The Sultanate of Brunei is a very small nation that used to be a British protectorate once. It is situated on the Borneo Island and lies between a couple of Malaysian territories. In spite of being so small, Brunei is a prosperous nation due to its oil and gas exports, with a per capita income of USD 50,000.

The law enforcement bodies of Brunei are totally merciless on all those persons who are in any way involved in acts of illegal gambling , be it casino gaming, poker, sports betting, or cock fighting.

In January 2014, the Brunei Times reported that the RBPF or the Royal Brunei Police Force raided an unlawful gambling house, resulting in the apprehensions of 28 people for wagering real cash on various games of chance. One of those taken into police custody happened to be a foreigner, and all of them were penalized as per the Common Gaming House Act. The police officials also made use of this good opportunity to caution all inhabitants of Brunei, against the evil of illegal gambling.

Recently, the international news agency Reuters published a disturbing report that Brunei is fast becoming the very first East Asian country to implement the criminal features of the Islamic law Sharia. The authorities are going to bring this law into effect in three stages, with most of the law being pertinent to even non-Muslims. This can be very dangerous for any person who intends to do some gambling in the Kingdom of Brunei.

Brunei Gaming Laws, Prison Time and Fines

Brunei Gambling Laws

Taken from: abc.net.com

All acts of illegal gambling in Brunei come under the purview of the Common Gaming Houses Act. Section 6 (2), Chapter 28 of this very stringent law lays down a prison term of 6 months as well as a fine of $10,000 USD for any individual who is  caught  gambling or even found fleeing from a house of gambling. Section (4) (a) of this act stipulates imprisonment for 1 year as also a fine of $20,000 USD to both the owner and the operator of any illegal gambling den [2].

Such gambling dens are termed as common gaming house under this act and it  includes a place maintained for the illegal purpose of gaming or for a public lottery, to which the members of the public has ready access.

When two or more individuals are charged for any offence under this act, the judge might ask a person or more to render evidence against an offender, the person shall do so. Otherwise he or she shall be prosecuted under the terms of this act.

If the legal authority of Brunei comes to the conclusion that any individual is a professional gambler and/or is unlawfully involved in promoting public gaming he or she shall be banished from the country of Brunei Darussalam.

If a male individual seems to be a mere boy and convicted for the offence of gambling, he shall be punished with cane or a light rattan rod with a maximum of ten strokes to his bared buttocks.

If a person comes forward to inform of any person’s gambling activities, the judge might reward the informer with whole fine or part of the fine that the court imposes on the guilty party. And if an informer faces danger from the guilty party for having reported on them, the judge will provide him with state protection, as long as the threat lasts.

The king of the realm might exempt a gaming house/s from any punishment under this act, at his discretion.

Is Horse Race Betting Allowed in Brunei?

Horse race betting brunei

Under the Islamic Sharia all forms of gambling are banned in Brunei.

And horse racing is no different and where there is no horse racing there is no betting on horses also.

The Sultan of Brunei is a lover of horses. The kingdom has equestrian clubs, polo clubs and similar facilities.

The famous equestrian facility Trijaya Jerudong Equestrian Park [3] offers the following facilities to all members of the general public, none involve gambling and are meant for family fun.

  • Beach Rides
  • Lunging and Riding lessons
  • Cross Country
  • Trekking
  • Livery
  • Gymkhana – games with horses
  • Dressage
  • Show Jumping

Jerudong Park Polo Club is another facility meant exclusively for polo enthusiasts. The sultan himself is an avid polo player and he has spared no expense in equipping this club with all the necessary things including fine thoroughbred horses. The elegant polo club house serves an exclusive clientele with its luxurious décor, personal photos, collection of equestrian art, as well as a series of highly personalized facilities.

Then there is the BEQ Horse Riding School that trains all those who are interested in the fine art of riding horses.

Cricket Betting in Brunei and How to Bet Online

CRICKET BETTING Brunei

The Kingdom of Brunei is by far the smallest ACC member country. The sports authorities of the nation want to make cricket a virtue for its young people.

According to the ACC Development Officer more and more people are getting interested in cricket and want to play the singular game. 

The officer wished to increase the number of cricket players by introducing the game in the Co-Curriculum Activity of every school and hopes that the next superstar athlete from Brunei will be a cricketer.

To make this dream a reality, eight primary schools have their own cricket teams and three secondary schools are on the way to organize teams. After this is realized, the Brunei chapter of the ACC wants the game to reach centers of higher education such as the universities.

Senior cricket players in the country who have been playing the game for a long time are organized into ten teams, with three tournaments per year, conducted on the matting of the sole cricket ground of test quality in the country.

All these activities show that Brunei is on the way to an excellent cricket playing country. By creating the necessary infrastructure and facilities with ample backing from the government, Brunei is sure to enter the major league of cricket playing nations in the near future. Until then, large scale betting online on cricket is many years away. Due to the absence of the South Asian expats as is the case in the Arabian Gulf countries, there is no appreciable online betting on the game.

Brunei is a country that is weak in all kinds of sports and games activities. Apart from traditional games that has no significance outside the country, football and basketball are very popular. But again, no betting is possible, except by resorting to online sports betting. However, cock fighting is extremely popular with the Bruneians and discrete live betting is often the case in the country.

Casinos in Brunei and Online Gambling

CASINOS IN BRUNEI

Being a highly prosperous country with its own extensive oil and natural gas fields, the citizens benefit from the wholly free health care as well as educational facilities. Since they have high purchasing power it is possible for them to enjoy online casino gambling to their heart’s content.

The fact that there are no legal brick and mortar casinos in this rich sultanate increases the average fondness of the Bruneian for online gambling via the internet [4]. Actually, the well-off natives are addicted to online sports betting, casino gaming, as also poker.

There is no dearth of offshore online casinos that are only too willing to accept gamblers from Brunei.

This means that gambling aficionados living in this small but well off Southeast Asian nation have little difficulty in finding online casinos. Besides, the wide use of the English language in the kingdom provides much more options as far as offshore casinos are concerned. The following are the more popular gambling sites for the Bruneians:

  • Betsson Casino
  • Royal Panda
  • Vera and John

Certain factors have helped the Bruneians to resort to online gambling on a large scale. The people of Brunei enjoy very high standards of living; this has made the penetration of internet into the country to over 75 percent; an incredible 90 per cent of the people own a computer. Added to these factors is the Bruneian’s craze for gambling. No wonder internet casinos are flourishing in the kingdom.

Bruneian gambling buffs are denied all legal gambling options at their disposal, so it is only natural that online casinos have stepped in to afford them a viable alternative. Now there are plenty of online gaming websites that stand ready to service the gambling enthusiasts from Brunei.

Those offshore casinos conduct their activities well out of reach of the legal tentacles of the tiny sultanate, offering plenty of online table games, slot machines, roulette, baccarat and blackjack. Besides, gamblers benefit from the fun promotions and generous bonuses that those sites offer. Making deposits with the offshore casinos also do not pose any problems for the Bruneians as it can be easily done by making good use of their MasterCard, Maestro, or Visa cards.

Lottery in Brunei

All kinds of lotteries are banned in Brunei according to Sharia the Islamic law. Any place from where lottery tickets are distributed or sold shall be considered illegal and those involved in doing so are subject to the gaming act of the country.

Any person who buys a lottery ticket or pays money in advance for any kind of draws is doing an illegal act that contravenes the gaming act.  A lottery ticket can be in the form of a printed sheet of paper, writing, symbol, sign, figure, any other such article.

Flush, Rummy, Poker and other Card Games

Poker in Brunei

If there is any live poker and/or similar card games being played Brunei, it remains a closely guarded secret.  This might happen in private homes, clubs or any such locations. Besides, these games are not very popular with Bruneians and not many of them are engaged in playing poker or like games. 

As is the case with all games of chance, card games such as Flush, Rummy, and Poker also can only be played online, as far as the residents of Brunei are concerned [5]. These online sites provide them with every kind of card game so that they can play the games of their choice. 

A word of caution: It is reported that the Brunei Police have begun to raid centers suspected of conducting online gambling activities as these also come under the purview of the Common Gaming Houses Act. These raids are conducted all over the country.

In a recent statement the police authorities stated that these raids discovered many computers that were used to play online games and advised the people not to take part in such activities. This means that those who indulge in any gambling do so at their own risk.

Gambling Laws Reference in this Article

[1] OnlineBetting.comGambling Laws Explained in Brunei 2016

[2] commonlii.org, Brunei Legislation, 2016

[3] bruneibay.net, The Royal Experience Trijaya Jerudong Equestrian Park, 2016

[4] onlinecasino.in, Online Casino Brunei, 2016

[5] pokerlaws.org, Brunei Poker Laws, 2016