Most Popular Bookies in Pakistan

Pakistan stands out as one country with a rich sporting heritage, with a huge segment of locals being cricket fans. It's also an Islamic state, with most sports fans being Muslims. As a result, it is easy for anyone to imagine that betting is prohibited in the country. And even though gambling remains outlawed in Pakistan, it is a widely accepted past-time activity in the country.

Many online sports betting sites today have their doors open to Pakistani bettors. As a result, sports betting enjoys considerable popularity, with many bettors signing up with international bookmakers daily. Generally, in today's Pakistani gambling climate, sports betting is among the few (if not the only) gambling highly welcomed among Pakistani.

Most Popular Bookies in Pakistan
History of Betting in Pakistan

History of Betting in Pakistan

Local horse racing events that operate in strict conformance to the local rules are an integral aspect of the fabric of Pakistanis. However, regarding sports betting in Pakistan, Pakistani players can only play at offshore sites that accept bettors from the country.

This article explores the subject of betting in Pakistan, with a keen focus on the history of gambling activities in the country, the legality of sports betting, favorite sports in the country, payment methods, and anything that can influence a player's gaming experience.

Pakistan is a relatively new country, with the country's history as a whole being somewhat less than a century old, let alone the history of gambling. Before gaining independence from British rule in 1947, it is believed that betting was somehow prohibited in the country, just like in most nations under British control at the time.

However, in 1956, Pakistan was declared an Islamic state almost immediately after gaining independence. As a result, this meant that Islamic laws underpinned most of the country's laws and enacted legislation ever since.

Before independence, gambling was outlawed under the Public Gambling Act of 1867. According to this British law, anyone guilty of betting or abetting betting risked punishment or fines. Over the following years, several notable acts were adopted in various British territories.

A century after adopting the Public Gambling Act of 1867, in 1977, the Prevention of Gambling Act was passed, overriding all pieces of legislation on gambling in Pakistan. According to this 1977 Act, all forms of wagering were deemed illegal.

History of Betting in Pakistan
The 'Sudden Twist'

The 'Sudden Twist'

Shortly after enacting the Prevention of Gambling Act of 1977, under the military rule of General Mohammed Zia-Ul-Haq, horse racing and tote betting were legalized in the country. While this move seemed strange in many regards, it enjoyed massive backing among the political class and the elite at the time. As a result, over the coming years, bookmakers and racehorse owners started conspiring to influence race outcomes to profit from the general public.

On the other hand, the legalization of these forms of gambling also inspired the thirst for gambling in the national sport, Cricket. In the early 1990s, underground cricket betting had already taken off with bookmakers in Lahore, in conjunction with those from India, taking an increasing number of cricket bets.

Despite cricket betting being illegal, the advent of the internet inspired massive growth in online Pakistan betting. This development brought an interesting aspect regarding how to bet in/from Pakistan.

The 'Sudden Twist'
Betting Nowadays in Pakistan

Betting Nowadays in Pakistan

Today, all forms of betting are prohibited in Pakistan. Notably, there are no officially permitted betting shops for sports betting, except for horse tracks. As expected, the ban also applies to both land-based and online bookmakers.

Of course, even though players are not allowed to gamble, most opt to go around the prohibition by signing up with the best online bookmakers. In most cases, these online betting sites are licensed and regulated in foreign jurisdictions, which means that Pakistani laws do not inform their operations. With sports betting being a trendy hobby for most Pakistanis, the safest option for local bettors is international bookies accepting players from Pakistan.

With Cricket and Hockey being the most followed sports in the country, most Pakistani sports enthusiasts follow these events at local and international levels. Besides the chance to wager on the most significant sporting events in the country, such as Cricket World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20, and Hockey World Cup, Pakistani bettors also get a chance to benefit from a long list of sports betting bonuses.

Popular bonuses offered to sports betting players include match bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds/profit boost, and the mobile sports betting bonus.

Future of Betting in Pakistan

It remains that sports betting is illegal in Pakistan. And there is no indication that this position might change anytime soon. However, this does not, in any way, hurt the prospects of online Pakistan betting.

Furthermore, technological advances that focus on helping internet users cover their tracks, such as VPNs and crypto payments, are poised to foster sports betting in the coming years. However, if the government adopts a friendlier stance toward gambling, then a win-win situation for both bettors and the government is undoubtedly assured.

Betting Nowadays in Pakistan
Pakistani Players' Favorite Sports to bet on

Pakistani Players' Favorite Sports to bet on

There is a broad range of options for Pakistani sports enthusiasts. Being the fifth most populous nation in the world, it goes without saying that the numbers involved are quite large than those in smaller nations. Consequently, popular sporting events are usually the most wagered on. That said, here are some of the most wagered on sports in Pakistan:

Cricket

Cricket is indisputably the most followed sport in Pakistan. It is played in almost every neighborhood in the country, meaning that most Pakistanis understand the sport's fundamentals. This makes it easy for most Pakistani players betting online to place wagers on cricket matches and tournaments.

Field Hockey

Once the country's most decorated sport, Pakistani hockey is credited for giving the country 4 World Cup trophies and 3 Olympic gold medals. As much as Field Hockey's popularity has been fading these days, it is highly wagered on by most Pakistani, especially those who follow the sport.

Soccer

Soccer also ranks high in terms of popularity in Pakistan. The history of this game dates back to the colonial era when British Soldiers introduced it. While the country is yet to taste massive success on the global stage, soccer remains incredibly popular in the country.

Squash

Pakistani's sport of the 90s. Pakistan has a history of producing some of the most talented squash players. But unfortunately, the sport's popularity keeps fading away for various reasons, key among them being the reduction in the number of playing courts across the country.

Best Odds for Pakistani Players

Pakistani players, like other bettors, should always be keen to find the best odds. With different sportsbooks competing against each other, players can always find high-value odds at one bookmaker over another. Ideally, the best or high-value odds are those that pay the most for a given outcome.

How can a player find the best odds? Simple – by comparing betting lines offered by different sports bookies. Better yet, some websites do the digging for the players for an easy search.

Biggest Local Tournaments and Events

Pakistan has seen a surge in sporting activity in recent years. As such, Pakistani nationals have been able to feature in both local and international events. Besides international events, the country also hosts some local sporting events and tournaments. Here are some standout local events to wager on:

  • Pakistani Super League - Cricket
  • Pakistan Open - Squash
  • Shandur Polo Tournament
  • Pakistan Open – Golf
Pakistani Players' Favorite Sports to bet on
FAQs

FAQs

Is online betting illegal in Pakistan?

As much as the laws do not target the online environment, the general understanding is that online betting is illegal.

How can one tell whether a bookmaker is legitimate or not?

Most legitimate sports betting sites accepting players from Pakistan have a license from an independent regulatory body. Any credible online bookie should have at least one license from a credible licensing body such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission.

Can one get in trouble when wagering at Pakistan betting sites?

Yes & No. To avoid unnecessary risk, bettors should only pay at secure betting sites. Moreover, sports bettors are advised to avoid attracting attention while placing wagers.

How can you fund an online betting site in Pakistan?

Since gambling is outlawed, any player would want a payment method that assures them that their tracks are covered. It is impossible to local options such as bank transfers and credit cards. As such, e-wallets and crypto payments are the safest options for bettors.

Are winnings taxed in Pakistan?

With gambling prohibited in the country, Pakistani sports bettors do not have to worry about remitting taxes from their winnings. However, a bettor only pays tax when they win from horse racing.

FAQs