Age Restrictions For Gambling in Jordan
The Arab Spring’s downfall has prompted many residents of Jordan to publicly declare that they are fed up with ruling the country through the elected parliament. The latest developments in Egypt have only reinforced this message. A new interim constitution was agreed upon by both the elected council and the members of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Monuments. The new constitution divides power between a presidential palace and legislative body with limits on the prime minister’s powers.
In response to the recent developments in Egypt, many Jordanians have taken to the streets in support of their long standing and unwavering demand to remain free to practice their right of free speech and to gamble on any land-based casino gambling establishment that they wish. On Saturday, March 3rd, thousands of residents took to the streets again in support of their right to gamble, demanding that the wagering should continue. Gambling has long been banned in Jordan but recently amendments to the law have been introduced allowing licensed casinos and racehorses to operate. It is hoped that this will encourage more Jordanians to demand that the ban on gambling be lifted once and for all.
The ongoing unrest in Egypt is being exploited by Jordanian citizens as a way of economic and social leverage at the hands of a largely unstable and autocratic government. Many Egyptians are angered by what they see as the partiality of the Egyptian authorities towards certain people and certain industries. Some of these groups are demanding the immediate release of police officers whom have been rounded up and detained following the dispersal of peaceful demonstrations in the towns of Giza and Alexandria. There is also unrest expected in upcoming local elections. The prospect of a multi-party election in Jordan in coming years may spur mass opposition to any further compromises with the International community over its stance on human rights.
It seems that the situation is unlikely to change any time soon however, with recent developments suggesting that the Egyptian authorities may reintroduce some form of legislative restriction on gambling. Should such regulations to be introduced and passed into law, it is possible that the current ban on betting on sporting events could be severely limited or, if not totally abolished, relegated to the periphery of the legal system and replaced by a new and innovative form of taxation. For now however, Jordan’s young people remain largely free to pursue whatever form of entertainment they prefer in the privacy of their homes.
Gambling in Jordan can be both widespread and accepted as a way of life for many residents of the country. With no age restrictions or special licenses required, Jordanians from all ages are allowed to gamble where and when they choose. A popular alternative to traditional betting on sporting events, high profile games such as football and basketball are played between professional teams from around the world, often at the expense of hosting an event. Attractive to many young and old, this multi-cultural nature of Jordanian gaming venues has led to a marked increase in visitor numbers and subsequent revenue for both the venues and the countries governing body, the National Lottery Commission (NLC).
While attitudes to gambling in Jordan vary greatly, there appears to be a general willingness to accept the reality of this practice among Jordanians. Even conservative members of society have accepted that people gamble and have accepted certain restrictions as a necessary part of living in the country. Young people may be restricted from placing bets on certain games such as basketball, but the overall trend is clear: people gamble and more than likely will do so in the future. Shouldn’t we all be grateful to those who do so for allowing us to make a little money? After all, without them, the world would be a very different place.