How Fintech Will Help Sports Betting Boom in the Middle East?

We are living in times of an unprecedented technological revolution, with terms such as ‘Fintech’ ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrencies’ becoming commonplace in everyday language.

Blockchain technology has forever changed the world of finance, particularly in light of the infamous ‘2007 meltdown’ on Wall Street.

Its emergence corresponded to one of the worst financial crises in modern history, and it didn’t take long before it knocked on the door of the economic mainstream.

Numerous sectors have been impacted including the sports betting industry. With eSports’ rise to stardom, live betting’s expansion and the mass emergence of online gambling platforms, technology has become a crucial component of an ever-evolving betting industry.


Bitcoin is the big name in contemporary investment. However, the cryptocurrency’s volatility and fluctuating nature have often cast significant doubt on blockchain technology’s credibility and sustainability. Simply put, blockchain holds no accountability for Bitcoin’s price instability.

For those unfamiliar with blockchain’s essence, it is a public decentralised e-Ledger of data and transactions powered by a network of computers.


It is an online form of bookkeeping where one person doesn’t own the book. With that in mind, it’s immune to corruption and fraudulent endeavours.

That network of computers guarantees anonymity and acts according to stringent rules and protocols, ensuring security and transparency.

Every record is bullet-proof and virtually irreversible, which makes it ever-so appealing to sceptics and people who no longer trust the traditional banking system.

One of blockchain’s main advantages is that all the entities involved in a particular transaction can benefit from it.

Since making transaction processes safe and transparent is the technology’s foremost intention, its introduction in the betting industry makes every sense, especially considering the money on the table.

Middle East Market

Despite its long-term conservative approach related to tech innovations and ‘undesirable’ activities, such as gambling, the Middle East region has shown preparedness to defy its long-standing stance and embrace the new global trends.

When it comes to adopting and developing blockchain-based applications, including Fintech, the Arabian Peninsula is going full steam ahead.

Middle East Market

In addition to tech advancements, the Middle East has opened to other lucrative endeavours. For instance, the Saudi Pro League took world football by storm last summer, while Qatar hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The region continues to hold a number of high-profile sports events, including Formula 1.

The next question is – how can the Middle East leverage blockchain technology improve sports in the region?

Bahrain is perhaps the best example of Fintech’s penetration into the Middle East market. Once considered the financial hub in the region, Bahrain has been frantically exploring multiple avenues to increase its competitiveness in one of the world’s wealthiest regions, particularly amid Saudi Arabia’s genuine effort to ascend the throne.

The government of Bahrain has embarked on a comprehensive campaign to promote Fintech. The opening of Fintech Bay, perceived as the largest Fintech hub in the Middle East, perhaps best illustrates the country’s ambition to regain its place in the region’s intricate financial ecosystem.

To further substantiate this thesis, the Central Bank of Bahrain has launched a ‘regulatory sandbox,’ providing a virtual space for companies aiming to test their Fintech solutions.

Elsewhere, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is relaxing gambling rules within the state, as evidenced by the recent hiring of Jim Murren to oversee the construction of a sustainable legal framework for the industry’s introduction.

UAE Ready for a New Chapter

While gambling remains a taboo subject in all Islamic states, the tide driven by one of the world’s most rapidly growing megatrends has changed.

Not even the UAE could have let the changes pass it by. For now, sports betting in Arab countries is a clandestine affair, operating beneath the surface.

But with Ras Al Khaimah, an emirate north of Dubai, striking a groundbreaking deal with Wynn Resort for the construction of a multifaceted entertainment complex, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before the government issues a license to casinos and sportsbooks.

Dubai, one of the world’s most attractive destinations, is also without a land-based casino. However, once Wynn Resort’s audacious project goes through, Dubai should be next in line. This proposition transcends the borders of imagination.

Like Saudi Arabia, the UAE is making significant strides in adopting modern-day trends, hence the foundation of a regulatory body to oversee the gaming sector. The appointment of Murren unequivocally shows the country’s readiness to make all wagering activities legal.

Given the United States expert’s track record in the field, it should not take long before we witness that historic moment.

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