FAQ in the category of Gambling and Games of Chance

1 When is betting regarded as gambling? Is it permissible to bet on a football match?

Betting bilaterally and doing similar things are regarded as gambling. For instance, before two people races if one of them says, “If you outrun me, I will give you such and such amount of money; if I outrun you, you will give me such and such amount of money”, such a bet is regarded as gambling.

However, if the bet is unilateral, it is permissible. That is, if one of them says,” If you outrun me, I will give you such and such amount of money but if I outrun you, do not give me anything”, such a bet is legitimate. The person who obtains such money can use it.

It is not permissible to arrange a match or a game by laying some conditions and to take the prize given as a result of the match or game. Such a practice is regarded as gambling.

2 Is it permissible to gamble in non-Muslim countries (in dar al-harb)?

Dar al-harb means a country that is not under the domination of Islam. In that case, America is dar al-harb.  

According to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, a Muslim will not be regarded as a sinner if he receives interest from non-Muslims and if he gambles when he is sure that he will win. However, according to Abu Yusuf, it is haram

If a person makes a transaction with interest in dar al-harb, it is permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad. There is no drawback to a Muslim living in dar al-harb receiving interest from non-Muslims. For, receiving interest is not regarded as treason according to them; it is normal. (see Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar)