Betting Cricket and Other Sports from Pakistan
Sports betting is widespread in Pakistan despite law that attempts to restrict it. Legal UK betting exchanges see India vs. Pakistan cricket matches routinely draw wagering volume in excess of Rs. 5000 crore. Though that’s the cumulative from punters worldwide, no doubt many Pakistanis wager on these. Betting on cricket, field hockey, horse races and to some extent football, tennis and Formula 1 is very popular here. In this article I discuss how that can be done over the internet.
Bet365 is the #1 Online Bookie
www.bet365.com is a highly legitimate global online bookmaker. They opened their first betting shops in the UK way back in 1974 and changed their operation to online in 2001. Today they own the English Premier League football franchise Stoke City and are one of the UK’s largest private employers. Betting accounts are available in many currencies and languages. They are licensed and regulated by government approved gambling commissions of UK, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Gibraltar. They are no doubt a safe site for players to use.
At Bet365 it is possible to bet sports including but not limited to cricket, field hockey and horse racing, as well as play casino, bingo and even online poker from Pakistan. For cricket their coverage is massive. For international it includes Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), ODIs, Test Series, Tri Series, The Ashes, ICC Champions Trophy, ICC World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 and more. For domestic leagues there are betting odds on our own T-20 Cup; India’s IPL and Ranji Trophy; UK’s One-Day Cup, and County Championships One & Two; Australia’s Big Bash, Sheffield Shield, and One-Day Cup; New Zealand’s Georgie Pie Super Smash, Plunket Shield, and The Ford Trophy; South Africa’s Momentum 1 Day Cup, RAM Slam T20 Challenge, and Sunfoil Series; and many other leagues.
The wagering options on every cricket match are many. You can bet match winner, match sixes, most run outs, who wins the toss, top team bowler, top team batsman, 1st over total runs, team to make highest first 6 overs score, when the first wicket falls, method of the first wicket, the highest opening partnership, whether or not a fifty will be scored, a century scored, and much more. These markets and others are available prematch and in-play (live betting). Their website even live streams cricket matches from around the globe right next to their live in-play betting menu. There is however a challenge for Pakistan residents regarding banking options.
How to Deposit and Get Paid
Pakistan residents have it tougher than most other countries when it comes to deposit and pay out methods. The popular e-wallet NETELLER does not accept Pakistan addresses. The popular virtual credit card method EntroPay has limited use because they do not offer transfer to Pakistan bank accounts. Skrill can be used but it is difficult to get verified and set up with, and lots of challenges occur. There are however still ways to use Bet365 and other sites, just the methods are not the most ideal. They are as follows:
- Cheque Deposit – Bet365 offers Pakistan residents the option to deposit by mailing in a check. This isn’t the most ideal method but it is by far the safest, and has the least fees involved. Instructions can be found online in their cashier. If you send a certified bank check it will often take 5-10 days to clear. If you send a personal check it often takes 21-28 days to clear. Once cleared, the money is added to your account.
- Credit or Debit Card – Bet365 does accept credit and debit card deposits. Unfortunately, it is very often the case cards from Pakistan are declined. That said, there is no harm in trying your card to see if it is approved. If it is this will save you the hassle or wait times involved in other methods.
- Skrill – is an e-wallet that can act as an intermediary between your home bank account and gambling websites. You can fund Skrill then can use it to send money to online bookies. You can also cash out from those bookies to your Skrill account. You can move money out of Skrill back to your home bank account too. Unfortunately, getting an account verified in Pakistan can be challenging. You can try opening an account with them for free at skrill.com then Google searching or asking on forums for the latest tips.
- UKash Deposits – If you selected British pounds as your currency when opening a Bet365 account, it becomes possible to fund it using Ukash vouchers from the UK that are in GBP currency. There are number of money exchange services that can be found online by searching Google for buy Ukash vouchers in Pakistan. Be sure to research whoever you are buying from as there scams out there.
No matter which of the above methods you use to deposit, it is easy to cash out of Bet365. You can withdrawal all or part of your account balance at any time by requesting a wire transfer withdrawal to your local Pakistan bank account.
Make Sure You have an ID and Utility Bill
Online gambling sites such as Bet365 operate in a legal and licensed environment abroad. As discussed in my article on Pakistan casinos, they are not concerned with the laws of Pakistan because for them the wager takes place where they are located. Again, where they are located, betting is legal, and they have approval of that government to accept these bets. The issue comes in that they are required to follow Know Your Customer (KYC) law, and also want to protect against fraud.
It is very common online bookies will request a photo copy of your ID card or Passport, and a utility bill in your own name. This can be a challenge for Pakistanis that are either renting or living with their relatives. I would strong advise however to get a utility bill in your own name before gambling online. This will help ease the verification process greatly. Also note that if they suspect fraud, it is possible they will ask you to send in a notarized copy of this. So, if you’re thinking of using Photoshop, don’t! As long as you can provide an ID and utility bill in your own name you’ll have no problem verifying your account. If you absolutely can’t obtain a utility bill scroll to our last section about bitcoin gambling.
Other Betting Sites
Bet365 is no doubt the best site for the typical Pakistani gambler because they offer by far the best coverage of the sports we’re interested in betting and have other gambling products too. However, if you have a challenge using the banking methods mentioned above there are other options.
One alternative is online bookies that deal with the United States, where gambling is also heavily restricted. Like Pakistan residents, US residents are barred from using NETELLER, and EntroPay. In fact, Bet365 bars them too, so in some ways they have it even worse. However, there is an entirely different group of gambling websites available to them, which Pakistan residents can use too. Such sites are follows:
www.5dimes.eu – is far less flashy than Bet365, but they do have very good betting odds on most major cricket matches as well as IPL from India. For other sports they have vast coverage.
www.betonline.ag – covers mostly American sports plus football (soccer) and tennis for which they have excellent live in-play betting. They do however post odds on major cricket matches. ODIs involving Pakistan are almost always covered. UK domestic cricket is however often not covered. IPL is sometimes hit or miss. But again, some cricket betting is available here.
www.bookmaker.eu – is a very trusted site with good coverage of other sports, but unfortunately doesn’t have much, if any, coverage of cricket. Still they are worth using when betting other sports.
The nice thing about the sites above is they offer two additional ways to deposit over what bet365 offers. These are Western Union and Bitcoin. For Western Union you can bring cash to an agent and send it to the name the gambling site provides. In about 30 minutes time the money will appear in your gambling account. You can also get paid via this method which is easy. You can receive it at more than 900+ UBL branches displaying the Western Union logo across Pakistan, or at other banks and sometimes even the post office.
Bitcoin Gambling in Pakistan
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has an exchange rate against all other currencies. To get started using it you first need to create a free wallet. One option to do so can be found here. With your wallet you will have an address that someone can send bitcoins too. How do you get bitcoins?
The easiest way to get bitcoins is to deposit to one of the 3 sites mentioned above with another method such as Western Union and then cash out from your account balance using bitcoin. These sites however want you to gamble at least two times the amount you deposit prior to making a withdrawal. After that you can cash out from them using any method including bitcoin.
There other ways to get bitcoin too. One such way is to buy them from individuals using Local Bitcoin Pakistan. Understand this is a private marketplace and scams are possible. But here you can see how many transactions the person has done and what their rating is. It is relatively safe to use when dealing with reputable sellers, but keep it small in order to limit against losses. There are also exchanges in Pakistan too, but these are not regulated. You can Google search and also comment on forums asking for feedback on those.
Once you have bitcoins it becomes easy to move money between the three sites I mentioned in the previous section, as well as other sites. This allows you to shop multiple bookies in order to obtain the best odds. Of course at some point you’ll want to convert bitcoin back to Pakistan Rupee (PKR). For this you can withdrawal from sites you have used and hold balance with via Western Union. Or you can sell bitcoin yourself by creating a Local Bitcoin profile. Or possibly you can sell to an exchange.
Don’t have a utility bill? Though they are less recommended than the other sites on this page, there are bitcoin only gambling sites which offer anonymous betting. Some examples include Cloudbet and Nitrogen Sports. With these sites deposit, withdrawals, account balances and bets are all in bitcoin. Such sites never ask for you to submit documents about yourself. For those without the ability to get a utility bill in their own name, bitcoin only sites are a third alternative to major sites like Bet365.