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Western Sahara Gambling

Western Saharan Gambling Laws

Gambling is illegal in Western Sahara. This is primarily due to the large Muslim population in the territory, but factors such as a poor economy and continued political disputes may also play a factor.

Facts About the Western Sahara

Located in northwestern Africa, the Western Sahara is bordered by Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. Mostly made up of desert flatlands, it is considered one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world. El Aaiun is the largest city in the Western Sahara, and it is home to over half of the population.

After Western Sahara passed out of Spanish control in the 1960s, it has become the center of a dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement. In 1976, Western Sahara was divided between Morocco and Mauritania. When Mauritania abandoned their claims in 1979, Morocco moved in and occupied the entire territory. Morocco has controlled most of the region since a cease-fire in 1991, but the Algerian-backed Polisario do exercise power in certain areas.

The Polisario claim has been recognized by 45 different states, and they have even been given a place in the African Union. On the other hand, Morocco has had its claim recognized by 25 states, including membership into the Arab League. The United Nations regards Western Sahara as a non self-governed territory.

The Western Sahara is divided into four regions. They are:

- Al-Ayun
- Wad-ad-Dahab
- As-Samarah
- Bu Jaydur

Western Sahara has a shortage of natural resources, with the exception of fishing waters and phosphate deposits. Lack of rainfall makes agriculture improbable, but there has been speculation that oil and natural gas fields may exist.

The economy is based around nomadic herding, phosphate mining and fishing. Most food has to be imported to the urban areas of the territory.

People native to Western Sahara are known as Sahrawis. They are usually a nomadic people and can be found in all the countries surrounding Western Sahara. Due to decades of conflict, however, much of the population has been forced to relocate.

According to a 2004 study, there are 267,405 people living in the Moroccan-controlled parts of the Western Sahara. This figure also accounts for 160,000 Moroccan troops. The Polisario-controlled areas are far less occupied and mainly traveled by nomads.

Most Sahrawis are Sunni Muslims. They function without mosques in order to better lead their nomadic lives.

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