Shiny slot machines, video poker screens and mahogany gaming tables aboard Brilliance of the Seas Image Credit: XPRESS /Virendra saklani

Dubai: Hamdi Al Shiwi, a legal consultant and advocate, said the UAE is strict when it comes to illegal gambling. Doing so can lead to imprisonment up to three years, while running a gambling house can land perpetrators in jail for up to 10 years.

Al Shiwi said that foreign ships, airplanes or any other means of travel must abide by Emirati law while they are within UAE territory and, since gambling is prohibited by law, it shall be not practised even if a casino is available on a ship or a plane.

Vessels must refrain from any gambling until they leave the UAE.

According to law No 414 of the UAE Penal Code - "Each person who gambles is punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding Dh20,000. The punishment shall be imprisonment or a fine if the crime occurred in a public place or a place open to the public or in a store or house prepared for gambling."

Al Shiwi added that a place that has been shut down for practising gambling shall not be reopened for any other activity, even if legal, without acquiring the approval of the Dubai Public Prosecution.