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Death penalty looms for rogue Iranian online gambling operators

When it comes to legislating punishments for black market online gambling operations, most countries settle for heavy fines and possibly some jail time. Operators who run afoul of those laws can expect to walk away with a slap on the wrist most of the time, but that’s not the case in Iran.

According to a recently published report by Iranian state media, the country’s lawmakers are on the verge of implementing the death penalty for anyone caught running an illegal online gambling operation. If implemented, Iran’s gambling code would likely be the most draconian on the planet.

The efforts are being led by Reza Taghipour Anvari, a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly’s Industries Commission, who wants to make the code more in tune with traditional Islamic law. Or, as he says to, “…criminalize the perpetrators of Internet gambling, the operators of betting sites and those who transfer money in this field, and the necessary punishment will be determined in accordance with this law.”

Anvari’s efforts would place online gambling in a dangerous catch-all crime category called, “corruption on Earth” which includes “offenses” such as engaging in homosexuality activity and political dissent. The punishment for repeat offenders is death by hanging, and government prosecutors are not shy about using the ultimate penalty to make a point about enforcing morality.

Iranian authorities regularly block black market online gambling sites, but have had trouble actually shutting them down because most of them are actually based in neighboring Turkey. As of this writing, no online gambling operators are known to have been executed for their activities in Iran, but that seems likely to change in the near future.