The 1960s marked a period of economic prosperity in Lebanon, largely thanks to robust oil exports from the Persian Gulf. However, as we fast forward to 2023, Lebanon’s economic landscape tells a vastly different story. The country in the Middle East faces severe economic challenges driven by a weakened public sector and soaring inflation. Faced with these pressing issues, Lebanese citizens are increasingly turning to alternative financial systems.
Cryptocurrency, in particular, has emerged as a promising solution,† which can be used for anything from investments to daily transactions. Digital currencies are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to preserve value. Additionally, many people now play at online casinos in Lebanon that accept Bitcoin as they seek alternatives in response to the country’s economic challenges. In this article, we will look closer at Lebanonís economic crisis, cryptocurrency, and the role of online casinos.
The Roots of Lebanon’s Economic Crisis
For the past half-decade, Lebanese civilians have been in constant turmoil. The 6 million people are facing poverty, unemployment, and fuel shortages. Lebanonís strategic location, magnificent scenery, and superb climatic conditions grew its tourism sector, which supported a significant portion of its economy. The crisis began with the advent of the financial crisis, which gnawed the country until it became fully blown in August 2019. Because the economy relied mainly on the services sector, particularly tourism, the crisis was marked by a scarcity of US dollars. Additionally, the Syrian conflict, unsustainable public debt, and a severe depreciation of the Lebanese pound were other factors that brought the economy to a screeching halt in 2019.†
Additional Issues for Lebanon
Then followed the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lebanon’s economy plummeted further. Like all other countries, Lebanon’s economy suffered from the negative impacts of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Additionally, following the historic 2020 Beirut port explosion, the country experienced another blow even before the pandemic ended. The blast was among the deadliest in recent history, with nearly 200 people killed. As a result, it scared off possible international investors. Given the disastrous repercussions on the manufacturing sector, the Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to have pounded the final nail. The country’s poor and middle classes have continually expressed their displeasure. Most people blame the elite for driving the country further into the ground through rampant corruption, power lust, and blatant political incompetence.
What Crypto Offers as a Solution
The Lebanese diaspora has taken a lead role in this transition, actively seeking alternatives amidst their home country’s deteriorating banking sector. In 2020, their remittances to Lebanon totaled approximately $6.3 billion, a substantial portion of which was in digital currency.
Within Lebanon, residents have been diligently educating themselves about cryptocurrencies, steadily building trust in these relatively new financial intermediaries. Many Lebanese individuals are also showing a growing interest in investing in Bitcoin mining and other crypto-related ventures, attracted by the potential of a decentralized network.
This heightened interest in digital currencies coincides with the cryptocurrency boom, further fueled by factors such as the Bitcoin stimulus package in the United States and increased attention from banks, investment funds, and major corporations. Notably, the installation of several Bitcoin ATMs across the country, primarily in major cities, serves as a tangible aspect of this long-awaited financial respite for Lebanese citizens grappling with the nation’s economic challenges.
Cryptocurrency: Online Casino’s Silver Bullet
Lebanon’s growing cryptocurrency industry has sparked notable interest in the online gambling sector. Following the ban on traditional brick-and-mortar casinos in Lebanon in 2013, the country’s passionate gambling community faced a significant void. However, the global online gambling phenomenon presented an opportunity, and Lebanese players eagerly embraced it. Many Lebanese online gamblers utilize VPN services to access offshore online casinos likenstake.com, 888, and 22Bet, all of which specifically cater to Lebanese and other Middle Eastern players, offering the option to wager in digital currencies. The emergence of online casinos that cater to local preferences highlights the rapid adaptation of the Lebanese population to cryptocurrency, with more such platforms expected to emerge in the coming decade.
Although Lebanon has been through an ongoing economic crisis, its diligent citizens are looking for ways to navigate their way out of it, and they are turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative to unstable traditional currencies. As the nation navigates its turbulent economy, cryptocurrency offers relief and a potential solution to its citizens’ financial woes.
- As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
- Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976††
- Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
- Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
- Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
- This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
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