Why Pokemon GO is Banned in Some Countries

pokemon go banned

Pokemon GO by Niantic Inc. is one of the most popular mobile games of this year. Like every sensational novelty, this game is facing various troubles. Thus, Pokemon GO is not working in many countries for different reasons. Let’s take a look at what went wrong.

Saudi Arabia

Authorities in Saudi Arabia believe that the game is addictive, encourages gambling and is the cause of polytheism. They went as far as to ban the game, also citing its negative effects on child development. Two major aspects of the game, chance (viewed as gambling), and the non-Islamic symbolism, deviate from their beliefs and, as a result, the game is now forbidden in Saudi Arabia.


I Made Mangku Pastika, the Governor of Bali, Indonesia, has a different reason for banning the game. It turned out that the Pokemon GO download adversely affects the performance of government agencies in Indonesia. Recently, the Governor went as far as to prohibit government officials from playing Pokemon, saying:

“If they [public officials] jump on the Pokémon bandwagon, then there’s no need for them to ever come back to the office again.”


Iran became the first country to ban a Pokemon mobile game for civil security. The game does not take into account the fact that this country has hot spots where it is dangerous to be. Players can get right in the middle of a combat zone while collecting virtual characters in the real world. Therefore, the High Council of Virtual Spaces of Iran banned the game on August 5th. This is also similar to the case where a French player entered a prohibited military base in Indonesia, playing Pokemon GO.


The Egyptian authorities have also banned the game because of religious reasons, considering Pokemon GO against the law and Islam, which makes it illegal. Egyptian authorities compare it with the illegal use of alcohol. The authorities also stated that the game silently inflicts considerable damage to players and has considerable impact on their development. They also consider it a distraction from the duties of employees and citizens.


Many countries have not banned Pokemon GO, but their governments have negative attitudes towards it. For example, Australia, which plans to ban the game in the near future. Australian police believe that the game is contrary to common sense. Players repeatedly violate the law, often entering private or prohibited property, to collect Pokemon, to reach Pokestop, etc. Here we can also recall a Pokemon GO car accident. Therefore, there are several reasons to believe that authorities in other countries may soon ban the game as well.

pokemon go banned

Image Credit: itechpost


An Imam association in Turkey urged authorities to ban the game. The head of the association claims that the game negatively affects the prestige and greatness of mosques in the country, where players of the Pokemon online game collect their Pokemon, instead of worshiping Islam. Quite possibly, it was not the best idea for the Pokemon GO developers to arrange pokestops and gyms of the game in mosques.

Conspiracy Theory and Pokemon Go

In addition to all these concerns, conspiracy theories have surrounded the game since its launch. There is one version that suggests that the game was created in order to distract people from hostilities, conflicts, natural disasters, global issues, and other problems. There is also a version that points out that the game that is aimed at the development of capitalism. Players will visit the shops and buy products there, following Pokemon on their phones.

Some conspiracy theorists believe that the game was created in order to increase mobile traffic to enhance the profits of mobile operators. In addition, there is a conspiracy version that suggests that the extra battery manufacturers (Power Bank) have a connection with the developers of the game, on the basis of mutual benefit. While playing the game, users need a lot of battery charge and are forced to buy Power Bank. By the way, Power Bank’s sales have doubled in the U.S. since the Pokemon GO release date.

While it’s possible that the Pokemon GO conspiracy theories are complete bunk, they do offer yet another interesting layer to the game. But, as many concerned countries have noted, the game can actually cause harm to the players, and even put their lives at risk.

Since the Pokemon Go launch date, many countries have prohibited it due to religious discrepancies, public safety, community development and non-compliance with legislation. However, everything depends on the player. Everyone should pay attention to their surroundings and always use caution in areas of concern.


Image Credit: Phandroid