Chess both encourages gambling and is a waste of time, at least according to Sheik Abdullah al-Sheik, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti. It also causes hatred and enmity between players, said the Sheik Abdullah, in response to a question on a television show.
Not being an expert in Islamic law, I have no idea how this holds up, but I suspect like most religious laws, it is probably (a) contradicted somewhere else and (b) ignored by those most expected to follow it. Its most immediate effect is probably on the Saudi Arabian Chess Federation who may have problems organising their next event.
Chess – a waste of time