The state of the Islamic finance industry is the result of how the stakeholders (the shariah scholars, lawyers, bankers, government officials, and customers) have pursued their self-interest in the ‘Game of Islamic Bank Bargains’. My research examines who are the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of this game, and what religious, commercial, and political factors have influenced this outcome. I assess what may incentivise the incumbent ‘winners’ to guide the Islamic finance industry away from a formal and legalistic approach towards one that also incorporates principles from Islamic economics. I explore how the ‘losers’—whose interests are not accounted for due to their lack of sufficient financial and political clout—can sway the outcome of the game in their favour.