Top 10 Most Gambling Countries in Africa

Africa is home to a wide variety of popular forms of gambling, from traditional games  to modern activities like sports betting. Traditional African games  are said to be some of the oldest known forms of gambling in existence, developed centuries ago by African peoples as a way to pass time.

Sports betting is also incredibly popular in Africa, with punters wagering on results from everything from football (soccer) to rugby. This form of gambling has seen a huge growth in recent years due to improvements in technology and the internet allowing more access than ever before. Major international sportsbooks now offer their services throughout much of Africa, allowing fans to place bets on their favorite teams and players without leaving their homes.

Lotteries also remain extremely popular throughout much of Africa. Lotteries have historically been used as a form of taxation or fundraising by governments, but they have become increasingly accessible with time due to better infrastructure allowing tickets to be sold both online and offline across multiple regions. Private lottery providers have also grown in popularity recently as more people seek out ways to win big prizes without relying solely on luck.

Another growing area within the online space is Bitcoin casinos, which allow users from all around the world including many African countries to gamble using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin instead of fiat currency such as US dollars or euros. These casinos offer anonymity for users who prefer not to share personal financial information while playing at a casino site.

No doubt that gambling has been a popular pastime in Africa for many years, with millions of people participating in various forms of gambling as mentioned above across the continent. As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa offers a rich and diverse range of experiences, including mesmerizing nature, history, heritage, and welcoming people. Lets see the top 10 most Gambling Countries in Africa.

Top 10 Most Gambling Countries in Africa

With an ever-growing middle class and increased purchasing power, the African gambling industry has become a Mecca for gambling enthusiasts, attracting various investors, including gambling operators. In this article, we will explore the top 10 most Gambling Countries in Africa and the most popular forms of gambling in each these countries.

1. South Africa

According to Wikipedia, Gambling in South Africa has been heavily restricted since 1673, with South Africa’s Gambling Act of 1965 officially banning all forms of gambling except betting on horse racing which existed as a sporting activity.

But more than 80% of the entire gambling activity in the Savanna continent belongs to South Africa. Local punters can lawfully enjoy all forms of betting and play beloved games in numerous brick-and-mortar casino establishments. However, online gaming institutions in the region are under an embargo.

Online gambling sites which hold a license from the National Gambling Board in South Africa are legal and perfectly fine for locals to sign up to and use. There are more than 30 of these licensed sites that offer horse racing and sports betting action in 2023. Therefore, South Africa lead in one of the most Gambling Countries in Africa.

2. Kenya

Gambling, in general, is completely legal in Kenya, but the legal landscape is far from simple. Most of the regulations stem from a “Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act” of 1966, and as a result, do not mention online gambling in any shape or form.

Kenya is a rare exception to the stringent standards as online casinos are allowed, alongside online bookmakers and land-based betting shops. Mobile wagering is another genuine love among Kenya players as the dominant share of sports wagers comes from mobile platforms.

3. Nigeria

Lottery was legalized with the National Lottery Act, 2005 and gambling is defined by Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code Act enacted in 1990. Thanks to these new regulations, gambling has entered people’s ordinary lives, with a focus on betting on the most popular sports in Nigeria.

According to the results of the TGM Sports Betting Survey conducted in Nigeria in October 2022 – 51,73% of the population was involved in sports betting activities within the last 12 months.

Nigeria is one of the trailblazers in its folk’s craze about online gambling (the sector’s revenue is around  $45M). The country leaders are loyal to casino owners and local bookmakers, which have corresponding licenses and don’t try to escape taxation. No wonder that Nigeria is the second most-prosperous Savanna area for domestic sportsbooks after South Africa.

4. Morocco

Gambling is legal in Morocco since 1930 (officially the Kingdom of Morocco, formerly a territory of both Spain and France, a powerful North African country, has a population of 37.1 million, despite being a Muslim country it has fully legalized gambling both for locals and tourists).

Some would surprise to see this religious country with a dominant Muslim population on the list of the Afro areas that gamble most. However, Morocco is notable for its luxurious land-based casinos that are not worse than in the Neon city Vegas. Online gaming operators, alongside sports betting providers, are also legal in the picturesque Morocco. Domestic punters earn good money on rugby and racing wagers.

5. Botswana

Gambling is legal in Botswana since 1961, according to the Gambling Act1, which is the current main piece of the gambling legislation. Prior to 2012 two laws regulated gambling in the country: the Lotteries and Betting Act from 19612 and the Casino Act from 1971.

Botswana has a well-regulated gambling market with online, phone, and physical providers legally operating in the vicinity. The Botswana people can rightfully visit brick-and-mortar casinos to test their luck at various slot machines and place online wagers on the licensed sportsbook sites.

6. Uganda

Gambling is legal in Uganda since 1967, according to the National Lotteries Act1. The current main piece of the gambling legislation is the 2016 Lotteries and Gaming Act2 and the 2018 The Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Act3.

The country authorities are loyal to online wagering and lotteries. Local gamers can taste different sorts of physical and interactive gambling. The stringent requirement for the brick-and-mortar casinos is to keep the necessary distance from schools and educational institutions. Authorities introduced this rule to shield young people of illegal age from gambling commitment.

7. Tanzania

Tanzania is rich in its offline casinos assortment with the largest brick-and-mortar Le Grande Casino operating in the capital.  The online game providers are also welcome in the country, just as online sportsbooks. Such a loyal approach to casinos and bookmakers resulted in a vast economic boost that Tanzania has reached following the Gambling Act approval.

8. Ghana

Ghana is super friendly toward online gambling, which resulted in an impressive boost to the national treasure over the last few years. Local people may have free access to numerous online and offline establishments that offer world-popular casino games and accept sports wagers. Undeniably, Ghana is one of the most fruitful areas in the Dark Continent for those who dream of getting a mind-blowing gamble experience.

9. Cameroon

Gambling is legal in Cameroon, since the country’s independence in 1960, similarly to other Christian, former French colonies (e.g.: Burkina Faso, Benin, Burundi). However, up until 1992 only the lottery was legal and regulated (only specifically regulated forms of gambling are legal in the country).

In 1992 horse racing betting was legalized and in 2004 various other forms of games of chance were legalized as well1 (most importantly casino gambling), and private operators were allowed on the market.

Prior to 2004 only the following companies were allowed to conduct gambling and betting in the country:

  • Pari Mutuel Urbain Camerounais (horse racing and sports betting)
  • Nationale Loterie Du Cameroun (lottery and lottery-like games monopoly)

10. Zambia

Betting is a popular activity in Zambia but the gambling industry is relatively new and currently evolving. Because the existing laws don’t cover all relevant topics yet, changes are necessary. Also, the country wishes to have one regulator and make the Zambian betting and gambling industry less fragmented.

To protect the interests of players, the country has three main pieces of legislation in place. There’s the State Lotteries Act, the Casino Act and the Betting Act, which focuses on betting operations.

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