Online gambling and sports betting across Africa: what is the current legislation?

Remember, just because online gambling and sports betting have become increasingly popular and in demand across the African continent doesn’t necessarily mean that they are legalized and regulated everywhere. So be warned: you need to know your jurisdiction and the legal issues involved. You certainly don’t want to be misled into thinking you’re signing up with a trusted provider, only to find out that you can’t even gamble in your country.

However, the good thing is that with so many useful resources and online portals, one can easily find specialized sites like GamblingAfrica, where fully licensed online casinos and sportsbooks are not only listed but also categorized by country. So you can be sure that the provider you choose has been tried, tested and certified as a reputable operator.

What are the current laws regarding online gambling in Africa?

Online gambling and sports betting are currently illegal in 38 out of 54 African countries. Most of these were inherited from colonial legislation that banned illegal gambling in the country.

Due to its illegality, the sector is largely underground and unregulated. Online sports betting is allowed in Ghana, but only on licensed sites. Sports betting is legal in South Africa, but only in casinos and licensed betting shops. Also, you must be over 18 to bet online or at a betting shop. Outside of the sports betting industry, the legal status of online gambling in Africa is rather unclear. Most African countries do not have specific laws regarding online gambling. But there are some countries that have specific laws regarding online gambling. For example, in Ethiopia online gambling is illegal, while in Nigeria gambling over the internet is only permitted in designated areas such as casinos.

Online sports betting in Africa

South Africa is the only African country where online sports betting is legal, but even there the industry is restricted by government regulations. Online sports betting is allowed in South Africa but only in relation to certain sports such as football and rugby. The use of prediction markets on non-sports-related topics is prohibited. Furthermore, online sports betting is only available at authorized online sportsbooks. The rest of Africa doesn’t even have online sports betting.

Online casinos are generally the only form of online gambling that is legal in Africa. There is no online sports betting or online poker rooms. In fact, only a few African countries have legal online casinos. There are no online casinos in South Africa and casinos in other countries are generally regulated. The regulations surrounding online casinos are very similar to those that apply to their land-based counterparts. In Kenya, for example, online casinos are regulated by the Kenya Currencies and Financial Trading Authority (CBFT). In Zimbabwe, they are regulated by the Zimbabwe Gaming and Wagering Board.

Other countries have no restrictions on setting up online casinos. These include Ghana, Botswana and Mauritius. In general, online casinos in Africa are legal, but as gambling laws vary greatly from country to country, it is always important to check legal information before playing.

Virtual Game Licensing Program in Nigeria

Online gaming has been on the rise in recent years in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. As a result, the industry has seen significant growth, with the sector now being worth an estimated $3 billion. However, as in Kenya, online gaming and betting are currently banned in Nigeria. Consequently, this has led to a significant increase in cybercrime, fraud and money laundering. To address this issue, the Nigerian government instituted one new legal framework for gambling. Through this virtual gambling license, only a select few gambling operators are licensed to offer online games to the public. In addition, the Virtual Gaming License includes strict monitoring of license holders, including through a real-time monitoring system.

Amending the Computer Gaming Regulations Act 2018 in South Africa

South Africa has always been a pioneer in terms of gambling and online gambling regulation in Africa. In fact, it was the first country on the continent to legalize and regulate sports betting back in the 1990s. Since then, it has also been actively regulating online gambling, albeit to a limited extent. However, the South African government plans to expand the scope of online gambling regulation. The Computer Games Regulations Amendment Bill 2018, introduced to the South African Parliament in March 2018, aims to regulate a variety of online games such as poker, casino games and sports betting. The bill aims to impose a wide range of licensing requirements on operators, including minimum financial requirements and mandatory cybersecurity standards.


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