History of Gambling in Zambia

Zambia is an African country that is surrounded by several other nations, making it a landlocked country by default. This country has a population of over 1.7 people according to the most recent census conducted in 2010.

The country also takes position 39 amongst the world’s largest countries. Located centrally in the south is the country’s capital city, Lusaka, which is the epitome of gambling activities in the country. Zambia entertains its gambling community through a variety of legal gambling activities. These include casinos, sports betting, and lotteries. Zambia is home to diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes such as the Victoria fall which are tourist attractions that play a very important role in the gaming and gambling industry.

History of Casino gambling in Zambia

Zambia gained its independence in 1962 after being under British rule since the year 1888. In 1992, the Casino Act was put in place in 1992 to regulate all casino gambling activities and facilities. Gambling has been legal ever since. Initially, this Act allowed for temporary licensing of casinos and required all the licenses to be renewed after five years. This made it easier to monitor casinos and regulate gambling activities within these entertainment facilities. Casinos draw most of their customers from the tourism industry hence being part of that particular industry. Hence, in 2007, casinos were put under the Tourism and Hospitality Act. A licensing committee was established to regulate and offer licenses to all forms of tourism-related activities, including casinos. Land-based casinos have in existence for a long time and legally operated within Zambia. However, online casinos have been on the rise owing to the increasing internet penetration across the entire African continent. Both the online and land-based casinos operate to serve the gambling community complementarily, thus, catering to the increasing needs of the diverse Zambian citizens. In 2019, the Zambian government lifted this 20% levy charged to casinos to introduce a tax structure that would ease the process of revenue collection from casino operations.

The Genesis of Lottery Gambling in Zambia

Lotteries are another legal form of gambling in Zambia that catches the attention of the gambling community. Zambian lotto is a state-run lottery that is regulated by the government under the Lotteries Act that has been in operation since the early 1950s. Other forms of lotteries such as private, incidental, and society lotteries have since been legalized in Zambia as long as they operate within the provisions of the lotteries Act. Lottery gambling under the lotteries Act has undergone several legal reforms which will be mentioned in the subsection below under Zambia’s gambling laws history.

History of Gambling Laws and Regulations in Zambia

The three major Acts of interest are the Zambia Casino Act, the Betting Control Act, and the Lotteries Act, which regulate each specific legal form of gambling. Despite the increasing popularity of online gambling, there have not been any laws put in place to regulate this form of gambling. This leaves the Zambian online gaming community to the mercies of offshore gambling sites that accept their subscriptions. The legal age of gambling has been 18 years and over.

The Betting Act, for instance, has been amended a couple of times since its establishment in 1958. The Betting act has been established to regulate sports betting and horse racing some of the most common forms of sports gambling. The last amendment was conducted in 1994, and this made provisions for the establishment of the Betting Control and Licensing Board which is in charge of issuing licenses to bookmakers as well as inspecting the standards of gambling premises.

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