How different are the gambling rules and regulations in Rwanda?

Rwanda has quite different gambling rules and regulations compared to other African countries where gambling is legal. Even though the country has its limitations as a potential gambling market, there are more and more people engaging in some form of betting in Rwanda. Sports betting is by far the most popular form of gambling in the country. The same is the case with most developing African countries.

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. With a land area of 26,000 square kilometres and a population of around 11 million, it is one of the smallest states in the African continent. Rwanda used to be a colony of Belgium before it gained its independence in 1962.

Gambling is legal in Rwanda. The government of Rwanda recently enacted a piece of legislation that introduced legal, licensed and regulated gambling in the country. In Law No. 58 of 2011*, regulators laid down a legal framework for licensing, overseeing and controlling all gambling operations in the country. The Rwanda Gambling Board, the authority trusted with overseeing the gambling industry in the country, was established in 2013**. The government aims to set up healthy streams of gambling tax revenues for the state through its legislative efforts – the usual motive behind gambling legislations.

Online gambling is also legal Rwanda. The Rwanda gambling law also allows for the licensing of online gambling operators of all kinds. Moreover, the country recently introduced 4G broadband mobile internet, which means further opportunities for online gambling operators in the country.

Although Rwanda reportedly has an internet censoring system in place, it targets only political content. Players from the country are not restricted from wagering on foreign online gambling sites. Nor are they prosecuted or penalised in any way for doing so.

Casino gambling in Rwanda.
There is only one brick and mortar casino in Rwanda, the Casino Kigali. However, this is reportedly a rather unimpressive and small facility. We can expect the number of such venues to increase in the years to come, with the governments more open and conscious gambling policy.

Under Rwandan gambling laws, operators are also eligible for an online casino license. However, there don’t appear to be any online casinos operating under a Rwandan licence. Rwandan residents are not restricted from accessing foreign online casinos.

Online sports betting in Rwanda.
In many African developing countries sports betting is not seen as risky gambling but rather a legit source of extra income. Rwanda is no different. Sports betting businesses thrive in this environment.

LuckyBet, PremierBet and AfricaBet operate land based betting shop throughout the country. The latter also offers its services online through its website, and through betting apps for Android and iOS. Locals are also free to place bets with foreign online bookmakers.

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