GAMING IN BURUNDI
Current gambling regulations
The legal status of gambling in Burundi is rather complex. According to the 2008 penal code of Burundi, all forms of gambling are illegal, including lotteries. Despite this, the country has a national lottery called LONA. The capital of Burundi, Bujumbura also hosts a casino operated by the international chain Lydia Ludic, established in 2001.
There are no laws in Burundi regulating online gambling, though it could be argued that the section of the penal code prohibiting gambling is applicable to its online forms as well. There are no reports of any Burundian people prosecuted for online gambling, nor are foreign online gambling sites blocked. Those few in the country who have access to the internet – the internet penetration rate is under 5% – are most likely free to play on international gambling sites.
Although the 2008 Penal Code of Burundi prohibits all forms of gambling, the country has at least one legally operated casino. Lydia Ludic Burundi, situated in the capital, Bujumbura can hardly be called a casino by first world standards, as it hosts only a few slot machines and no table games. The main customers of the gambling hall are relatively well-to-do locals and possibly a few tourists. The Lydia Ludic casino has no online platforms; therefore, online casino games are not available (there are no other Burundi-based online casino sites either). Due to the poverty and the low rate of internet users, online casino gambling is not exactly prevalent in the country. Still, those with the means to gamble online can do so, as there are no laws prohibiting Burundian residents from accessing foreign online casino sites.
Several online casino sites have no restrictions against accepting players from Burundi. However, there are practically no online sites accepting Burundian francs, the country’s national currency, which might pose some difficulty to players.
Bingo is not a popular game in Burundi. There are no Bingo halls in Burundi, and neither the Lydia Ludic casino, nor the national lottery offers any Bingo games. There are also no online Bingo sites based in Burundi, but players are free to play on all international Bingo sites that are available to them. Online Poker is not regulated in Burundi, and without any prohibiting laws, locals are free to choose from international Poker sites. Foreign Poker sites are indeed their only option, as there are no online Poker sites based in Burundi.
Online sports betting is wholly unregulated, and there are no Burundian sports betting sites. On the other hand, several international sports betting sites welcome players from Burundi.
As the national lottery has no website, there are currently no online lottery games available in Burundi. Locals are free, however, to participate in lottery draws on international websites.