Where is and isn’t legal to gamble in Africa?

Different countries have different stances on gambling. In some countries, like the United Kingdom, gambling is a huge industry and a common pastime that helps the country’s economy. On the other end of the spectrum are countries that consider gambling to be a sin and harshly punish anyone who participates in it.

When it comes to Africa, you can see a little bit of both. After all, the African continent has 54 countries and in order to satisfy all these countries min deposit casino offers the best experience, however the African continent has its own views and laws in regards to gambling. In this article, we will look at a few African countries and compare their gambling laws in order for you to get a glimpse of the continent’s gambling landscape.

Islamic Countries

Almost one-third of all Muslim population lives in Africa. In countries like Mauritania, Somalia, Algeria, Morocco, Niger, and Tunisia, more than 99% of the people are Muslim. These African countries, together with several others, are governed by Islamic law. According to Islam, gambling is a grave sin, which is why all forms of gambling are strictly forbidden.

Being caught gambling in a Muslim-dominant country can come with severe punishments. That’s why people in such countries don’t even attempt to run gambling operations or even participate in underground gambling games. These countries have no casinos, no sports books, no poker rooms, and no lotteries. Of course, offshore gambling sites are accessible to an extent, but these countries have very small online gambling penetration, and top offshore casinos and sportsbooks don’t even bother to welcome their residents.


Egypt is a bit of an oddball when it comes to gambling laws. This is another country with a Muslim majority (around 95%). However, not all forms of gambling are illegal here. Namely, the state lottery is completely legal and is played by millions every week. It’s also interesting that Egypt has several legal casino venues. Unsurprisingly, most of these casinos are located in the country’s capital Cairo. However, the casino grounds are only accessible to tourists and players who have come from abroad.

This is a clever way to boost the economy and the gambling sector while still abiding by Islamic law. To further discourage their citizens from playing gambling games, the casinos only accept payments in American dollars. Nevertheless, it is a common practice among Egyptians to play gambling games online. The laws don’t mention anything about gambling on the internet, so this form of gambling is technically not illegal. Many offshore gambling sites accept players from Egypt. This is a country of over 100 million people, and the operators see it as a huge untapped market.


Nigeria is one of the few African countries where gambling is fully regulated. What’s more, it’s one of the most competitive gambling markets on the continent. In charge of these regulations is the National Lottery Regulatory Commission that was established in 2005 when several forms of gambling became legal.

However, not all gambling games are legal in Nigeria. The only allowed forms of gambling are the lottery, land-based casinos, and sports wagering. While casinos are legal, several casino games are not, like dice games, roulette, and luck-based card games. You would think that the Nigerian gambling laws forbid games of chance and only allow gambling that requires some skill, but this is not always the case. For example, video slots are legal as well, although slot machines can only be provided by licensed operators.

Nigeria has also regulated online gambling. Operators can apply for a license and offer gambling services over the web as long as they follow the rules and don’t offer any illegal games. There are also no restrictions on Nigerian residents who decide to play on offshore gambling sites.

South Africa

South Africa is one of the most developed African countries and a country with some of the most liberal gambling laws on the continent. All forms of gambling in South Africa were legalized in 1994 when the new government took power. The National Gambling Board regulates and supervises gambling in the country. The most popular form of gambling in South Africa is the national lottery with five million transactions per week. The popularity of the lottery is followed by slot machines, scratchcards, and sports betting. There are plenty of casinos in South Africa, and there’s one in almost every metropolitan area. The country is home to the largest casino on the continent called Rio Casino Resort, which is also the fifth-largest casino on the globe. South Africans love horse racing as well, which was the only legal form of gambling prior to 1994.

On the downside, online gambling has not been legalized yet, as the National Gambling Act of 2004 forbade interactive gambling services in all jurisdictions. To make matters worse, offshore gambling is illegal as well, although many South African players do occasionally find loopholes that allow them to play on foreign sites.

Source: faceofmalawi.com

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