Remember that just because online gambling and sports betting has seen an increase in popularity and demand on the African continent, does not mean that it is necessarily legalized and regulated everywhere. So be warned: you need to know your jurisdiction and the legal issues that relate to it. You certainly don’t want to be misled into thinking you’re signing up with a trusted provider only to find you can’t even play in your country.
However, the good thing is that with so many useful resources and online portals available, one can easily find specialized websites like GamblingAfrica, where licensed online casinos and sportsbooks are not only listed, but categorized by country. So you can rest assured that the chosen provider 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. The majority of them were inherited from colonial legislation that prohibited illegal gambling in the country.
Due to its illegality, the sector is mostly underground and unregulated. In Ghana, online sports betting is allowed, but only on licensed websites. In South Africa, sports betting is legal, but only in casinos and licensed betting houses. Additionally, you must be over 18 to bet online or at a betting house. 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 relating to online gambling. But there are some countries where specific online gambling laws have been enacted. For example, in Ethiopia online gambling is illegal while in Nigeria internet gambling 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 for certain sports, such as football and rugby. The use of prediction markets on non-sports related topics is prohibited. In addition, online sports betting is only available at authorized online sports betting. The rest of Africa doesn’t even have online sports betting.
Online casinos are generally the only form of legal online gambling in Africa. There are no online sportsbooks 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 applied to their land-based counterparts. For example, in Kenya, 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 the establishment of online casinos. These include Ghana, Botswana and Mauritius. In general, online casinos are legal in Africa, but as gambling laws vary widely from country to country, it is always important to check legal information before playing.
Virtual Gambling Licensing System in Nigeria
Online gambling has increased in recent years in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. Consequently, the industry has seen significant growth, with the value of the sector now estimated at $3 billion. However, like in Kenya, online gambling and betting is currently banned in Nigeria. Consequently, this has led to a significant increase in cybercrime, fraud, and money laundering. To address this problem, the Nigerian government has put in place a new regulatory framework for games. Through this virtual game license, only a few selected game operators get licenses to provide online games to the public. In addition, the virtual game license involves strict monitoring of licensees, including through a real-time monitoring system.
South Africa Computer Gaming Regulations Amending Bill 2018
South Africa has always been a pioneer when it comes to regulating gambling and online gambling in Africa. In fact, it was the first country on the continent to legalize and regulate sports betting in the 1990s. Since then, it has also actively regulated online gambling, albeit in a limited way. But the South African government is considering expanding the scope of online gambling regulation. The Computer Gaming Regulation Bill 2018, which was introduced in the South African parliament in March 2018, aims to regulate a wide variety of online games, including 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.