There are an estimated 1,500-2,000 different spoken languages on the African continent, a plethora of modern and ancient religions. 54 sovereign states are situated in Africa as well, making it fair to say that it is a melting pot of diversity.
One area where there is significant diversity in Africa is in the realm of gambling laws. Governmental attitudes to gambling differ widely throughout the continent. In the north, Morocco to the West and Egypt to the East have completely different rules and regulations.
For example, Egyptians are forbidden from even entering a land-based casino, with that privilege reserved for foreign tourists. In Morocco, citizens can not only visit a casino but they are free to access online casinos from the comfort of their own homes.
With that in mind, what is the overall status of gambling in Africa? Where is it thriving? Where is it not? And can we expect widespread legalisation? Read on to find out.
Where gambling works in Africa
On the east coast of Africa, gambling is thriving in Kenya. The country has 13 land-based casinos – second in Africa only to South Africa, which has over 40. Online gambling has recently been legalised by Kenyan authorities, and the remote sector is thriving in the country.
This means that players can play their favourite casino games such as roulette, blackjack and poker anywhere, anytime, and on any device. We recommend you check out for yourself the following unique online casino, which is probably one of the best operators in the market.
Of Kenya’s 41 million population, almost 30 million have access to a mobile phone – with half of that figure estimated to be gambling online in one form or another. Online sports betting is the driving force behind this popularity, with the draw of the Premier League and live betting pulling in customers.
Where gambling doesn’t work in Africa
While land-based casinos and national lotteries in South Africa are a major driver in the South African leisure economy – providing over £1 billion in revenue – online gambling is still illegal.
South African authorities are stringent in upholding these laws, imposing 10,000 Rand fines on anyone found to be illegally betting online.
Online players have also been sentenced to custodial sentences in the past for breaking this law. Although that hasn’t put off everyone with a whole host of foreign online casinos offering their services to South African residents – diverting potential tax money off shore.
Will gambling be fully legalised in Africa?
Countries such as Egypt that strictly prohibit non state run lotteries and sports betting seem to be the furthest away from legalisation, whereas in countries like South Africa there have been various attempts to relax the law.
Many countries on the continent look to the example of the UK, a country with a thriving gambling industry that is well regulated. With the UK gambling industry now bringing in around £15 billion per year, it provides a huge amount of funding the government can reinvest in vital public services such as hospitals, schools and transport. Gambling supporters argue that following the example of the UK could improve the African economy, too.