Online Gambling Regulations in African Countries

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Regarding online gambling across Africa as a continent, the number of players has increased. This vast improvement, especially when comparing statistics of the past five years, is linked to changes in government regulations. 

Online gambling sites are increasing in numbers across countries, establishing healthy competition with customers as the beneficiaries. With the global pandemic that rocked 2020, land-based gaming is no longer the frontier. Thanks to top technological trends and changes in positions of government, online gambling is now becoming a leading industry. But what are the different regulations across major African countries? This will be the key focus of this article as we'll discuss diverse landscapes. 

South Africa

South African gambling sites are currently on the rise. This is due to a massive transformation after the Apartheid. At the time, the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP) was the main government body that regulated all brick-and-mortar casinos, betting shops, and lottery floors. Their limitations were only for offline gambling. With this in mind, many people still enquire, "Is online gambling legal in South Africa?".

According to the National Gambling Act of 2004, the online gambling South Africa industry seems to have grey areas. Players can wager on sports betting websites as it is legal. However, online casinos, with poker and bingo, are not covered under the scope of regulated activities for the NRGP. 

To change the situation, an amendment to the Act was introduced to the parliament in 2008, which made some progress. Yet, there were no changes. Another draft bill termed the "Remote Gambling Bill" was introduced in 2014. This included public town hall meetings, allowing citizens to air their opinions. There has been no result to this day. 

It remains a cause of concern as they must consider several conditions to ensure residents don't have to jump at the offer of playing at offshore Asian online casinos. This remains a primary objective for the government. In summary, gambling sites in South Africa are legal, as the NRGP regulates them. However, residents can register on online sportsbooks and get cash prizes without expecting a visitation from law enforcement. 


In Nigeria, online gambling has favorable laws. Yet, there are still areas where the legal framework needs to be clarified. Three different regulations guide the industry. They include:

  • National Lottery Act (2005).

  • National Lottery Regulations (2007) amended. 

  • Lagos State Lotteries Law (2004), applicable for Lagos State only. 

  • Other state laws governing lotteries. 

While the federal government regulates internet sportsbooks, online gambling remains a matter of dispute. While the law frowns heavily on operators of online casinos, players can comfortably bet on different games at offshore sites. 

There are also different disputes on regulations for online lottery. For instance, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Lagos State Lotteries are government bodies handling regulations. However, there have been recent clashes between organizations on who owns the right to regulate operators. 

Unlike many African countries, Nigeria's gambling laws have different sections for the lottery, sports betting, and land-based casino floors. Yet, popular titles like dice games, roulette, and a few other table games are not in the laws and are termed illegal. Slot machines are available to players, but only licensed gaming floors can provide them. 


In Lesotho, online gambling is recognised by the law. However, there is no regulation in effect. Gambling has been available since 1975, with the main law holding it as the 1989 Casino Order. Before then, only a lottery was available. Currently, the 1989 legislation covers different areas, even though it is formally for Casino gambling. 

Currently, customers can wager on sports betting with the availability of Gbets, an indigenous online gambling body. Other foreign operators can also get a license. 


Kenya is one of the few countries with clear laws for online gambling. The offline variant has been active since 1966, with the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act (1966) that grants operators a chance to receive permits. There are penalties for unlicensed gaming centers, which go up to four years in prison. 

Although online gambling received legal approval in 2011, it only became privatized in 2019, as the government was the sole operator. Currently, you will find 100+ iGaming sites in the country. 

While the legislation specifies different terms for licensing, it describes conditions for sub-categories of online gambling. Internet sports betting remains the biggest beneficiary, as it was the main focus of the 2011 legalization. The Betting Control and Licensing Board is the government body that is responsible for granting licenses and enforcing all gambling laws. 


Online gambling in Tanzania has a sound footing in the constitution. Although the offline form has been available since 1967 (via the Pools and Lotteries Act, 1967), the online variant became known in 2013. The Gaming Act of Tanzania (amended) 2019 is the standing legislation that oversees all forms of gaming activities in the country. However, there are no local online gambling operators. 

According to the legislation, all forms of gambling are allowed. Hence, players can comfortably wager at online casinos, sportsbooks, and internet lotteries without risking a visit from law enforcement. Tourists cannot wager online in Tanzania, as the law only permits citizens to bet on different facilities. The Gambling Board of Tanzania is the government regulator for all operators. 


Like Tanzania, Uganda legalized online gambling in 2013 following the signing of the 2013 Lotteries and Gaming Bill into law. The amended bill in 2016 (Lotteries and Gaming Act) is the primary legislation. According to the bill, the National lotteries and Gaming Board is directly in charge of regulating the activities of operators. 

While the country's iGaming industry is still in the infant stages, it boasts domestic online gambling websites and a few global brands. Players can only visit and place bets on licensed platforms. There are sanctions for those who play on unlicensed platforms. All tourists can visit online casinos and sportsbooks to play too. 


While no law regulates online gambling in Egypt, you will still find several land-based casino locations open to tourists only. Hence, moral obligations forbid citizens from registering on an iGaming platform and placing bets. 

Technically, online gambling is not legal, but the government actively desists foreign operators from establishing their businesses. This is because the Sharia law strongly discourages gambling, describing it as immoral behavior. Hence, players must use a VPN to access offshore sites and play. 

Take Advantage of the Benefits in the Growing Industry 

Across Africa, the online gambling industry is slowly taking shape. This is due to top-tier technological trends, relaxed government laws, foreign investments, etc. However, several countries like Egypt still frown on gambling and maintain a moral code. With the door open to more opportunities, the industry will become one of the strongest in the future. 

- B.E. Delmer,

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