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Online & Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa

By Budzh'yun
Updated: Feb 15, 2024
Read time: 13
Online & Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa

The last decade has witnessed explosive growth in the online and crypto gambling industry across Africa. This remarkable surge is largely attributable to the expanding internet penetration, advancements in mobile technology, and the escalating popularity of cryptocurrencies throughout the continent. 

In 2020, the online gambling market in Africa was approximately valued at a staggering $37 billion, with projections indicating a potential escalation to $60 billion by 2022. Crypto gambling, despite being a relatively recent entrant, is rapidly gaining momentum, positioning Africa as a burgeoning hub for crypto-based betting platforms.

The Significance and Implications of Comprehending Online and Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa

Grasping the regulatory framework of online and crypto gambling in Africa is indispensable for a multitude of reasons. Primarily, it offers an understanding of the legalities enveloping these industries, a factor that is vital for both operators and consumers. Secondly, it aids in identifying potential opportunities and challenges within the market. Lastly, it provides a viewpoint on how the regulatory climate is sculpting the future of these industries in Africa.

For instance, the absence of robust regulations can potentially give rise to issues such as fraud, money laundering, and problem gambling. Conversely, overly stringent regulations may hinder innovation and growth. Therefore, achieving a balance is crucial to establishing a healthy and sustainable gambling ecosystem.

The Emergence and Influence of Crypto Gambling on the African Market

Crypto gambling has surfaced as a formidable player in the African gambling market, thanks to several contributing factors. The anonymity, security, and rapidity of transactions facilitated by cryptocurrencies are attractive to many gamblers. Moreover, cryptocurrencies eliminate the necessity for traditional banking systems, making them accessible to populations with limited access to banking services.

In countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, crypto gambling platforms are experiencing a boom, fueled by the growing interest in cryptocurrencies among the young, tech-savvy population. This trend is not only revolutionizing the face of the gambling industry but also shaping the broader financial and technological landscape in Africa. For instance, the rise of crypto gambling is advocating for more clarity and regulations around cryptocurrency usage, which could potentially catalyze broader adoption of digital currencies across the continent.

Definition of Key Terms:

Online gambling is a term that encompasses any gambling activities conducted over the internet. This broad category includes various forms such as online casinos, poker, sports betting, and lotteries. Participants engage in these activities through digital devices like computers, tablets, or smartphones, making online gambling a convenient alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.

Crypto gambling represents a modern form of online gambling that utilizes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others as a medium of exchange. This innovative approach offers notable advantages such as anonymity, swift transactions, and low fees, thereby contributing to its escalating popularity.

Regulatory Framework refers to the comprehensive system of rules, policies, and procedures established by regulatory bodies to govern and regulate a specific industry. In the context of online and crypto gambling, it signifies the laws and regulations enacted to oversee these activities, safeguard consumers, and uphold the integrity of the gambling industry.

Online & Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa: Our Research and Overview

African nations present a diverse landscape when it comes to gambling and crypto. Some have rolled out the red carpet, implementing regulations for both online gambling and the emerging world of crypto assets. Others, however, hold a strict no-dice policy, leaving the crypto casino floors deserted. 

Our map and accompanying article offer a comprehensive guide to navigating the complex terrain of online and crypto gambling regulations across Africa. You’ll find insights into market opportunities, existing and proposed laws, and the players shaping the game.

Online & Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa

Please note: The regulatory landscape for gambling is constantly evolving. For the most current information, please seek guidance from jurisdictional advisors and your legal team.

Now, let’s talk about each country and briefly analyze the regulation of Gambling and Crypto Gambling there.

Gambling and Crypto Gambling in North Africa

CountryOnline GamblingCrypto GamblingShort Description
AlgeriaIllegalIllegalDue to the fact that 98% of Algerians practice Islam, all gambling is prohibited in the country. Despite this, horse race betting continues to occur illegally. 
Offshore operators still manage to enter the market, and Pari Sportif Algériene (PSA) has been authorized to operate certain betting pools. The possession and trading of cryptocurrency is also illegal in Algeria.
EgyptLegalIllegalEgypt is a Muslim country where gambling is prohibited, but foreigners have been allowed to gamble since 1973. 
Online gambling is not regulated by law, while cryptocurrencies are explicitly banned.
LibyaIllegalIllegalGambling and cryptocurrencies are illegal in Libya due to Sharia law, which is the basis of the country’s Penal Code and the Central Bank’s regulations.
MoroccoLegalLegalDespite being an Islamic country, Morocco allows gambling through resorts and online platforms like MDJS. The Central Bank is finalizing a new legal framework for crypto, covering trading, taxes, and other areas.
SudanIllegalIllegalGambling and cryptocurrencies are both prohibited in South Sudan without any legal framework.
TunisiaIllegalIllegalGambling is generally prohibited in Tunisia, but there are exceptions for casinos hosting foreigners and state-owned betting shops. 
The use of cryptocurrencies is also banned.

We analyzed 6 countries in North Africa: two of them allow Online Gambling and only one (Morocco) allows Crypto Gambling.

Gambling and Crypto Gambling in West Africa

CountryOnline GamblingCrypto GamblingShort Description
BeninLegalIllegalBenin is a country that effectively regulates gambling despite its small size. The state has a monopoly on all forms of gambling, but private companies can cooperate. Cryptocurrencies are not allowed in Benin, as all trading and dealing in them is prohibited.
Burkina FasoLegalIllegalBurkina Faso has legalized all forms of gambling, but lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework. The National Lottery holds a monopoly over verticals, with sports betting allowed under Ordinances no. 67025 of 1967 and no. 8443 of 1984. Online gambling is not mentioned. Burkina Faso has yet to offer a regulatory framework for virtual assets and cautioned against the use of cryptocurrencies at the 2021 ECOWAS meeting.
Cabo VerdeLegalLegalIn 2005, Cabo Verde legalized gambling through Law N0. 77/VI/2005, but the regulations mainly focus on land-based gambling. Online casinos are not licensed, and only Macau Legend has the right to online sports crypto betting. While there are no specific laws on cryptocurrencies, the Central Bank of Cabo Verde is exploring the development of a blockchain-based digital currency.
Côte d’IvoireLegalLegalLand-based gambling is permitted in Cote d’Ivoire, with only one casino operating. Online gambling and cryptocurrencies are not explicitly regulated, with no legal framework in place.
GambiaLegalLegalIn 2015, Gambia prohibited all gambling under President Yahya Jammeh. But in 2017, the new government lifted the ban, legalizing all forms of gambling. As for crypto gambling, Gambia has not introduced any new regulations or expressed any position on it.
GhanaLegalIllegalThe Gaming Act 2006 (Act 721) permits all forms of gambling in Ghana, regulated by the Gaming Commission. Offshore casino play is prohibited. Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Ghana, but there is no comprehensive legislation on the matter.
GuineaLegalIllegalEquatorial Guinea’s gambling industry is regulated by the ‘Juegos de Recreo y de Azar’ law, which does not cover online gambling or sports betting. Cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and are discouraged.
Guinea-BissauIllegalIllegalIn 2019, Guinea-Bissau prohibited all gambling activities through a decree issued by the Secretary of State for Tourism. Cryptocurrencies remain unregulated.
LiberiaLegalIllegalLiberia allows both land-based and online gambling, regulated by Gaming Regulation 001 from 2016 and overseen by the National Lottery Authority. The Central Bank of Liberia has cautioned against a crypto start-up’s digital financial product, indicating its disapproval of cryptocurrencies.
MaliIllegalIllegalGambling is illegal in Mali and there are no regulations on cryptocurrencies.
MauritaniaIllegalIllegalMauritania prohibits all forms of gambling and has no laws regarding cryptocurrency.
NigerLegalLegalDespite Niger being predominantly Muslim, gambling is legal with one casino and the National Lottery as the main providers. Online gambling and cryptocurrencies are not explicitly regulated.
NigeriaLegalIllegalThe National Lottery Act 2005 is Nigeria’s primary gambling legislation, distinguishing between games of skill and chance. Sports betting and casino gambling are legal, while roulette and dice games are not. Online gambling in Nigeria is not regulated separately. Cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and commercial banks cannot engage in cryptocurrency trading. A new law has been introduced to tax gains on cryptocurrency trading, indicating potential new regulations.
SenegalLegalLegalSenegal permits all types of gambling, overseen by Lonase, the state’s National Lottery. The country has introduced eCFA, a digital currency not based on blockchain technology, and has no specific regulations for cryptocurrencies.
Sierra LeoneLegalIllegalSierra Leone permits all types of gambling, but its laws are outdated. The Control of Betting and Lotteries Act from 1969 does not cover interactive gambling, leaving it unregulated. This allows Sierra Leoneans to access offshore online casinos and sportsbooks without any obstacles, except for Mercury International, which has a license from the Ministry of Finance. Cryptocurrencies are prohibited in Sierra Leone.
TogoLegalIllegalTogo legalized gambling in 1966 with Decree No. 66-8, creating LONATO, the National Lottery, and the country’s regulator of games of chance. Legal forms of gambling include sports betting, casinos, and the lottery. LONATO can authorize third-party operators for games it lacks expertise in. Cryptocurrencies are not accepted as legal tender in Togo.

We analyzed 16 countries in West Africa: 13 of them allow Online Gambling and 5 — allow Crypto Gambling.

Gambling and Crypto Gambling in Central Africa

CountryOnline GamblingCrypto GamblingShort Description
AngolaLegalIllegalRemote online gambling in Angola is regulated by Presidential Decree No. 131/20. The Gambling Supervision Institute oversees all licensed gambling activities in the country. Cryptocurrencies are not accepted for gambling, and the country is developing laws and regulations for crypto assets while also banning mining.
CameroonLegalIllegalAccording to Law n°2015/012 of July 16th, 2015, and Décret N°2019/2300/PM, Cameron has legalized various forms of gambling, including online gambling. Operators with a license from the Ministry of Territorial Administration can run online casinos, sports betting, and lotteries. However, the use and trading of cryptocurrencies are unregulated in Cameroon.
Central African RepublicLegalLegalThe Central African Republic has legalized land-based gambling but lacks a legal framework for online gambling. There is no information on prominent casinos in the country. The country was an early adopter of Bitcoin as legal tender but halted its application due to pressure from BEAC until regulations were issued throughout CEMAC.
ChadLegalIllegalChad permits gambling under its General Tax and Penal Codes, with a focus on land-based activities. Online options are available through Pariez Cash and Premierbet, despite not being mentioned in the legislation. Cryptocurrency remains unregulated.
Congo (Brazzaville)LegalIllegalGambling has been legal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2005, but there is no central authority for licensing and regulation. Different state authorities claim jurisdiction depending on the type of gambling. Lottery and sports betting are monopolies of the state-run SONAL, while other forms of gambling are regulated by the Ministry of Sports and Leisure. The use of cryptocurrencies in any form is not authorized in the country.
Equatorial GuineaLegalIllegalEquatorial Guinea’s gambling industry is regulated by the ‘Juegos de Recreo y de Azar’ law, which does not cover online gambling or sports betting. Cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and are discouraged.
GabonLegalLegalGabon allows and regulates gambling through the “Réglementation générale des Jeux de Hasard” law, which was first enacted in 2005 and amended in 2020 to establish the Commission Supérieure des jeux de divertissement, d’argent et de Hasard to oversee the market. Online gambling is not addressed in the legislation. Cryptocurrency use in offshore casinos is also not regulated in Gabon.
São Tomé and PríncipeIllegalIllegalSao Tome and Principe legalized gambling in 2005 through Lei no. 1/2004, de 7 de Abril de 2005, but online gambling is still prohibited. Cryptocurrencies are yet to be regulated.

We analyzed 8 countries in Central Africa: 7 of them allow Online Gambling and 2 — allow Crypto Gambling.

Gambling and Crypto Gambling in East Africa

CountryOnline GamblingCrypto GamblingShort Description
BurundiIllegalIllegalIn accordance with Burundi’s 2008 Penal Code, all gambling is prohibited, including online gambling. Additionally, the country has taken a strict stance on digital assets by banning all forms of cryptocurrency trading in 2019.
ComorosLegalLegalComoros has an Anjouan Gaming License that permits offshore operators to conduct online gambling within the jurisdiction of Anjouan. The license is cost-effective and available to international companies. The Comoros Finance Commission regulates gambling activities. There are no specific laws governing the use and trading of cryptocurrencies in Comoros.
DjiboutiLegalLegalDjibouti permits brick-and-mortar casinos under the 1983 Gaming Act, but online gambling and sports betting are not authorized. The Ministry of Economy and Finance is the primary regulatory body. Cryptocurrencies lack a legal framework in Djibouti.
EritreaUnregulatedIllegalEritrea’s Penal Code does not address gambling, allowing locals to access offshore casinos without prohibition. However, the use of cryptocurrencies is prohibited in the country.
EthiopiaLegalIllegalThe National Lottery Administration oversees legal land-based lotteries, sports betting, and casinos in Ethiopia. Online gambling is not permitted, and the Central Bank has declared cryptocurrencies illegal, requiring crypto companies to obtain a license from the National Cyber Security Agency.
KenyaLegalLegalKenya legalized all forms of gambling in 1991 through the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act. Online gambling is legal, with licenses for sports betting, casino gaming, and lotteries. The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Kenya oversees crypto gambling activities and imposes rules, including a minimum stake of Sh20. Cryptocurrencies are considered securities and fall under the jurisdiction of existing laws. There is a proposal to introduce a 3% tax on digital asset transfers and a 15% tax on online earnings for content creators.
MadagascarLegalLegalMadagascar legalized all forms of gambling in 1971 through Law No. 71-011. Decrees No. 763 of 1994 and No. 7974 of 2018 provide the legal framework for online betting. The government is currently revising gambling laws to address internet gambling, but there are no regulations for cryptocurrencies yet.
MalawiLegalIllegalMalawi legalized gambling in 1996 through the Gaming Act No. 26, which established the Malawi Gaming Board. The Lotteries Act No. 9 of 2003 created the Malawi National Lotteries Board to regulate the lottery. The Malawi Gaming and Lotteries Authority (MAGLA) Bill was developed to merge the two regulators into one and oversee all forms of gambling. Cryptocurrencies are still illegal in Malawi.
MauritiusLegalLegalMauritius has a well-developed gambling market governed by the Gambling Regulatory Authority Act 2007. The Authority oversees casino gambling, sports betting, and other forms of gambling. Similarly, cryptocurrency trading is regulated under the VAITOS Act, which allows the Financial Services Commission Mauritius to supervise Virtual Asset Service Providers and Initial Token Offerings issuers.
MozambiqueLegalLegalIn 2009, Mozambique’s parliament passed a new gambling bill that replaced the 1994 law and allowed for sports betting, casino gambling, poker, and lotteries in both online and land-based formats. However, crypto gambling remains unregulated.
RwandaLegalIllegalGambling in Rwanda is legal under Law N°58/2011 and Ministerial Order N° 01/013. The Rwanda Gambling Board regulates sports betting, casino gambling, lotteries, bingo, and other forms of gambling. Cryptocurrency is forbidden by the National Bank of Rwanda, with no regulations in place.
SeychellesLegalIllegalIn 2014, Seychelles legalized gambling through the Seychelles Gambling Act, which is now regulated by the Gambling Regulations 2022 and Gambling Fees Regulations 2020. All operators must obtain a license from the Seychelles Financial Services Authority to operate in the market. The country is also developing a national policy on virtual assets due to the growing use of cryptocurrencies.
SomaliaIllegalIllegalSomalia bans all gambling and is closing offshore platforms to reduce it, while the legality of cryptocurrencies is uncertain.
South SudanIllegalIllegalGambling and cryptocurrencies are both prohibited in South Sudan without any legal framework.
TanzaniaLegalIllegalTanzania’s Gaming Act of 2003 regulates all forms of gambling, including online and land-based casino gambling, sports betting, and lotteries. The Gaming Board of Tanzania oversees the country’s gambling market, and only the Tanzanian Shilling is accepted as currency for gambling. Cryptocurrencies are not recognized or authorized.
UgandaLegalIllegalUganda has six legal forms of gambling, including lottery, casino gambling, slot machines, sports betting, bingo, and pool betting. The Lotteries and Gaming Act No. 7 of 2016 governs these activities, replacing previous laws. The National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board Uganda (NLGRB) oversees all gambling in the country. Cryptocurrencies are not accepted for gambling as they are not regulated or considered legal tender in Uganda.

We analyzed 16 countries in East Africa: 12 of them allow Online Gambling and 6 — allow Crypto Gambling.

Gambling and Crypto Gambling in Southern Africa

CountryOnline GamblingCrypto GamblingShort Description
BotswanaLegalIllegalGambling in Botswana is legal under the 2012 Gambling Act, which allows for casino, sports betting, bingo, lotteries, and other forms. The Botswana Gambling Authority released amended regulations in 2016, but online gambling is not explicitly mentioned. It is assumed that players can access offshore gambling platforms without legal consequences. The country has also regulated digital asset trading under The Virtual Assets Bill, but cryptocurrencies are not accepted as legal tender.
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)LegalIllegalEswatini permits casinos and lotteries under the 1963 Lotteries and Casino Acts, overseen by the Ministry of Tourism. Online gambling is not addressed in the law. Cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and are unregulated.
LesothoLegalLegalLesotho regulates all forms of gambling, including sports betting, casino gambling, and lottery, through the Casino Order of 1989. However, online casinos are not regulated, and the Casino Board has not licensed any online operators. Cryptocurrencies are also unregulated, and their use in offshore online casinos that accept players from Lesotho is at the sole risk of the users.
NamibiaLegalIllegalNamibia’s gambling industry is governed by the Gaming and Entertainment Control Act 13 of 2018, covering various activities such as casinos, bookmakers, and bar gambling. The country has also introduced a crypto asset law to regulate digital assets, but they are not considered legal tender.
South AfricaLegalLegalBefore the National Gambling Act 1996, gambling was prohibited in South Africa. The Act was later amended in 2008 to cover interactive gambling, and a Gambling Review Commission (GRC) was established in 2009 to oversee the impact and effectiveness of gambling in the South Africa. The National Gambling Board is the primary regulator.
ZambiaLegalIllegalThe Zambia Casino Act replaced the Casino and Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act in 1992, allowing for casino gambling. The Betting Control Act and Lotteries Act regulate sports betting and lotteries respectively. The Ministry of Finance proposed a unified Gaming and Lotteries Authority in 2019, but it has not been implemented. Online gambling is not addressed in the bills, so offshore casinos are accessible to Zambians. There is currently no cryptocurrency legislation, but Zambia is working on digital infrastructure and potentially accepting cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
ZimbabweLegalLegalZimbabwe permits land-based casinos and lotteries under the Lotteries and Gaming Act, while tote and sports betting are legalized through the Betting and Totalizator Control Act. The Pools Control Act allows for pool betting. The Lotteries and Gaming Board is the main regulator and has proposed amendments to allow online betting. There is no legal framework for crypto gambling, but capital gains tax applies to crypto trading profits.

We analyzed 7 countries in Southern Africa: 7 of them allow Online Gambling and 3 — allow Crypto Gambling.

Crypto Gambling Regulations in Africa

North Africa has the strictest regulations about Online and Crypto Gambling. West Africa — has the biggest count of countries that allow Online Gambling. At the same time, the best African Region for Crypto Gambling is East Africa.

Final Thoughts

After our deep research, we can make a short wrap-up: all African Countries provide some laws or regulations related to Gambling and Crypto Gambling.

At the same time, most African countries allow Gambling (41 countries on our list), and only 17 countries allow Crypto Gambling.

We assume that in the near future, this list of countries that allow Crypto Gambling will be extended.

Author: Budzh'yun
Crypto Casino Expert
Budzh'yun Zulu has been a professional writer since 2015. He knows the problems players face when searching for reliable casinos and analyzes every site he writes a review about. With a background in sports betting, he understands the opportunities available to successful bettors when utilizing digital currency.