What Is Gambling in Africa?

This stunning continent is famed for its mineral richness, black gold, and amazing biodiversity. Not only that, but most governments on this continent have improved through time, allowing sectors like casinos to flourish.

Massive casinos like the Rio Casino Resort, Africa’s biggest and fifth largest in the world, were operating amid urban centers. Tsogo Sun Montecasino is another big casino in Johannesburg. But how has gaming evolved in Africa over time?

Gambling in Africa

Gambling was similarly taboo on the second-largest continent, and was forbidden in most African governments. While Africa’s relationship with gambling has evolved in recent years, certain nations may still have biases against it.

For example, North Africa. The great majority of this region of the continent is Muslim, and Islamic law forbids gambling (mousir). Despite this, archeologists discovered dice in Egypt dating back to 3000 BC. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Chinese thoroughbred horses were transported to South Africa to strengthen indigenous stock. A century later, when demand for thoroughbreds grew, horse racing became popular there.

Southern Africa is the largest gaming market. Various casinos have been developed in different regions, dating back to the 30-40 years of horse racing in the country. While South Africa had thoroughbreds as early as the 17th century, gambling was illegal. The South African Gambling Act of 1965 made all types of gambling illegal.

In the end, four South African provinces allowed gambling. So in 1983, hotelier Sol Kerzner launched Sun International, a new casino brand. Licensed casinos and a national lottery were formed by the new SA government in 1994. Sun International later expanded into adjacent nations.

Africa’s Gaming Laws

The Gambling Acts were introduced in 1996 and 2004. The 1996 version authorized sports betting and lotteries.

The 2004 Act also banned internet casinos, however operators may find a way around the restriction. Online bookmakers may lawfully service the continent if they get a license and pay taxes. The government didn’t tax winners since gambling wasn’t considered a source of income. The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 permits residents to bet in all types of casinos, as well as online.


Internet and online gambling have now overtaken Africa, since casino operators can simply reach more players via online versions of games. Gambling and sports betting have been revolutionized in most African nations.

Johannesburg, South Africa, is the African gaming capital, with the most casinos and gambling activity. The nation has some of the biggest casinos in Africa and the globe, and provides a broad range of casino games and sports betting. The Rio Casino Resort in Johannesburg is the world’s fifth largest casino.

Kenya, like South Africa, is a big gambler. Many casinos are proof of it. Casinos are located across the city, notably in luxury shops and hotels. Casinos are part of the nightlife in this second-largest gaming nation. Some of the greatest casinos in Nairobi include Mayfair, Finix, Pink Apple, and The Flamingo. Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and others are top gambling African countries.

Gaming has a promising future in Africa, especially in gambling hotspots like Johannesburg and Nairobi. Dice were used in ancient Egypt, and horse racing was popular in the late 17th century. While gambling was long banned, it continued to grow and change throughout African countries.

The continent not only has enormous casinos, but it is also a major worldwide gambling destination. That illustrates how much Africans adore gaming.

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