Published | Updated 12 April, 2024

The state of Africa: The reach of land-based and online betting

Exploring the African landscape, one country at a time, to see where betting is everything from illegal to fully regulated and everything in between.

the state of africa

Africa is a vast place with a litany of different cultures making it up. From the north, which finds the Mediterranean lapping at the shores of places like Tripoli, to the south, where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet off the coast of Cape Town, the continent has begun to emerge as the next big gambling market. But what is the state of gambling across the continent?

Well, Gambling Insider takes a look at Africa and the countries that comprise it to see what is and isn’t legal across each country.

Country status 
Country Gambling Legal Land-Based Regulated Online Legal Online Regulated
Algeria No No No No
Angola Yes Yes Yes No
Benin Yes Yes Yes No
Botswana Yes Yes No No
Burkina Yes Yes Yes No
Burundi Yes Yes No No
Cameroon Yes Yes Yes No
Cape Verde Yes Yes Yes No
Central African Republic Yes Yes No No
Chad Yes Yes Yes No
Comoros Yes Yes Yes Yes
Congo Yes Yes Yes No
Democratic Republic of Congo Yes Yes Yes No
Djibouti Yes Yes Yes No
Egypt Yes Yes Yes No
Equatorial Guinea Yes Yes Yes No
Eritrea No No No No
Ethiopia Yes Yes Yes No
Gabon Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gambia Yes Yes Yes No
Ghana Yes Yes Yes Yes
Guinea Yes Yes Yes Yes
Guinea-Bissau No No No No
Ivory Coast Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kenya Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lesotho Yes Yes Yes No
Liberia Yes Yes Yes No
Libya No No No No
Madagascar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Malawi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Malti Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mauritania No No No No
Mauritius Yes Yes Yes Yes
Morocco Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mozambique Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nambia Yes Yes Yes Yes
Niger Yes Yes Yes No
Nigeria Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rwanda Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sao Tome and Principe Yes Yes No No
Senegal Yes Yes Yes No
Seychelles Yes Yes Yes No
Sierra Leone Yes No Yes No
Somalia No No No No
South Africa Yes Yes Yes Yes
South Sudan No No No No
Sudan No No No No
Eswatini Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tanzania Yes Yes Yes Yes
Togo Yes Yes Yes No
Tunisia Yes Yes Yes Yes
Uganda Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zambia Yes Yes Yes No
Zimbabwe Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

FAQ’s

Why do so many African countries have such vastly different betting rules?

Much of the answer to this has to do with religion. In the map above, it can be seen that many countries don’t have any betting clustered together – many of these are predominantly occupied by people of the Muslim faith, meaning that the practice is strictly forbidden.

However, there are some exceptions – Morocco, for example, has legalised betting. 

Is the market there growing quickly?

This depends on the country; many are seeing mobile broadband access driving online betting in particular, because of the growing need for smartphones and internet access.

According to MiFinity, 83% of Africa is now covered by a mobile broadband network while 61% of people have a mobile phone of any kind – contrasted to 78% of people across Europe owning a smartphone, with the UK alone having 91% smartphone penetration.

So, yes, the market for online gambling is growing very quickly across much of Africa, which is being driven by the fast-increasing mobile broadband and smartphone usage (primarily in young people).

Does internet access vary?

Yes, it varies greatly. In Morocco, the internet penetration rates stand at 88.1% – according to a 2023 report by Statista – while in the Central African Republic, the figure was at a lowly 10.6% at the start of 2023, according to DataReportal.

Further, it should be noted that Africa has the lowest amount of internet connections (people using the internet) at just 22%. According to the International Finance Corporation, while that figure is low, it has huge potential to expand, with the African Union and the World Bank Group aiming to connect every business, person and government by 2030.

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