As you will soon see, each of these regions and its constituent countries may have their own laws and regulations regarding gambling practices. Some are fully supportive of the gambling industry; a small group of countries still show only a vague interest, and a third group of countries completely prohibit real money betting on any games of chance, regardless of their format. South Africa perhaps leads the way in promoting the benefits and legality of the industry. It is followed by Kenya and Nigeria, in these countries government assurances are confirmed by the presence of real gambling establishments.
Gambling Legislation in North Africa
North Africa is by and large a desert part of the continent, covering the Sahara Desert region. From the Mediterranean coast this region is characterized by the influence of European culture. However, its close proximity to the Middle East has led to a predominance of the Islamic religion among its population. Because of the strict beliefs practiced there, much of the North African region remains a highly underdeveloped market in terms of both land-based and online gambling.
Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia are examples of the above approach. Morocco has chosen a different tactic; land-based casinos have been offered here since 1952. Thanks to an official law from 2002, Morocco has become the most progressive country in the region. Although local casinos are mainly used as tourist facilities, they can still be considered a potential basis for the growth of the industry.
Gambling Laws in Central Africa
Central Africa consists of seven countries - Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Rwanda/Burundi. The first six countries on this list are categorically against the practice of gambling on their territory. The reason is that most of them are centers of terrorist and other illegal organizations, military activities and complete government chaos.
However, Gabon has largely embraced the practice of gambling and has used the potential of the gambling industry for economic growth. The country reportedly has six casinos, five of which are in the capital and one outside its borders. All of these establishments are regulated by the Réglementation Générale des Jeux de Hazard of 2005, which translates to "General Gambling Provisions" in French.
Gambling Laws in West Africa
The West African countries along the Atlantic coast have formed a unified and rather rigid view of the practice of gambling. Most of the countries in this region are completely against the gambling industry, while other states allow specific forms of gambling that are strictly forbidden to local residents. The people of Benin, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo have in one way or another been able to legalize gambling in their countries, so that this form of entertainment is now available to the citizens of the above mentioned states.
The Government of Benin legalized gambling back in 2001 under Law No. 2002 28 on regulation of games of chance, money and gambling in the Republic of Benin, roughly as the name of the law translates from French. Ghana began drafting legislation even earlier: as early as the second half of the last century, they had regulations governing sports betting, lotteries and casino gambling. Thanks to the Gambling Act 721 of 2006, visitors to Ghana have many opportunities to gamble. Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo have their own laws governing the industry; they offer a wide range of gambling services.
Gambling Laws in East Africa
East Africa is very similar to the North, perhaps because the distance between the coast of this continent and Middle Eastern countries such as Yemen is no more than 200 miles. This region of the African continent is divided into two camps, with the governments of Djibouti, Tanzania and Uganda supporting gambling, and Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia opposing the industry.
Kenya is the last country that belongs to East Africa. However, this country is second on the continent in the number of active casinos. Although Kenya has legal provisions governing the practice of gambling, both land-based and online, the gambling industry is still extremely limited in this state, mainly due to attacks and terrorist attacks on establishments by extremist groups and organizations.
In Djibouti, traditional casinos are allowed in the interest of economic development, but lottery, bingo and sports betting are not yet legalized. Tanzania is much more advanced in this respect: the issue of gambling regulation there was addressed as early as 1967 with the adoption of the Pools and Lotteries Act.
Continuing the work in this direction, in 1992 the National Investment Promotion and Protection Act was passed, which allowed the establishment of real casinos and gambling facilities. In 2003, a clear tax policy for the gambling industry was formed, and the Tanzania Gambling Board, a specialized authorized body to monitor operators' compliance with all regulations, was established.
Finally, Uganda: this country is rather in a gray area, although there is legislation regulating the relationship between players and gambling establishments, both traditional and online. Currently, players from Uganda have access to and the ability to bet at any of the many gambling establishments, be they casinos or sports bookmaker's offices.
Gambling Laws in South Africa
Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are the three least recommended gambling destinations in the southern region of the African continent. Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Malawi have made some progress in this direction: gambling services are available to residents and visitors to these countries. An excellent example is South Africa, the leading African state by the number of casinos.
South Africa has had a number of regulations in place since 1996, including the Gambling Act, which regulates the tax side of things, rules for operators, permit and licensing procedures. Thanks to this law, the country's gambling industry not only functioned, but even flourished, but later certain changes were required to meet the needs of a growing economy. In 2004, the South African government passed another Gambling Act, and in 2008 it was amended so that South Africans can now play all types of casinos and even online gambling; and legal betting on sports betting sites is even encouraged here.
Each country's policy, which we defined above as pro-gambling, has been influenced in one way or another by the industry leader's strategy. Zambia is considered the most sought-after tourist destination in the entire region and the continent as a whole; one can only hope that one day this country will be able to offer its guests many attractive casino-hotels and resorts, and that the other countries will follow suit.
Banking methods on African online casino sites
As discussed in the extensive review above, gambling enthusiasts in Africa should be very careful in their exploits. Some countries openly support modern online casinos and gambling platforms. In others, armed clashes continue and governments are unable to stabilize their economies and regulate online gambling on their territories.
Anyway, there are a number of offshore online casino operators headquartered far from the African continent. They provide diverse and trustworthy gambling services. An important aspect is the payment processing offered on these platforms: the functionality of the services, their accessibility to African players, the fees and overall security provided by the payment operators and casinos. All this contributes to the image of the final product.
Online casinos catering to African players are no different from other similar platforms, so common standards of security and accessibility apply to them. However, the key difference is the currency: banking methods designed for Africa must serve ZAR (South African Rand). This is the currency of South Africa, a country where online gambling platforms are legally regulated, and the overall course is set for the expansion of the industry. So players are advised to stick to online casino platforms that offer the following banking methods:
Debit and credit cards: This payment method includes card processing companies such as Visa, Maestro and MasterCard. Each of them has a solid reputation in global online gambling and e-commerce in general, so the quality of their service is not in doubt. Nevertheless, players should make sure they are dealing with a reliable casino operator before providing their bank details to gambling platforms' servers.
Electronic Wallets: The security problem virtually disappears with the popular electronic wallets Skrill and Neteller. They work like online bank accounts, funded from your real bank account, and act as an intermediary or even an insulator between your personal information and the casino platform. Online casinos tend to actively market this banking method to African players because it increases security and reduces the risk of error.
Online payment processing services: African payment services may also be offered among the payment methods; they operate with the lowest payment processing fees. This applies to EasyEFT, a service that works on all devices and allows platforms to establish a direct channel between the two online platforms for higher speed and greater security.
Wire transfers: Bank transfers directly through your bank account or through money transfer services such as MoneyGram and Western Union are also available on African casino sites as banking methods. They operate with higher fees, making them less attractive to a wide range of players. However, they offer a high level of reliability and security, making their use well worthwhile.