Gambling has a long history in Africa.

Your thoughts immediately turn to Las Vegas in the United States, Monte Carlo in Monaco, or any of the imposing casinos in Macao when you think about gambling. But have you given any thought to Africa? Despite being the second most populous continent on the planet, gambling is not well-known on the continent, and it is prohibited in many African nations. There are, however, a handful that do enable it to be done.

For example, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced on Twitter that he would prohibit new foreign betting companies from registering in the nation and that existing foreign betting companies would not have their licenses renewed in the country. This would have an impact on companies such as Kenya’s SportPesa, which sponsors Everton FC in the English Premier League.

Sub-Saharan Africa is seeing a slew of new internet casinos spring up on a regular basis, and betting on the African Cup of Nations has never been easier, but what is the history of gambling on the continent? Let’s have a look at this.

The beginnings of a career

Gambling is prohibited by Islamic law in North Africa since the majority of the population is Muslim (known as maisir). Archaeologists have discovered dice dating back to 3000 BC in Egypt, indicating that the game has existed for a long time. Thoroughbred horses were transported from China to South Africa as early as the 17th century to strengthen the native stock in sub-Saharan Africa, and this practice continued until the present day. Horse racing began there a century later, and the demand for thoroughbreds skyrocketed as a result.

The Middle East was the breeding ground for champion Arabian thoroughbreds, and many of them were sent to Asia and Europe. Certain individuals made their way to North Africa, or were born and raised in the region. The Islamic impact on Western Africa before colonization, yet gambling was still popular in the region throughout that time period. It has been believed that the Tanala people of Madagascar had been involved in gambling for millennia before the rest of the world discovered the game.

Republic of South Africa

South Africa is the country with the largest African gaming market. Simply doing a Google search for “gaming in Africa” yields a substantial number of results pointing to South African bookmakers, online casinos, horse racing websites, and physical casinos around the nation. As previously said, horse racing was the starting point, but casinos were a more recent addition, having only been established in the United States during the past 30-40 years. Thoroughbreds may have been present in South Africa as early as the late 17th century, but real money gambling was prohibited, and the South African Gambling Act of 1965 rendered all types of betting illegal in the country entirely.

Four South African provinces took a stand against the prohibition and made betting legal, and hotelier Sol Kerzner established a brand new casino operating firm named Sun International in 1983. The new South African government legalized all kinds of gambling in 1994, and the National Gambling Act, passed two years later, established a regulated casino system that included a national lottery system. Sun International had already obtained all of the necessary domestic permits and had begun to expand its empire and influence into neighboring nations.


Gambling legislation in Angola is less strict than in other African countries. Despite the fact that casinos are the most popular form of gambling in the world, there is no regulation in place and no internet casinos operating in Angola. In 2016, the parliament enacted new laws aimed at establishing state-controlled casinos, lotteries, and internet gambling, as well as generating revenue from these activities via taxation. Offline, there are seven licensed casinos in the nation, four of which are located in Luanda, the country’s capital.


Western Africa was one of the pioneering locations for gaming on the continent, although Nigeria’s gambling legislation are sub-par compared to other countries in the region. There are several illicit casinos operating around the nation. Nigerian gambling regulations are geared against eliminating illicit gambling and money laundering; nevertheless, there is no specific mention of internet gambling or casinos, and as a result, access to overseas gambling sites is not blocked in the country. Having said that, businesses are subject to the same regulations as traditional casinos. A national lottery exists in Nigeria, as as in South Africa, and it is overseen by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. It was founded in the year 2005.

The two largest legal casinos in the world are located in the world’s two most populous cities, respectively. One of the largest hotels in Nigeria is the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino in Lagos. Interestingly, while roulette and dice games are prohibited in the United States, they may still be found at legal land-based casinos.

Greek Town Casino

Add comment

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.