Betting in Malawi – the Legality of It

Perhaps not many people really know about Malawi as a country, but they really should. Despite the fact that it remains one of the least-developed countries around the world, it has a lot of potential, and this includes its sports betting sector. Gambling within Malawi has been a legal activity since the Gaming Act of 1996 was introduced. This would also bring about the establishment of the Malawi Gaming Board, which is responsible for issuing licences and overseeing gambling operations within the country.

Land-based establishments in Malawi are limited to just three licenced casinos for gaming purposes, and Premier Betting operating as its licensed sports betting facility. This brand began functioning in Malawi in 2015, meaning that avid fans of sports betting have somewhere to focus their attention.

When it comes to the online betting sector, Malawi doesn’t have a regulated sector in operation. This doesn’t mean that online gaming and betting isn’t available, though. There are various platforms that support and welcome Malawian gamblers to their platforms. Many of them can be found via the site Nostrabet, which has a stringent reviewing process in place. Experts take a look at various online sportsbooks, review them in full and allow potential bettors to find out what they provide before joining themselves. At least this way, you can see what you’ll be able to experience as a bettor at one of the online bookmakers reviewed there.

Gambling in All Forms

Lilongwe operates as the country’s biggest gambling centre, unsurprisingly. Within its three gambling facilities, the capital city provides around 30 table games and 113 gaming, slot and video poker machines. Pirates Casino is the country’s biggest land-based casino, and this is located within the capital city, too. These land-based casino establishments also allow their visitors to participate in games of poker as well. Naturally, there’s nothing to stop members of online sites from playing games of poker, either.

However, the country’s lottery is the most common form of gambling for citizens, with around 15 million Malawians participating in it on a regular basis. The sole legal operator of the lottery is Gidani International Limited, which obtained its gambling licence for such in 2015.

Of course, the issue with having an unregulated online gambling market is that players can easily sign up to offshore sportsbooks, casinos, poker rooms etc. and this doesn’t benefit the Malawian economy in any way. Many offshore platforms will provide exceptional bonus offers and rewards that stand out to gamblers more so than those operating inland as well, so there’s no way for the government to harness taxes from these offshore platforms for reaching out to Malawian players.

Yet, until the Malawi Gaming Board is given more power by the government, there’s unlikely to be a regulated online industry for the time being. Naturally, there needs to be a lot of thought put into the regulation of online gambling, and whether or not the government is able-minded enough to allow this power to go to the Gaming Board remains to be seen. The good thing is that gambling in Malawi is in its youth, so there’s plenty of time for this to become an expansion for the future.