The state of online gambling in Africa keeps improving, thanks to legislation that continues to open up the sector for investment. And while some parts of Africa still outlaw any form of gambling, the covid-19 outbreak highlighted one important fact. That online gambling industry can thrive under any circumstance. It is an eye-opener for African governments, especially in the wake of economic challenges that have continued to plague most countries globally. Online gambling is a multimillion-dollar industry that has become a major source of revenue for African countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria,Tanzania, and Ghana.
Moreover, as Africa continues to open its doors for investment, gaming companies have continued to take roots in several parts of the continent, especially in the said countries. Offshore gaming companies are also accessible in most parts of Africa, and it is because some gaming legislations allow it. In South Africa, Spin247 casino is an ideal starting point. On the casino website, punters can choose from wide-ranging games and enjoy uninterrupted gambling. This post delves further into everything you should know about internet gambling regulations in Africa.
Interactive Gambling Is Still Outlawed in South Africa
South Africa has earned the tag of Africa’s gambling Mecca. However, the legal situation of eGaming is still marred by restrictions. Despite being the third-largest economy on the continent, land-based casinos take a bigger share of gambling activities in the country.
The Gambling Act of 2004 prohibits interactive gaming, online casinos included. However, it falls short of penalties that come with breaching interactive gaming laws. For this reason, offshore and home-bred internet casinos operate in South Africa. Until the Gambling Act of 2008 gets enforced, eGaming remains illegal in the country.
South Africa’s National Gambling Act was passed in 1996. However, it only allowed the operation of the national lottery provided a license had been obtained to that effect. Today, ITHUBA is the sole operator of South Africa’s national lottery. Later, parliament passed the Act of 2004, which outlawed the operation of online casinos or any form of interactive gaming. However, the rise of online gambling meant South African punters would seek redress elsewhere. In 2008, the National Gambling Amendment Act was created, and it paved the way for the legalization of online gambling, albeit, yet to get a presidential proclamation.
South Africa’s Remote Bill (2014) and What It Means for Punters
With more South Africans now accessing online gambling sites, the Remote Bill of 2014 is set to protect them from exploitation. The Bill is comparable to Australia’s Gambling Act of 2001 that sanitized the eGaming industry. For example, a clause in the Act stipulates that providers of eGaming services must acquire a license from the National Gambling Board and provincial authorities. Moreover, the Bill of 2014 will further legalize online sporting betting and casinos. Also read, why Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, opines that Africans must not be treated as second-class citizens.
Online Gambling Laws in East Africa
East African countries, especially Kenya and Uganda, have emerged as popular eGaming destinations. For example, Kenya is regarded as the third-largest market for eGaming in Sub-Sub-Saharan. South Africa and Nigeria occupy the first and second places, respectively. Kenya’s good standing in online gambling is due to gaming legislation that has opened up the sector.
Casino games and sports betting are popular on Kenya’s gambling sites. Kenya’s success story in the eGaming sector is hinged on technological advancements that have made internet services more accessible in rural areas. And as mobile gaming gains momentum across Africa, gamblers in Kenya have unlimited access to several casino websites.
However, a big challenge to Kenya’s online gambling is the introduction of high taxation rates. According to the new Gambling Act of 2020, which was hastily passed by parliament, gaming advertisements are charged a 35% tax rate. Punters are also charged a withholding tax of 20% on winnings and a further 7.5% excise duty on gambling stakes. While the Kenyan government introduced these taxes to sanitize the sector that was becoming a den for money launderers, it has worked to discourage gaming providers.
Nigeria Online Gambling Laws
Nigeria has emerged as the favorite eGaming gaming destination for most West African punters. But it begs the question, are eGaming laws in this part of the world any friendlier? The National Lottery Commission regulates the provision of gaming services and registration of online casinos in Nigeria. However, Nigeria’s eGaming laws steer clear of online gambling and do not prohibit gamblers from joining casino websites. In a nutshell, while gambling laws exist in Nigeria, the industry is not properly regulated.
Africa’s eGaming sector remains underexploited. And with most countries yet to formulate or implement online gambling laws, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania remain the only friendly destinations for punters looking to play casino games from anywhere and anytime. Perhaps smartphones will change the gambling narrative in the continent soon, and so is the need for more revenue as hard economic times keep biting.