Gambling in Zambia is legal and is regulated by three different legislative documents. Since 2007, The Tourism and Hospitality Act oversees the functioning of casinos and defines circumstances under which casino licences may be issued (before 2007 a separate legislative document, the so-called Casino Act was in operation).
The State Lotteries Act provides a legal framework for the operation of the State Lottery, which is, to my best understanding in monopolistic position. The Betting Control Act deals with the issuing of bookmaker licenses and provides control over betting and bookmaker practices.
Given the extremely low internet penetration in Zambia (estimated around 23%*) online gambling is not relevant and wide spread enough to be specifically regulated by the act, but the state does issue licenses to online gambling operators (Sports4Africa Zambia operates an online platform too, under legit bookmaker licence) and it’s also legal to play on offshore gambling sites, online casinos, bookmakers etc.
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- Casino Gambling in Zambia
- Bingo in Zambia
- Poker in Zambia
- Sports Betting in Zambia
- Lottery in Zambia
- Bitcoin Gambling in Zambia
- Online gambling websites accepting players from Zambia
Casino Gambling in Zambia
Online casino gambling in Zambia: legal, casinos require a licence, offshore online operators not regulated
It is legal to operate a casino in Zambia in possession of a legit licence issued by the state, according to the Tourism and Hospitality Act. Currently, there are four licensed, land-based casinos in the country, most of them in major resorts, as casino gambling is mainly a tourist attraction in Zambia.
There is no mention of online casinos in the act. Many of the online casinos are therefore open to players from Zambia, and it is not forbidden by law, therefore legal to play in one of these for Zambian residents.
Bingo in Zambia
Online Bingo in Zambia: legal, but offline requires a licence, online not directly regulated
Mining the internet I couldn’t unearth any info, that suggested any Zambian has ever played a single game of Bingo. Nor there is a word in any of the aforementioned regulations on Bingo, let alone online Bingo. It’s very safe to assume, that the lack of regulation means, that people from Zambia can play Bingo online freely on foreign sites that accept them.
Although, to run a Bingo hall in the country, one would need a casino licence.
Poker in Zambia
Online Poker in Zambia: legal, offline regulated – requires casino licence, playing on offshore online sites is practically legal, not directly regulated
The Tourism and Hospitality Act of Zambia defines card games as “any game of cards specified in a casino licence”, so Poker definitely falls under the scope of the Act, and therefore operating a poker table is regulated and requires a licence. However, there is not a single mention of online Poker in there so, again, it is safe to assume, that the online Poker opportunities of Zambians are limited merely by the range of casinos accepting them (which is quite wide, by the way).
Sports Betting in Zambia
Online sports betting in Zambia: legal, requires a licence both online and offline, placing bets on foreign platforms is legal
Sports betting is the most popular of all forms of gambling in Zambia, just like in most of the African countries. Football is by far the biggest sensation, but there are a substantial amount of bets being placed on international cricket, tennis and boxing matches too.
As in all African countries with small internet penetration, most of the betting is done in local betting shops, or over the phone.
Betting is regulated by the Betting Control Act, originally enacted in 1958. The Act specifies the conditions under which bookmaker licenses can be issued, and also creates a legal framework for monitoring and controlling betting activities.
Although, there is no specific word in the Act about online bookmakers, Sport4Africa, a firm that operates betting shops and sites in 11 African nations opened it’s Zambia branch last year, which offers online betting opportunities too, apart from its land-based shops, under the same license.
Lottery in Zambia
Online lottery in Zambia: state monopoly, no online option, no specific word on foreign operators, although its very safe to assume that players are not prosecuted in any way
Lottery is a state monopoly in Zambia. Nowhere in the text of the Lotteries Act is there a mention of any licences issued to independent operators. The Zambia state lottery offers no online platform for participation, the website they have only allows players to check the game results on the internet.
In most of the countries, where only the state is allowed to conduct a lottery, playing on offshore sites is considered illegal. However, it appears to be the case, that individual players are not prosecuted for committing such an act. Moreover, there is no word in the regulatory text about the legal status of foreign operators.
Bitcoin Gambling in Zambia
Bitcoin gambling in Zambia: not regulated, practically legal
BitCoin is not a widely adopted currency in Zambia (and presumably the same applies to pretty much every African nation). The country’s very low internet penetration makes it pointless to address issues relating to a completely digital currency through legislation.
That is the reason there are no Bitcoin regulations neither in Zambia, nor in any other poor African developing country.
Online gambling websites accepting players from Zambia
The following online gambling websites accept players from Zambia.
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Last updated: 2015.09.23.