Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Benin

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Horsemen in Djougou, Benin

Horsemen in Djougou, Benin
Photo: Tarek Charara

 

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country situated in Western Africa with a population of 10 million people. Internet penetration rate among the populace is quite low, estimated between 2-10% by various reports. As a result, online gambling is not exactly prevalent within the country, and the government hasn’t felt the need to regulate online gambling specifically.

Land-based gambling in Benin is regulated by the 2002 gambling act (loi N° 2002-28 du 29 mars 2001 portant réglementation des jeux de hasard, d’argent et de paris en république du Bénin*), which allows gambling of various forms, including casino gambling and lottery.

In accordance with the law, gambling is technically a monopoly of the state, but cooperation with private companies is allowed – this means, in effect, a licensing process. Licensed gambling facilities need to pay for the licence, and the government in turn guarantees them security.

There have been several complaints by operations of licensed gambling establishments in Benin about the lack of enforcement of the gambling laws. Licensed casinos have set opening hours between 22.00 and 04.00, while casinos not officially licensed have no qualms about staying open all day.

This provides an unfair advantage to them over legal casinos. However, these illicit establishments are generally not prosecuted, as they have obscure contracts with some authorities not actually authorized to issue licenses. As a result, such semi-illegal casinos go unmolested.

 

*Source: Statuts des Entreprises Publiques (Gouvernance Bénin)

 

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Casino gambling in Benin

 

Online casino gambling in Benin: unregulated

 

Casino gambling is legal in Benin, and there is a state-licensed brick and mortar casino in Cotonou, Benin’s economic centre (though not the capital). Apart from the Benin Marina Hotel, there are also many illicit or semi-legal gambling establishments throughout the country.

Games available include video poker, slot machines and poker tables, but few table casino games – specifically, a single Roulette table in the Benin Marina Hotel. In accordance with the regulations mentioned in the introduction, the casino is only open for 5 hours a day, between 11 pm and 4 am. The casino is not a large tourist destination, and even those on vacation here often choose not to partake in any gambling.

Online casino gambling is practically non-existent in Benin. An online gambling company based in Benin would likely need a licence to operate, but no such sites exist as of yet. Beninese residents looking to gamble online may play on any foreign online casino site, provided they have internet access, and the site accepts players from Benin.

 

 

Bingo in Benin

 

Online Bingo in Benin: unregulated

 

Bingo is mostly unknown in Benin, and is not available at Benin Marina Hotel, nor is it offered by the national lottery of Benin. There are no reports of any illicit Bingo games in the country either.

As it might be expected, there are also no Benin-based online Bingo sites either. Beninese players with access to the internet are free to choose Bingo games on any available international platform.

 

 

Poker in Benin

 

Online Poker in Benin: unregulated

 

Poker is one of the few table games available in Beninese gambling establishments. The Benin Marina Hotel has two poker tables. Although poker is not a traditionally played game in Benin, it has been gaining popularity in recent years.

With the very few legal opportunities available, Beninese players might turn to online Poker. Still, those who have the means to play online Poker may do so freely and legally on international Poker sites.

 

 

Sports betting in Benin

 

Online sports betting in Benin: unregulated

 

Sports betting is legal and quite popular in Benin. Sports betting is a state monopoly, and is operated as a part of the national lottery of Benin. Wagers may be made on the football championships of England, Scotland and Australia. The other sport Beninese gamblers  can bet on are horse races, as Benin has a horse race track in Djougou.

Online wagering is not available on the website of sports betting (called Loto Sportif), nor on that of the horse races (PMU). Beninese gamblers looking for online sports betting, or a wider range of sports to bet on may play on international sports betting sites.

 

 

Lottery in Benin

 

Online lottery in Benin: unregulated

 

Lottery is legal in Benin, and the country has its own national lottery – the Loterie Nationale du Bénin – that was founded in 1967. The operation of the lottery is a state monopoly, but retailers can apply for a license to distribute various lottery products. The national lottery offers scratchcards, two versions of regular lottery (5/90), Sports betting and horse race wagering as well.*

Unfortunately, none of these products and games are available for playing online on the website of the national lottery. As a result, foreign lottery websites are the only option for Beninese residents who wish to participate in online lottery games. Despite the monopoly, there are no laws against playing on international lottery sites, nor against providing such services for players in Benin.

 

*Source: Loterie Nationale du Bénin

 

Bitcoin gambling in Benin

 

Bitcoin gambling in Benin: unregulated

 

Bitcoin usage is practically unheard of in Benin, as in most countries of the region. One of the main reasons for this is the low percentage of people with access to the internet (no higher than 10% in Benin). There are also no certified traders exchanging Bitcoin and West African CFA, the national currency of Benin within the country.

As a result, while Bitcoin gambling is not regulated and certainly not illegal, very few Beninese residents, if any, play on Bitcoin gambling sites. Still, such websites are theoretically freely accessible for gamblers in Benin.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from Benin

 

The following websites accept players from Benin.

 

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BGO casino – accepting players from Benin

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BGO online bookmaker accepting players from Benin

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32 Red casino accepting players from Benin

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32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website accepting players from Benin

 

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015. 10. 14

Summary
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Benin
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Benin
Description
An overview of the legal status and popularity of the various forms of gambling in Benin.
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